Here are a few shots of puffins with beakfuls of goodies for their hungry pufflings taken on Staple Island, Inner Farne. These puffins were the lucky ones as most returning with beakfuls of sand eels bore the brunt of the much larger and sand eel-thieving gulls. ‘Tis a hard life indeed.
At this time of the year it is crucial for the puffin to regularly go fishing in order to collect as many sand eels, herring or sprats to ensure the survival of their demanding and hungry pufflings. These shots were taken on inner Farne and as you can see the bigger beakful of fish the better.
A puffin’s lot is certainly not easy – constant visits back and forward to the sea in order to ensure the survival of their pufflings. The following shots demonstrate the daily struggle for a puffin trying to fend off the black headed gulls in order to protect their bounty (sand eels the official terminology) and ensure their young do not go hungry. Having observed this at close quarters it was evident that the small build of the puffin gave it the manoeuvrability and speed to more often than not protect their hoard of sand eels.
Here are a few in-flight shots of one of our favourite birds, the Puffin, taken at the Farne Islands during the breeding season. These little birds work their socks off, constantly bringing in sand eels and other small fish to feed their pufflings who hungrily wait in their burrow. If that is not enough, upon arrival at the burrow these little birds have to use their speed and agility to dodge the waiting gulls who are always ready to pounce and steal their beakfulls of fish. Look out for future posts showing this daily battle.