It won't be long before the Arctic Skuas leave the island following another successful breeding season. Back in May, the birds returned to their breeding area on Hirta and it wasn't long before I was able to find their nest sites
I continued to monitor the nests every few days throughout the season, often capitalising on the adults taking flight off the nest in response to tourists wondering through the general area. Eggs soon became small downy chicks… and within a few weeks were much more skua-like.
Arctic Skuas are classified in the UK as a Red List species and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan so it is encouraging that our small population continues to do well.