2013 to be ‘year of the puffin’ on the Farnes
THIS year will be the year of the puffin on the Farne Islands, according to head ranger David Steel.
The island puffin census will take place later this year, and will be the first population count since 2008.
“It’s a huge season for the islands puffins, as its time for the big one - the island puffin census,” David said. “What the results will bring is anyone’s guess, but 2013 is the year of the puffin!”
The census will follow a poor breeding season last year, which was one of the worst for a number of years thanks to the extremely wet summer. Starting early following a mild winter, the first puffin eggs of 2012 were discovered on April 13, the earliest laying date since 1993. Chicks were hatching in May and the first fledgling departed at the end of June. Birds continued to fledge throughout July, with the majority of birds gone by the end of the month.
However, the wet weather devastated the breeding season in some parts of the Farnes.
David explained: “The last breeding season was not a great success as record breaking rainfall during the summer months brought huge issues with underground burrows flooded out on a number of occasions.”
On some islands with shallow soil caps the damage was almost catastrophic, with an estimated 90 per cent breeding failure on Brownsman alone, representing about 12,000 pairs.
“During the heavy rainfall, the islands Puffin colonies looked more like an upland peat bog as opposed to a coastal seabird colony,” David said, adding: “It wasn’t all bad as those islands with deeper soil caps weren’t badly affected, and plenty of chicks were raised. Puffins are long living birds so a population can tolerate one bad season, but what is important is that we don’t have a repeat of this weather next year.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North