An extremely rare white puffin has been spotted on a small island of the Sutherland coast in Scotland, one of John Lennon’s favourite places.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust say the bird was first seen on Handa Island in June. The young bird has only a few black feathers and its bill is largely orange. The puffin’s lack of pigmentation is due to a condition called leucism. There are only a small number of reports of leucism at seabird colonies around the UK. Atlantic puffins spend most of the year at sea and come ashore in spring to breed, nesting in cliff-top burrows. Puffins are nicknamed, ‘Sea Parrots’ or ‘The Clowns of the Sea’ but they’re actually very agile birds. Atlantic puffins are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable to extinction. They face a number of threats including a dramatic decline in sand eels, one of their most important sources of food.
The significance for The Earth Emperor’s Eye is mysteriously clear. Sutherland was a favorite haunt of the former Beatle, John Lennon. The Beatles have a significant role in the story. As a child and adult Lennon regularly spent long summers in the Highlands. A young Lennon often headed up into the hills on his own.
The musician has also been remembered for his high jinks in the Highlands, with the singer tying seaweed to shop doors to stop workers from leaving. The house where Lennon holidayed at Sangomore, a settlement at Durness, was demolished around four years a go with a new property built by the owners. A plaque on the wall of the property marks the association with the Beatle.
Lennon last visit Durness in 1969 when he decided to travel north after flying in from the US with Yoko Ono and their daughter Kyoko. We’re adding the rare white puffin to the watch White Album theme collection, as further evidence of the majesty of Mother Nature, as proclaimed by Lucy Ebbs in the tale. Afterall, Puffin Books is a long-standing children’s imprint of the British Publisher’s, Penguin Books. The Whittenbury Watch now feature’s its very ow Puffin Classic! It’s another bizarre connection. Life on Earth is more magical than we could ever imagine.