Every spring around 100 pairs of puffins flock to the sanctuary of a rocky little island called Burhou, 1.4 miles northeast of Alderney, to breed.
This ‘puffin friendly zone’ is a safe breeding ground for them from March to the middle of August thanks to Alderney Wildlife Trust who worked with the States of Alderney to ensure the site is protected. Landing on Burhou is prohibited whilst the puffins are there, and boat users must reduce their speed and noise and be mindful of any disturbance to the seabirds.
The Trust keeps track of the population of puffins on Burhou using ‘Puffin Cam’, live 24/7 webcams set up on the island and they carry out surveys from their boat. Counting the number of birds rafting on the water gives them an idea of the population and they keep an eye on the numbers of fish being brought back to burrows. Once the breeding season is over in August, ecologists check for evidence of nesting and estimate how many pufflings arrived that year.