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16 August 2012

It's that time of year again when adult puffins head back out to see leaving their chicks home alone. They are supposed to emerge from their burrows ready to fend for themselves at sea but get disorientated by the lights and sounds from the buildings here. Around midnight and first thing in the morning we have done the rounds to collect the young birds before predatory skuas make an easy breakfast of them. The seabird ranger was on annual leave and one recent morning I picked up twenty fledglings and then had to search high and low for boxes to put them in. Here are five new arrivals in the St Kilda puffin creche....

Puffling Creche

They are feisty little individuals and protest loudly at being picked up and don't think twice about pecking and biting the hand that saves them. We keep them in a dark room until nightfall when they are released again to head out to sea (hopefully) and begin their new lives.




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