Just 2 miles off mainland Alderney is the islet of Burhou, where our puffin colony is found. There are no residents of Burhou except the seabirds and seals.

There are around 120 pairs of puffins - if you haven't yet have a look at the cameras (www.teachingthroughnature.co.uk/webcams), the puffins are especially active in the afternoon and evenings. Currently the puffins will be sitting on eggs but their chicks won't hatch for another few weeks. In the past there were tens of thousands of pairs of puffins on Burhou but many factors have contributed to their decline. Can you think what some of these might be?

 

Alongside the colony of puffins there is a breeding site for gulls - herring gulls and lesser black backed (LBB) gulls. Burhou is an internationally important site for LBBs as it holds over 2% of the world's population. There are over 2,000 birds nesting on Burhou. There are also 10-20 great back backed (GBB) gulls on Burhou. While they get a bad reputation as scavengers and predators gulls are in decline and need protection as much as puffins! The picture shows us counting the number of nests early in the season. Can you guess why there is a pieceof pasta (left by the Alderney Wildlife Trust team) in the nest?

Other birds that breen on Burhou are oystercatchers, peregrines, shags and cormerants. Tomorrow we will talk about the remaining Alderney seabirds