Puffins return to Isle of May breeding colonies

More than 40,000 pairs of puffins are back after eight months at sea.

Thousands of puffins have returned to their breeding colonies on the Isle of May after eight months at sea.

The Isle of May, which is five miles off the Fife coast, plays host to the third-largest puffin colony in the UK.

More than 40,000 pairs of the birds return there each year after spending the winter across the North Sea and North Atlantic to partner up for life and raise their young.

And on Thursday first sightings of the puffins, who have been away since August, took place on the island.

The puffin population on the island has been dropping in recent years.

Experts believe rising water temperatures as a result of climate change are forcing the birds’ main food source north and the puffins are following.