Skua passage has been building slowly over the last week with 20-30 birds seen most days- usually single birds but occasional flocks of 3-4. Yesterday morning the pace increased and I counted 250+ birds passing the ship in the first two hours of daylight. Most of the individuals concerned appeared to be pomarine skuas, although a few arctic skuas were also noted. The highlight however was the presence of several long-tailed skuas. Interestingly I saw a flock of 30 or so skuas that appeared to be migrating low over the water in the company of Cory's shearwaters- all the birds working their way WNW using lazy, languid wingbeats in the almost still air. At one stage the birds rested momentarily on the sea before resuming their passage. It was also interesting to see 3 poms. scrapping over an eel that had been caught by one of the birds. The bright tropical sunlight is very flat and I am struggling to find a suitable camera setting but have managed a few shots.
|a great spectacle!|