Here's a post from Blair Cameron - one of our Date With Nature Assistants at Sumburgh Head.

It is that time of year again when there is a wealth of activity on the Sumburgh Head cliffs. Newton, our Assistant Warden here at Sumburgh has seen the first of our guillemot chicks jumping off the cliffs and into the sea. They get their name 'jumplings' from this massive leap of faith they take into the waters below. The guillemot fathers will try to encourage them to go by swimming beneath them. It can take as long as two hours or as little as two minutes but they all will eventually join their father and are later escorted out to sea. The jumplings are fed by the parents for up to three weeks after leaving, until they can fend for themselves.

This time of year there is also a lot of high drama chases and interactions between predators and their prey. Arctic and Great Skuas (Bonxies) have been scouring the cliffs looking for a tasty meal as well as hooded crows going from burrow to burrow, to see if the can seize a tasty puffling treat. Yesterday, myself and some visitors witnessed a hooded crow pull a puffling from its burrow. However, this puffling wasn't going without a fight and squirmed its way back into the burrow to our surprise.

 

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