Puffins

Where to see puffins

Charles Thody Photography

Puffins

A comical little fellow in his glossy black dinner jacket and crisp white bib, the puffin is instantly recognisable from his brightly coloured parrot-like bill. Living for 25 years or more, the endearing little male returns to the same clifftop year after year to reunite with his mate. Puffin pairs will rear a single chick, a black fluffy “puffling”, taking it in turns to go out to fish beakfuls of sand eels.

Surround yourself with one of the greatest shows on earth, with thousands of seabirds going about their business.

Find puffins near you

Book your place on a boat and head out to one of the special islands where puffins make their home and surround yourself with thousands of seabirds going about their business! 

What to look for

From late March to early April, the puffin makes its home on islands and cliff tops around our coast. Once the season is done, the puffins will leave, heading out into the Bay of Biscay and beyond where they spend the winter months bobbing about on the rough seas. Pack the binoculars and camera, and make sure you have plenty of time. Find a sheltered spot close to the colony, and then settle and soak up the busy atmosphere, with puffins coming and going around you. Early in the season, puffins will flock out on the sea in groups called “rafts”.

If you can't get to these places

If you don’t have the sea legs to make it out to one of the seabird islands, then visit Flamborough Cliffs in Yorkshire where puffins can be seen at their burrows close to the cliff top paths. Alderney Wildlife Trust and partners have a wonderful ‘puffincam’ focussed on a puffin colony on the island of Burhou.

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