Antarctic birds found in Britain for the first time

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Antarctic seabirds never before seen north of the Equator have been discovered in Britain – thousands of miles from home. One brown skua was found in a weak state on a beach on the Isles of Scilly, and another at Aberavon in Glamorgan. Bird watchers first thought the birds were great skuas, which nest on Orkney and Shetland. But the birds seemed to be too dark for the species and feather samples were sent for DNA analysis at Glasgow University. The verdict was that both birds were brown skuas (Catharacta antarctica) which have not been recorded flying further than the coasts of Argentina or southern Africa.

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