Puffins return to Herm for breeding season

Boaters in Herm are being asked to be mindful of the puffins who have returned for another year. They have come back to Puffin Bay - to the south east of the island, where they can be seen resting on the tops of the waves.

The States of Guernsey says "our breeding population of puffins return to the cliffs of Herm each year to raise their offspring, so it is important that boat owners are sensitive to their presence".

Male and female puffins mate for life and return to the same nest every year to lay one single egg.

Both the male and female take turns to incubate the egg, and once the egg has hatched the parents leave the puffling chick in the burrow whilst they go out to search for sandeels to eat.

The parents return to their burrows at night.

The States says in 2014 bad storm conditions saw Atlantic puffins being the worst affected species locally.

Data which was collected voluntarily by the local Seabird Monitoring Team showed a decline in puffin numbers in 2015.

Since 2017, Guernsey's Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services (ACLMS) has put out yearly reminders to boat users and jet skiers to give this area plenty of space and not exceed the six knot speed limit.

ACLMS hopes it will help reduce disturbance of these endangered and iconic sea birds during the breeding season, and have thanked boaters for their co-operation.