Residents on lookout for pufflings
Published 23/07/2014 | 13:29
Coastal residents are being urged to look out for surprise garden guests over the next few weeks.
The Scottish Seabird Centre has appealed for people in East Lothian to be on the lookout for yo ung puffins, known as pufflings, as they begin to leave their burrows on islands in the Firth of Forth.
Pufflings have been known to come ashore and hide under cars after becoming disorientated by lights on the mainland while heading out to sea.
The seabird centre has already rescued its first puffling, which was released back into the wild after it was discovered struggling on the beach at North Berwick.
The island of Craigleith, just offshore from the town, is home to around 5,500 occupied puffin burrows, with around 55,000 located around the Firth of Forth.
Tom Brock, the centre's chief executive, said: "This is a key time of year for our puffins and pufflings as they head out to sea after the breeding season.
"Pufflings look very different from the adults: they are shades of grey, their beaks are much smaller and they don't have the characteristic bright beak colours that the adults have in summer.
"We are appealing to everyone to please keep an eye out under cars and in their gardens over the next few weeks - they could save a puffling's life."
Anyone who finds a puffling is asked to call the centre on 01620 890202 or the SSPCA on 03000 999 999.