Posted by: tireecottage | August 23, 2009

Nuffin to Puffin

3822718769_4462b076c2We owe this headline to Jenny Tweedie of the RSPB.

With Puffins already an attractive part of Argyll’s islands, as at Staffa off Mull, the development at Tiree is one the island, Jenny and the RSPB are rightly excited about. With their bright orange bills and comical faces, puffins are a firm favourite with wildlife lovers – and photographers – everywhere. So, the first record of a breeding pair on the island of Tiree is a cause for celebration, and could mean that things are looking optimistic for Argyll puffins in 2009. Puffins are summer visitors to the UK’s coasts, nesting in abandoned rabbit burrows or crevices rather than on the actual cliff face itself, as do many other sea birds. Pufflins feed on fish, particularly sand eels, which they catch mostly through shallow surface diving and pursuit swimming underwater. (Sounds like an Olympic Sport.)

Small numbers of the birds have been seen before on Tiree at the Ceann a’ Mhara cliffs but this June was the first time a pair were seen showing nesting behaviour before being spotted with a juvenile.

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