Skuas of Enderby Island – New Zealand 2018

We had sailed from Bluff on the south coast of New Zealand’s South Island heading towards the Subantarctic Islands.

Enderby Island is one of the northerly islands of the Auckland Islands. This archipelago was formed from two volcanoes and the remains of the calderas are clear to see. Enderby Island resulted from the northerly flow of larva from the eruption. We landed at Sandy Bay and spent a very pleasant day exploring the area. On the beach was a breeding colony of New Zealand (or Hooker) Sea Lions and in the undergrowth, behind the beach, Yellow-eyed Penguins had made their nests.

The Subantarctic (or Brown) Skua is a large, brown gull-like Skua which has white wing patches and is found in most subantarctic waters. We watched as many of these birds scavenged for the placenta of the newly born New Zealand (or Hooker) Sea Lion pups and then squabbled with each other over the spoils. They are fearless birds coming very close to inspect us and it is easy to feel intimidated by them.