Puffins spotted on the Calf of Man for first time since project launched in 2018

The puffin was photographed alongside one of the decoy birds place on the Calf of Man. Credit: Keirron Tastagh, Adventurous Experiences

Puffins have been spotted on the Calf of Man for the first time since a project to attract the birds started in 2018.

They have been seen in the waters around the south of the Isle of Man, but have now been seen coming in to land suggesting they may be interested in nesting.

The birds were spotted by Keirron Tastagh from Adventurous Experiences who photographed them while out kayaking around the Calf of Man.

'PROJECT PUFFIN'Puffins were once seen on numerous occasions around the Calf of Man, with historic reports identifying over 800 individuals seen in coastal waters in 1996.

Numbers have since declined with recent records showing very few birds spotted each year.

A project launched in 2018 has seen the Manx Wildlife Trust use decoy puffins and a sound system playing puffin calls during the breeding season in an attempt to repopulate the Calf.

It also involved a successful 'longtail' (brown rat) eradication programme for the island.

Decoy puffins lined up ready to be taken to the Calf of Man. Credit: Lara Howe
Volunteers have been placing the puffin decoys on the Calf of Man for a few years in an attempt to attract the bird back to the island. Credit: Lara Howe

Volunteers make an annual trip back to the Calf of Man to mend the decoys feet and beaks as some of the sheep reportedly headbutt the fake birds.

The laughtan sheep on the Calf have a tendency to headbutt the decoys which breaks their feet and beaks. Credit: Lara Howe

The Manx Wildlife Trust hope this will lead to more puffins deciding to return to the Calf of Man to nest.