Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chelmarsh - ARCTIC SKUA !!

I’m not sure when I’ve shot out of the door from work so quickly, passed so many cars on the Cressage straight or skipped any thoughts of ‘what’s for tea’? The reason? News of an Arctic Skua at Chelmarsh reservoir!! A Skua is an awesome turn up for little old Shropshire and when old hands Andy Latham and Rob Stokes were rubbing their hands smiling, you were left in no doubt about the credentials of this ‘find’. The finder? Martyn Owen - during a routine check of the reservoir and scrape then getting news out quickly – nice one Martyn!!!

Sadly given the distance of viewing, record shots only in the rain and gloom but I’ve uploaded bigger images than usual to celebrate! Remember to click on them!
On my list then with the Skua sat out in the middle....

Eventually moving closer after mugging a Gull virtually overhead, the trees meant I couldn’t lock onto that moment!

Another take off with one thing in mind – the regurgitated last meal of a Lesser Black-backed Gull!

What they lack in size, Arctic Skuas make up for in sheer aggression and persistence. Chasing remorselessly.....

Like a fighter pilot locking onto his quarry...

.....until the food is thrown up as an act of surrender (these tasty morsels were all part of this sequence, consumed in mid air!!)

Crop now bulging, back for another spell on the water.

The excitement and uncertainty of birding summed up by this juvenile, way off track and on the (very) short list for Shropshire bird of 2011! A real show off too, giving the small group of birders assembled one of the most entertaining Shropshire evenings of 2011.


OMG, forgot I'd missed my tea - hmm, fish and chips coming up (not Skua style)

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic series of shots depicting the Skua mugging a gull Jim.

    I have put up a link to your blog post on my own blog post on Chelmarsh from Yesterday..I hope you dont mind