It’s a couple of years ago that we last walked the clifftops along the East Yorkshire coast of the Wolds spotting gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, and, of course, puffins. The day we arrived coincidentally, RSPB Bempton Cliffs had featured on BBC Springwatch because they were opening their new visitor centre. It’s all well heeled in now and armed with the Sigma, I thought it was time I got some new shots of the seabirds.
First up, everyone’s colourful favourite the Atlantic, or common, puffin (Fratercula arctica). There were a few around but not nearly as many as we’d hoped and I don’t think we saw any chicks. Certainly didn’t see any with food in their mouths for the RSPB’s competitive hashtag, #ProjectPuffinUK. Here’s the shot that was closest I got to one.
The common puffin is an auk, the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean, breeding in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland, and many North Atlantic islands, and as far south as Maine in the west and the British Isles in the east. Although it has a large population and a wide range numbers have declined rapidly recently in some parts of its range it is rated “vulnerable” by the IUCN. It swims on on the surface of the sea and dives to feed on small fish.