Record Puffin count made on Skomer


A record-breaking number of Puffins has been counted on and around Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire.

The first count of the year, which took place during the last week of March, logged no fewer than 42,513 birds – the highest since the island counts began in the late 1980s. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said the number marks an "excellent start to the season".

More than 42,500 Puffins were counted on and around Skomer in late March (Carl Bovis).

The figure smashes the previous record of 38,896 counted in April 2022. Leighton Newman, a warden on Skomer Island, said: "We're fairly sure that the increase is down to the breeding success on Skomer for the past however many years. We've got good productivity and good adult survival between years as well."

Mr Newman explained that the team waits for a calm day and then splits the island into seven sections for the count. "We go round with a clicker and we count all of the birds on land, all of the birds on sea, and all the birds in the air," he said.

However, Mr Newman added on BBC Radio Wales Breakfast it is becoming an "increasingly difficult task" as numbers rise. "My view right now is overlooking North Haven, where the boats come in, and there are just over 10,000 in this bay alone. So it's becoming increasingly difficult; a long evening with a clicker by your side."