Animals

By Lucy Harvey

These beautiful puffin portraits show the stunning seabird nestled in a field of colourful wildflowers.

Nature photographer Drew Buckley, 35, has been observing puffins on Skomer Island in Wales for several years and now has a huge collection of stunning images.

The photos show the majestic birds getting about their daily life in splendour – from catching tasty fish, basking in the golden sun, stretching their feathery wings and roaming in flower fields.

Drew, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, said: “Being a local resident to where these birds call home for a few months of the year, I’ve spent many years and thousands of hours watching, documenting and photographing puffins.

“The puffins come back every year to Skomer island in March to couple up with their partners for the breeding season.

“Chicks are born at the end of May or early June and once they have raised the ‘Pufflings’, all of them head back to the sea around August, remaining at sea until the following spring.

“There are limited pathways on Skomer but thankfully as it is such a seabird haven, there are burrows and nests everywhere, so you are never far from wildlife.

puffins aren’t too bothered by us humans, and at all areas around the colonies the birds have right of way on the footpaths, offering close up views.”

Every year, Drew spends 30 days on Skomer island during the birds’ breeding season between April and July.

There are on average over 25,000 puffins who reside on Skomer Island annually.

His vast collection of puffin photos has been compiled in his upcoming book, The Puffin Book.

Drew added:  “The book is a large collection of my puffin images and provides an informative seasonal insight on the daily struggles of this tenacious little seabird.

“Populations on the whole seem to be declining but on Skomer, the yearly bird count of puffin numbers have been steadily increasing over the last decade, including a great success rate of raising chicks versus other colonies around Europe.

“It’s great to see that there’s enough food supplies in the surrounding sea to support this.”