Finally Puffins on the Isle of Staffa!
Our recent trip to the Isle of Mull meant we could finally go and get a glimpse of one of the animals we had always meant to see - puffins!
Now getting close to puffins isn't as difficult for us as for others ... we live only an hour away from Handa Island Wildlife Reserve and their most famous attraction are indeed the puffins! But like with so many 'local' attractions year after year we just never manage to go or at least not before the puffins have moved on after they brought up their young ones.
With all these puffin failures under our belt, we were delighted that the Isle of Staffa - which we planned to visit mainly for Fingal's cave also had a colony of puffins! Perfect!
The time on the island on our tour was limited but we were assured during the boat trip there would be enough time to see the cave and then walk to the other side of the island to get closer to the puffins. Apparently whilst letting visitors quite close they also need time to get used to the sudden influx of humans and it often takes 15+ minutes until they start landing on the island.
So after our cave adventure (separate blog post to follow), we walked at fast pace along the path to get a fair chance to meet the stunning birds. From a distance, we could already see that they were landing and all the cameras were out in force! We edged closer and it didn't take long until we too had a chance to get really close to the colourful birds (they only have their distinctive colourful bills during the breeding season when are used in courtship rituals).
They feed their chicks with sand eel and it was amazing to see how many they can carry at any one time (up to 12 according to some info I found!). There was constant coming and going but not without them (seemingly willingly) posing for photos and giving us all a chance to get a good look at them.
Of course when you have fun time flies and soon we saw our boat for the return trip arriving on the horizon. It was time to say good-bye to those funny birds and return along the path- vowing that we would finally make the effort to go to Handa Island to get more puffin time soon!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Monika (an Austrian in Scotland), Stewart (a true Highlander) and Corwin (7), plus 2 dogs and 5 cats. We live on a woodland croft in the parish of Assynt, in the far North West Highlands of Scotland.
Favourite place in the world:
Home - we are lucky to have mountains and beaches on our doorstep and Scotland generally; but we also love the mountains in my native Austria and have a soft spot for California, where we spent our honeymoon.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Explovering (our personal term for exploring and discovering) mountains, lochs and beaches, camping, foraging, star gazing, Geocaching, developing our already wonderful woodlands into a magic place to share with family, friends and neighbours and fishing.