Puffins

These Puffins are on the Island of Lunga in the Treshnish Isles off the west coast of Scotland. They are accessible by boat trip from Mull and well worth a visit.

When the boat first arrives, the Puffins are mostly to be found out at sea, but as the visitors climb up the cliff path to the colony they fly up to join the visitors. You might think that this is strange behaviour and the opposite of what you might think would happen, but the skipper explained that this was due to predation by gulls and skuas. In the absence of visitors the Puffins at the colony are very vulnerable to predation by Great Black-backed Gulls and Great Skuas. However, the Puffins have learned that the gulls and skuas stay away when visitors are present and they feel safe in human company. If you sit quietly near the burrows you can get within touching distance of the Puffins. And if you get bored with the Puffins (is that even possible?) then there is a large seabird colony with Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Shags just a few minutes walk further down the path. (Videos by Robert D).
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