Pic of the Day

Well its that’s time of the year again especially on Skomer (off the coast of Wales) and the Farne Islands (off the Northumberland coast). Inner Farne and Staple Island are major sanctuaries in the UK for about 22 species of breeding seabirds, including Guillemots, Razorbills, Eider Ducks, 4 species of Terns and a staggering 70,000 Puffins.  The frenetic activity of the puffins in feeding their young is really awe inspiring.  They fly backwards and forwards with mouths full of sand eels avoiding each other in a very crowded sky.  They then have to time their landing to perfection (land and propel themselves head first into their burrows without stopping) otherwise the waiting gulls will take everything showing no mercy.  The image shows a puffin on its way back to the burrow with its latest catch.  An unmistakable bird with its black and white underparts, distinctive black head with large pale cheeks and a tall, flattened, brightly-coloured bill. Its comical appearance is heightened by its red and black eye-markings and bright orange legs. Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world’s favourite birds. Adults arrive back at the breeding colony in March and April and leave again in mid-August. Some remain in the North Sea at winter, others move further south to the Bay of Biscay.

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