Disorientated pufflings found hiding in North Berwick

People in North Berwick have been asked to look out for stray pufflings after two were found in the coastal town.

Polly being released back into the wild

It is understood they may have become disorientated by bright lights along the East Lothian coastline.

The Scottish Seabird Centre (SSC) was called to help two of the young birds, one which was spotted hiding under a car and the other in a garden.

As puffling season gets under way, puffins and their young are now leaving their burrows on the Forth islands.

Most of the birds head to sea from Craigleith, Fidra and the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth but some pufflings look for somewhere dark to hide in North Berwick to escape from predators such as gulls.

The SSC and Scottish SPCA have rescued two of the birds and released them back into the wild so far this season.

“Phil” the puffling was found hiding beneath a car on the town’s High Street on 19 July.

A week later Sandra and Ronnie Williams found a puffling, later named Polly, in their garden in the town and kept the bird in a box overnight before handing her over to the SSC.

Tom Brock from the centre said: “It is a crucial time in the puffin season and we want to ensure as many of these wonderful seabirds as possible make it out to sea.

“Pufflings look very different from their colourful parents; they are shades of grey, white and black and their smaller beaks don’t have the characteristic bright colours that the adults have in summer.

“Both puffins and pufflings can be killed and eaten by gulls, which we are also keen to avoid.”

There are bout 5,500 occupied puffin burrows on Craigleith and about 55,000 along the Firth of Forth, with two adults and one puffling for each successful burrow nest.

Article taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-33706237

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