I’m sad to say this is my last update as you’ll all be enjoying your summer holidays at the end of next week! The Puffins won’t be on Burhou for much longer either. During my last stay my Puffin watch site was extremely quiet and I only saw 3 Puffins taking fish into burrows over 2 hours. This means that the adults have large chicks in their burrows and don’t need feeding as often as they did when they were smaller and growing quickly! This is a picture from the Scottish Seabird Centre of an adult with its Puffling just about to come out of its burrow. We are all extremely jealous that they got to see their Pufflings!
Just before fledging baby Pufflings will come outside of their burrows during the night to stretch their wings and develop their flight muscles before they leave the nest forever which will be any day now on Burhou.
This weekend Paul Veron will stay over on Burhou with me and Holly as we ring the Gull chicks. The Gulls have been coloured ringed by Paul for over 20 years and by doing this he is able to record and find out where they go in winter (even Gulls migrate!) It will be a couple of long days but we hope to ring hundreds of gull chicks (focusing on Lesser Black-backed Gulls) whilst we are over there. Gull parents are the most protective of any seabird I have worked with and are even a little bit scary sometimes! I accidentally went a little bit too close to a gull nest last week during a Shag survey and one of the parents dive bombed my head!! Needless to say I moved away from the nest pretty quickly after that. Therefore, when we ring the chicks in the colony we make sure we are wearing hard hats just to be safe. Below is a picture of an adult Lesser black-backed gull. Can you see his colour ring?