1:00 AM 2nd September 2023
The Puffins Of Bempton
Our nature photographer Jessica Moses has been capturing photographs of the Puffins at Bempton Cliffs nature reserve, East Riding of Yorkshire.
The Atlantic Puffin is a type of bird that belongs to the Auk family. There are three species of puffins; the Atlantic, Tufted and Horned puffin. Puffins are smaller than pigeons and very hard to spot. To find them in the distance look out for black backs, white bellies, distinctive black heads with large pale cheeks, brightly-coloured triangular bill and red and black eye-markings, don’t forget those bright orange legs and feet!
Like many seabirds, the Atlantic puffin spends most of the year far from land in the open ocean and only visits coastal areas to breed. In the spring, mature birds return to land, usually to the colony where they were hatched. Atlantic puffins lead solitary existences when out at sea, and this part of their lives has been little studied as the task of finding even one bird on the vast ocean is formidable. When at sea they bob up and down, propelling themselves through the water with powerful thrusts of their feet and keeping turned into the wind, even when resting and asleep. Their downy under plumage remains dry and provides thermal insulation.
Britain and Ireland are home to a sizeable population of puffins. A few places, such as the Bullers of Buchan north of Aberdeen and Bempton in Yorkshire, have small mainland colonies, but most are on islands. Europe holds more than 90% of the world population and numbers are falling, especially in Iceland and Norway. According to the IUCN red list, the Atlantic puffin is listed as vulnerable, but studies are showing that they may be listed as endangered in a couple of years.
Here’s a list of RSPB locations to observe puffins: Bempton Cliffs (N Yorks) and South Stack (Anglesey) reserves, the Farne Islands and Coquet Island (Northumberland), the Isle of May (off the Fife coast) and the Shetland and Orkney Islands.
Jessica Moses Instagram address is _geese_flying_