Friday, 18 April 2014

Puffin count 2014

This afternoon we conducted the first of our all island Puffin counts on Skomer. We missed a good opportunity to count them last week when large numbers were present but, even though they disappeared for a few days, we were confident that they would return and we would get another chance to get a maximum count of individuals. We aim to do as many all island counts as possible but, due to the number of counters required and effort involved, about three counts in the second half of April is realistic.

Large numbers of Puffins were evident on Skomer all day today
The island is split into seven count sectors and a team of two went off to count each area between 17.00 and 19.00. We met again at 20.30, after some dinner, and pulled our figures together. We counted a total of 18,237, almost exactly 1,000 less than the maximum count from last year. Last years maximum count was a whopping 19,280 so hopefully we will get near to this count in one of our next couple of counts. After the huge wreck of Puffins in Spain, France and Britain early this year, we hope that our Puffins won't be too badly effected, although we may not feel the effects for up to four years, when young Puffins first start breeding.

A 'silver back' Puffin

Our little seal pup is still in South Haven and there are plenty of seals hauled out at low tide in North Haven. A trip to Skomer at this time of year with maximum numbers of Puffins visible, seals and migrants passing through is a wildlife must.

Eddie Stubbings, Skomer Warden


  1. Replies
    1. A puffin with a slightly silver back instead of a black one.

  2. That's encouraging. Well done on the puffin count. You do a great job. :-)

  3. Eddie, we are due to visit Pembrokshire in early May, is it likely there will still be puffins to see on Skomer? Louise.

    1. They are only starting to nest, so they will be around till July

  4. Hi Eddie
    When do you expect the puffins to hatch based on this years nesting activity. They were about two weeks late last year when I spent a few nights there with my kids. Wanted to show them the puffins bringing sand eels. Thank you