Puffins on Skomer Island

May 16, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Puffins look so adorable and cute. I've always wanted to have a close encounter with puffins so for the last two years I have visited Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales.

To get to see the puffins on Skomer Island, go to Martin's Haven to catch a boat for a short 15 - 20 minute boat ride to the puffin colony. Only 250 people are allowed on the island at any one time and each boat carries around 50 people.

I was really surprised by how small the puffins are. I imagined them to be taller somehow. They are really fast flyers too. A really important skill to have when they are bringing sand eels back to the baby puffin. The adults get mobbed by gulls who are trying to steal their catch. Puffin stretching his wingsAtlantic Puffins from Skomer Island

When I was there previously, the puffins were busy nest buildling. They use burrows in the ground as they stop the gulls and birds of prey from attacking the nests. The puffins were busy gathering nesting materials. They collect grass and other vegetation to line the burrows. They look quite comical as they wrestle with tufts of grass to wrench off to take down the burrows. Puffin with Nest MaterialAtlantic Puffins from Skomer Island

At this time of the year the island is covered by bluebells and later on by red campion. There is also a lot of sea pinks that looks like a carpet of pink on the island and looks beautiful with the blue of the sea around the island.Sea Pinks on the cliff topAtlantic Puffins from Skomer Island

From June onwards the eggs hatch and the parents are busy feeding the young. Puffins only produce one egg and when the puffling are ready to leave they exit the burrow at night and leap off the cliffs into the darkness and are then entirely on their own. It's safer to leave under cover of darkness to avoid the gulls.Puffin with Sand EelsAtlantic Puffins from Skomer Island

 

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