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Puffins are back

A puffin captured by Puffincam 3 on Tuesday. Photo Promote Shetland

THE cliffs might still be covered with a dusting of snow, but the puffins at Sumburgh Head are back for the summer season.

Large numbers of this most popular seabird were seen coming ashore at Compass Head on Monday and nearby Sumburgh Head on Tuesday.

RSPB Shetland area manager Pete Ellis said the first puffins are always a welcome sight as one of the first signs of spring.

Promote Shetland has again installed webcams inside a breeding burrow to allow people worldwide to witness one pair’s breeding progress.

Streaming live from Sumburgh Head has proved a huge success with tourists, new and old.

Last year, hundreds of excited birdwatchers watched as a chick hatched on 12 June.

Unfortunately the story ended in tragedy however when the puffling appeared to have been attacked five weeks later and subsequently died.

Ellis said everyone was hoping for a better outcome this year.

He added: “If anything they are little bit late to arrive. The earliest I have ever seen one ashore is the 27 March, and usually see the first ones arrives during the first few days of April.

“So despite the cold weather they are pretty much on time.”

General Election - 12 December 2019