The Treshnish islands are regarded as one of the most important breeding seabird locations in Europe. They support a wide range of species including puffins, guillemots, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes and potentially as much as 20% of the entire UK population of European storm petrels.

On Lunga, the biggest and most accessible island, a short walk from the boat landing area leads to a puffin colony, where in summer you can easily watch the birds from a short distance. It is important to keep at least 2 metres back from the puffins to avoid potentially collapsing their burrows.

About 500m further on from the puffin area, a narrow path leads to Harp Rock, a sea stack separated from the main island by a very deep chasm. In summer, Harp Rock is filled with spectacular numbers of guillemots, razorbills, shags and kittiwakes.

All seabirds are vulnerable to disturbance and avian influenza – another reason to keep a reasonable distance from the birds and to ensure footwear is clean before visiting. This helps prevent spread of the disease, which could be catastrophic if it reaches a colony.

Find out more about avian flu