Puffins – Aren’t They Just Gorgeous?

Puffins are so Adorable!

One of the great opportunities when visiting Newfoundland in Canada is to go to Elliston on the east coast and see the nesting Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) colony. We were there very early in the Season and these cute little birds were just arriving for their 3 months of the year on land to breed.

In fact when we arrived at our first campground in Newfoundland we could see the Witless Bay Islands Park Reserve, an island just offshore and although we had only just parked our rig we grabbed some binoculars and saw what must have been 20,000 puffins circling around the island, in the sea at the base of the island and on the side of the island facing us. It was late in the day so I said first thing tomorrow out comes the big lens and I will shoot me some puffins!

Sadly all had disappeared. The glorious, warm and sunny day that we arrived in had turned very cold and very windy. So the puffins that had just come in went back to their familiar environment – the sea!

When we visited Elliston it was sunny, but very windy. The waves were crashing on the rocks below us, the icebergs in the bay were scooting across and there were very few puffins to be seen.

Elliston Iceberg
One of the Few

However, I was very lucky to catch two male puffins having a territorial dispute. They would stand in adjacent burrows swearing at each other, fly up and bump their chests then grab each others’ beaks.

Neighbourhood Dispute

This squabble went on for about 15 minutes, then subsided for a few minutes,

End of Round 1

then resumed.

Round 2

It ended with them still entwined free falling off of the cliff and separating just before they hit the waves.

We decided to return the next afternoon to see whether more puffins had come in and were rewarded by hundreds on the top of the rock

Puffins Coming In
Puffins Started Coming In

and circling around the rock. They would take off in their pairs, circle round and land again at the same place in their pairs.

A Pair of Puffins Inbound

Quite a spectacle to see.

We were also lucky to see a few Black Guillemots (Cepphus grylle) arrive and tuck themselves in on the rock face.

Black Guillemot on Cliff

Gear: Nikon D4s, Nikkor 600mm f/4 VRII, Nikkor TC-17 EII, RRS TVC-34L, RRS Full Gimbal Head, Lexar Digital Film.

6 Responses to “Puffins – Aren’t They Just Gorgeous?”

  1. admin says:

    Thank you. It was quite the spectacle to watch. Especially as they fell to the water still interlocked until the last moment.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Bruce, hope the liked them.

  3. admin says:

    Many Thanks Nancy

  4. Nancy Mossip says:

    Wonderful post and gorgeous pictures. Brought back memories of puffin watching and whale sightings in that area. Lovely memory. Hugs Nancy

  5. Bruce KAY says:

    Just loved these Puffin photos. They are excellent. I showed them to Laura, my niece, who lived in Newfoundland in 20013-2014.

    Richard and Louise

  6. Barry Engleman says:

    Some great Puffin shots you have there! Love how, after the first squabble, they went back to their corners but wouldn’t look at each other….too funny! We did a small 8 person boat trip out of Witless Bay and got to see thousands of Puffins up close on the island. Saw them briefly at Elliston but it was raining cats and dogs when we were there. Love these photos!

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