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Puffins of Skomer Island; Nigel Addecott

(March 01, 2014)

The Puffins of Skomer Island

Recent news of the bird world has not been good. Sustained storms during the past few weeks have meant many seabirds have been unable to feed. Over ten thousand Puffins have been found dead off the coasts of Brittany and France in the last week alone. Many of these were found to have been wearing metal rings identifying them as having come from Skomer. It will be many years before the colony recovers. We asked wildlife photographer Nigel Addecott to share some of his beautiful images of, what must be, one of Wales', if not the world's, favourite birds ...

Puffin on Skomer Island 

I have been a birder (not a bird watcher!) for at least 30 years, I have been privileged to see many extremely rare birds in the UK, from Land’s end to John O’Groats; although from the Scilly islands to the Shetland islands would be more accurate. I became interested in photography quite some time later and bought my first ‘real’ camera in 2008. Photographing birds has now taken over my priorities, when it comes to going on a ‘twitch’.

Wales has some wonderful opportunities for wildlife photographers and none are better than the Pembrokeshire coast, and more specifically Skomer Island (Ynys Sgomer); an idyllic paradise just minutes from the mainland.

Puffin on Skomer Island

Skomer - Puffin 4 Puffin on Skomer Island

The island of Skomer is about 1½ miles from the southwestern Pembrokeshire mainland. Although Manx Shearwaters form the island's largest population with over 125,000 breeding pairs, a sizeable colony of Puffins breed here too; around 6,000 breeding pairs. They were once far more common, but due to climate change and and changes to fishing methods, are now in decline.

With their colourful, clown-like appearance, they must be one of our most admired birds. Returning in April to breed after months at sea, they raise their young underground in burrows, before leaving again in August for a life at sea.

Puffin on Skomer IslandPuffin on Skomer Island

Puffin on Skomer Island Puffin on Skomer Island

Puffins are members of the Auk family, which includes Razorbills and Guillemots, both of which are easily seen on Skomer. Other species on the island include Manx Shearwaters, Little owls, Short-eared Owls, stonechats, Whinchats, wheatears, choughs, ravens and peregrines … to name a few.


Guillimots on Skomer Skomer - Razorbills
Guillimots on Skomer Razorbills on Skomer

All images © Nigel Addecott

Nigel Addecott, March 2014

These, and many more, beautiful images are available on Nigel Addecott's wildlife photography website.

© 2014 Caregos Cyf. | Hawlfraint - All rights reserved


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