Drivers told to check for puffins under cars

A young puffin, or puffling. Picture: Scottish Seabird Centre
A young puffin, or puffling. Picture: Scottish Seabird Centre
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BIRD conservationists have appealed to motorists to check under their cars before driving off, in case they find a puffin taking shelter.

Local drivers should be aware that young puffins (pufflings) will be leaving their coastal burrows for the sea in the coming weeks but may lose their way, said the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, East Lothian.

Some pufflings become disorientated by lights from urban areas and they fly into town before seeking out somewhere dark to hide, often underneath cars, the bird experts said.

Staff at the centre have previously been alerted to several lost pufflings. One was found wandering along a corridor in Marine Hotel in North Berwick and another was discovered under a vehicle in a local supermarket car park.

Chief executive Tom Brock said: “This is a key time of year for our puffins as they head out to sea after the breeding season. However, as pufflings fly the nest, their parents leave for sea without them. The young can become disorientated and head into town.

“My request to people in and around North Berwick is to look under your car; you may find a cute young puffin. So please take a minute to check.”