Puffins this way.
That’s what the sign says.
Except the Puffins are going this way and that way in a dizzyingly busy parade. Here’s one heading out:
I love their fluffy little underwings.
And the way they bend their bright orange toes back to make themselves more streamlined.
Photographs don’t do them justice. It’s hard to believe they’re just the size of a pigeon with an oversized head. They also look elegant in some flight photographs, as if flying is effortless for them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Flying is a real effort and they have to flap their wings madly to keep aloft.
We watch them heading out. Then we watch them heading in again.
This one has had a successful fishing expedition. Those aren’t sand eels, though, they are much larger fish. I’ve submitted one of this bird and its fish-full beak to the RSPB’s Puffarazzi project to monitor the species’s health. It’s a great citizen science project.
Since we’ve been taking a million tonnes of sand eels from the North Sea every year recently, mainly for fertiliser or fish-food for farmed salmon, Puffin food is in short supply.
How do you feel about us starving Puffins to make salmon farmers larger profits?