Is this a Great Skua?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QCan you please tell me what bird this is? It was taken on 31 July on Tiree. Is it a Great Skua? Michael Dou­glas

AI­den­ti­fy­ing birds from sil­hou­ettes is fraught with all sorts of dif­fi­cul­ties due to the lack of the usual vis­ual fea­tures. How­ever, that be­ing said we think that this could in­deed be a Great Skua, or ‘Bonxie’ as they are of­ten called. The shape is ‘right’, although we’d have liked some hint of those pale wing flashes to make us more cer­tain. Of course, it could equally be a gull, and the lack of wing flashes (even when we se­verely ad­justed the pic­ture in Pho­to­shop), as well as strip­i­ness at the tail, both sug­gest that it is a young gull rather than a skua.

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