THEY GROW UP SO FAST
This is our last week of going to Lundey (Puffin Island) during our "GG2 Big Whale Safari and Puffins" tour on our RIB speed boats. Since several days already these cute little birds have started to take off, leaving their summer breeding grounds behind to spend the upcoming months out at sea - far from any land. Very soon Puffin Island will be empty until it's time for the so-called "Clowns of the Sea" to return again next April.
Their chicks, also called pufflings, have grown big and strong enough to now be on their own. They'll follow their parents' path to the open ocean and are likely to stay there for the next few years. Unlike their parents, they won't return in time for the next nesting season as they only reach maturity at the age of 4 or 5 years. Some juveniles follow the adults back to their birth place at some point and can be seen floating on the water nearby the colony. They're often darker, more grey than white and have a less colourful beak than the "grown-ups".
Only once they reach maturity, they'll get just as pretty as their parents and find themselves a lifetime mate. From then on, we'll be able to see them year after year returning to their birth place for nesting.
Can you spot the puffling (baby puffin) on the first photo?