Antarctic Fishing 12 - The net is then brought back to base where it can be laid out

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A fairly miserable day to get fish out of the net. Note the two skuas waiting patiently to pick up any tasty tit-bits that have also been brought up with the net.

You often hear of how skuas are hardened criminals with no sense of decorum and will mug small children and old people for the slightest hint of food. However, ours were far more refined and would sit and wait like this, if nothing was forthcoming they would go on their way again.

We had two pairs of base-skuas, the Reds and the Blues named for which side of the base they lived, there was a skua landing pad outside the kitchen window, painted red on one side and blue on the other. One side was uphill (red) the other side downhill (blue). The skuas would fly the couple of hundred meters from their nest to the pad and get fed. If they were very fully fed, rather than make the effort to fly home, they would sometimes just flap down to ground level and walk home instead.

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Paul Ward - This picture may not be copied or used in any manner without prior written permission.