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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Early autumn juvenile skua pitfalls

A fabulous portrayal of what is generally perceived of a dark or intermediate morph juvenile LONG-TAILED SKUA. Although clearly overlooked by the photographer, this image shows how easy it is to get caught out by these confusing juveniles - and in the single image the wings do look broad-based, a feature one would expect of juvenile Arctic Skua.

However, just look at the basal, cold-toned upperpart colouration, completely lacking in the warmth usually reflected in juvenile Arctic, and the shape of the central tail projectiles. The outer two primary shafts are clearly white but lacking in prominence in the next two, whilst the nape is pale, the rump is basally white and noticeably barred on the upper tail coverts and the bill relatively small - a classic LONG-TAIL.