Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Storm blown puffins released on Lundy Island

16:05 03 April 2014

Juvenile puffins being readied for release on Lundy Island. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.

Juvenile puffins being readied for release on Lundy Island. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.

Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA

RSPCA returns three young puffins to the wild after their recovery from a bettering by the winter storms.

RSPCA Wildlife Assistant/Vet Nurse Barbara Cromey releasing one of three puffins close to Lundy. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.RSPCA Wildlife Assistant/Vet Nurse Barbara Cromey releasing one of three puffins close to Lundy. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.

A group of young puffins blown ashore during the storms have been released today (Thursday) at Lundy Island by the RSPCA.

The three juvenile puffins, among an influx of 40 seabirds rescued by the charity during heavy winter storms in February, made the crossing to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg after two months of rehabilitation and recuperation at RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre.

The birds were transferred on to a small boat and transported further away from the main ferry before being released on to the sea in Gannet’s Bay.

The youngsters are currently in moult, meaning their flight feathers are not fully formed and so a usual clifftop release was replaced with one on to water.

The three puffins secure in their crates on the way over to Lundy onboard the MS Oldenburg. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.The three puffins secure in their crates on the way over to Lundy onboard the MS Oldenburg. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.

“The puffins were young and exhausted when they came in to us a couple of months ago but they have made wonderful progress,” said Paul Oaten, wildlife supervisor at West Hatch.

“We’ve had more than the usual amount of storm-blown birds in to the centre so far because of the severe weather we experienced at the beginning of the year. But puffins are one of the more unusual ones.

“They were just completely worn out by the stormy weather. It was lucky members of the public spotted them at their various locations.”

One bird was found huddling for shelter under a caravan at Brean Sands Caravan Park in Somerset.

Atlantic puffins aren’t usual visitors to Somerset and it is thought these three were blown in by the strong winds at the start of the year.

The birds were released as close as possible to the existing puffin colonies on the eastern side of Lundy.

Lundy Island warden Beccy MacDonald added: “It will be interesting to see if we are able to spot them on the slopes during the summer breeding season once they have re-grown their feathers over the next few weeks. We already have one puffin on the island so these three will soon be joined by many more.”

West Hatch has also been inundated with other storm blown birds this winter including guillemots, kittiwakes, gannets and razor bills.

RSPCA Vice-president Bill Oddie commented: “The staff at RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre have worked tirelessly caring for these young puffins, along with the dozens of other storm blown birds who were victims of the bad weather at the beginning of the year.

“Everyone loves puffins and these three are very lucky to have been brought back to health after a very tough winter and Lundy is a fantastic place for them to be. They will be a welcome boost to the population on the island too.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

12 minutes ago
Nicole Hickin, co-ordinator at the WOW North Devon Scrap Store. Picture: Sarah Howells

Volunteers are needed at project in Barnstaple which promotes reusing waste for a sustainable future.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:36

Councillors turn down controversial proposals to earmark the region for wind energy

Read more
Yesterday, 17:16
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones (right) with Steve Crowther, Michael Pagram, Joanne Bell, Mark Cann and David Chalmers on the estuary near the Yelland site.

Cross party call for end to ‘planning vacuum’ that favours developers

Read more
Yesterday, 12:18
Barnstaple's Queens Theatre

North Devon councillors have agreed an offer from North Devon Theatres Trust for the leasehold of the Queen’s Theatre and the Landmark Theatre.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:10
Work by Polly Morris

There’s tonnes to see and do around the town this Saturday and Sunday

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30
Could you volunteer?

Charity needs female volunteers to help with rape and sexual assault victims’ support helpline in Barnstaple and Exeter.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:41
Guy Harrop

Take a look at Guy Harrop’s commended Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year photo.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:30
Sidney Teckman, front centre, pictured with members of his family during his visit to the Saunton Sands Hotel in April this year. Picture: ND Photos

Hotel has special appeal for loyal holidaymaker, 95.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:50

Here is a quick snapshot of each candidate to help make up your mind when the region goes to the polls tomorrow (Thursday)

Read more
Yesterday, 09:45
The Queen Street car park in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

North Devon Council will increase charges after a six year freeze.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications