|Juvenile Pomarine Skua by Erik Mølgaard, photo taken in Sweden. Thanks Erik for the great photo and please visit his gallery too.|
On Saturday evening, the 27th of September my birding buddy Ilkka Hakala found 5 skuas from lake Mallasvesi near my home. He managed to identify couple of them as juvenile Pomarine Skuas, one as juvenile Arctic Skua and the rest he had to leave unidentified.
Sun had already settled down when I got the message. So, there was no doubt what to do next morning. I woke up at 5:30, quick breakfast and then out. At 6:40 I was at the eastern cape of Riuttasaari. Sun was just rising up, many gulls were already on the fly, one Black-throated Loon flew by towards northeast. And then I saw a Skua coming towards me, no, but two Skuas. They both came rather close and when they turned, I saw all characteristic identification marks - two Pomarine Skuas! Cool! First time for me in the area of my local birding club and first time for me in Valkeakoski.
|Arctic Skua in Baltic Sea coast by Miia Parviainen. |
Thanks Miia for the photo!
Skuas and 1 as Arctic Skua, so one juvenile Skua was left unidentified.
This autumn has been amazing on what comes to Skuas in Finland. During last 30 days, 1115 Skuas were reported to Tiira. 354 of them were Arctic Skuas, 401 Pomarine Skuas, 21 Long-tailed Skuas and 699 unidentifed Skuas. I love these kind surprises in birding world!
But why so many Skuas here now? There were also exceptional Skua migration in northern Norway a week ago. On 22nd of September, Hampus Lejon counted 166 adult and 421 juvenile Pomarine Skuas in Gamvik, in Finnmark county. Also on 23rd of September, 104 adult and 258 juvenile Pomarines were counted in Flintholmen, in Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Note also the big proportion of juvenile birds, it tells something about good production of Pomarine Skuas in Siberia. Maybe there were a good year for moles? If so, will we see lot's of Snowy Owls later this autumn / next winter?