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December 9, 2013

The Farne Islands counts its Puffins and other seabirds

The Farne Islands are off the coast of northeast England and are home to a huge seabird colony. The islands are owned and protected by the British conservation charity, the National Trust, which says the islands host some 23 species of seabird, as well as a substantial colony of grey seals, who come to have their pups there in the autumn. Every five years the National Trust carries out a census of the islands' population of puffins, and this year's survey showed there were almost 40,000 nesting pairs on the islands - an 8 percent rise from 2008. -Thea Breite ( 18 photos )

Rangers remove a puffin from its burrow on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast, northern England on May 15. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters)

A ranger measures an Artic Tern chick on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast, northern England on July 8. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

An Artic Tern dive bombs a ranger. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

An Artic Tern feeds its chick. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

An Artic Tern swoops down from the sky. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A Puffin is seen with Sand Eels in its beak. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A Puffin shakes off the rain. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

Rangers release shag chicks after attaching identification rings to them. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A shag protects its young. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A ranger catches a shag chick to attach an identification ring. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

Grey seals play underwater. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A grey bull seal lies in a water pool. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

Grey seal bulls fight for territory and females. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A female grey seal nuzzles her newborn calf. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

Head ranger David Steel sprays a seal pup with pigment so that it can be counted as part of a census on Brownsman Island, which is part of the Farne Islands. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

Seals lie on Brownsman Island. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A view of Inner Farne, part of the Farne Islands, is seen off the Northumberland coast, northern England, on July 19. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #

A Guillemot swims underwater by the Farne Islands. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #