May 2019

Puffins

Skomer Island

In June 2019 I spent 3 days at Skomer Island. More than 15,000 puffins are breeding there. This makes the island one of the most important colonies in Great Britain. The birds arrive mid-April to nest. They feed on small fish and sand eels and are often seen with a full beak of up to a dozen tiny eels. At the end of July the birds leave the island and return to a life on the Atlantic - even researchers do not know the wintering grounds exactly. With the end of the breeding season, the colourful beaks for which the puffins are so famous also fade. These turn red again in spring, at the next breeding season.

 

In addition to puffins, Skomer Island is home to an estimated 350,000 nocturnal Atlantic shearwaters as well as razorbills, guillemots and many other bird species. The short-eared owl has also been breeding on Skomer Island for several years; in 2019, 4 pairs were counted. A true paradise for bird lovers.