Warm spring temperatures have seen Puffins returning to their breeding grounds on the Farne Islands for the second year running.
Sightings of Puffins have been confirmed by the boat companies operating from Seahouses harbour via Twitter from as early as the 8 March, nearly three weeks ahead of their usual return date of the end of March.
The National Trust, a conservation charity who look after the Islands, reported sightings on the 12 March last year. At the time it was thought this could be one of the earliest sightings ever. It is thought that the milder weather that we’ve been experiencing recently could well be a contributing factor.
Becky Hetherington, Head Ranger for the Northumberland Coast said:
“For the past two years the milder weather has brought Puffins back to their breeding grounds earlier than expected. We usually spot the first birds returning in late March. If the mild weather continues it could very well indicate the start of a successful breeding season. The Farne Islands are home to around 40,000 pairs of puffins during spring and summer.”
The National Trust’s team of seasonal Rangers will open the Farnes for visitors on the 28 March.
“We’ve just successfully appointed a team of seasonal Rangers from across the country. They’ll spend the next two weeks training and preparing the Islands for visitors ahead of opening on the 28 March. We’re also in the process of recruiting a Ranger to lead the Farnes team – an exciting opportunity for a wildlife conservation enthusiast.”
To keep up to date with the ranger team on the Farne Islands, you can follow their new Twitter account @NTFarneIslands.