Easterly winds usually mix things up a bit for us in Alderney so this mornings first Golden Plover of the year was not entirely unexpected. Large flocks of seabirds gathered several times off- shore at Mannez lighthouse today feeding frantically on apparent shoals of fish near the surface. These gatherings sometimes attract less common species and this afternoon amongst 200+ Herring Gulls, a handful of Kittiwakes and Mediterranean Gulls was a scarce January record of Great Skua. Amongst the busy activity some 60 Gannets were also present, a marked increase in numbers today of these iconic birds soon to return to our breeding colony.
Heavily cropped photo (below) of todays Skua which won’t win any awards but record shots like this are often useful for helping to verify identification.