Tammie Norrie's back June 01 2015
The wonderful Tammie Norries (puffins) have flocked again to Shetland's cliffs to mate. What a sight they are - we love these characters. Our favourite places to see them are Noss and Sumburgh Head, but on rainy days we can be found watching Promote Shetland's puffin cam, a great way to check up on progress on the slopes and in the burrows! They lay just one egg per pair and there's always excitement when an egg is spotted in one of the burrows via puffin cam.
Puffins mate for life and like to use the same burrow each year, so there is a real sense of continuity as the breeding pairs are reunited on the cliffs, in the same place as last year. After six months away it must be a stark change to riding the waves and the air out at sea. Not only that, they look different when they return to land in the summer. The colourful beak which we know and love them for is only a temporary feature 'put on' for breeding. The stripes and bright colours adopted for the breeding season are just the thing to attract their mate. One they have mated, produced their chick and returned to the sea for the winter, their colourful outer beak is shed, leaving a smaller, duller one behind.
We hope you can meet a Tammie Norrie this season. They love having their photo taken :-)