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Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Plethora of Puffins

This post if from a trip to Elliston back in July

Back in July when I decided on the spur of the moment to take a quick road trip out to Elliston, I considered myself lucky to get accomodations on a summer night with no notice.

That being said, when we (myself, my cousin and her daughter) got to the Meems B&B around 9:30 we were met with a very frosty attitude and told not to make any noise. At 9:30. The room was $150 and while it was clean it was not modern, and the shower was too small to attempt to use.

My cousin's little girl has a skunk named Pepsi.
Pepsi loves peanut butter cookies!

At breakfast the jam collection was wonderufl, but toast was stale and unappetizing, and scrambled eggs smothered in chives and paprika were served along with the suggestion of beans.  When we all declined beans she made a face at us like how dare we refuse her food? A large bowl of homemade yogurt sat in the middle of the table.  It was just weird. Not a typical Newfoundland offering, or a typical B&B breakfast. The owner wasn't just borderline rude to us, I heard her do it to other guests as well.  My suggestion is stay in Bonavista and make the short drive to Elliston.

Rosehips jam

Another thing is there is a complete lack of cell service in Elliston so be prepared for that! But you don't go there for the cell reception...

You go there to take the short walk to the Puffin viewing site!

It was my second visit, and I was just as wowed as the first time.

Sorry for the intrusive watermarking, but the images were quite good and quite easy to get without any extreme effort as long as you have any bit of zoom at all. Not much was needed in the way of editing either.  A photographer's dream!

I shot these using my 55-250mm lens.  I've rented bigger lenses with supposedly better optical quality but always find the images using this lens are just as good for half the weight and half the money.  Now of course if I was looking to enlarge and sell these maybe I would have a different opinion, but then again maybe not.  I made an 8x10 enlargement of the shot below and it's hanging on the wall in our home.

I love watching them line up at the edge and then suddenly one will take off to go fishing.  Everything here was shot hand held.  I just laid down on the ground and kept pressing the shutter button.

Look at these faces! I found out from my brother-in-law Jim that their other brother Gerard was the one who helped get the Puffins named the Provincial bird.  Some other bird was lined up to be named and he said why don't we let the kids decide?  Of course the kids are going to pick the comical looking little Puffin!

You can see a few Puffins in Bonavista out by the lighthouse as well, but I don't know why you would bother when there are so many in Elliston unless you didn't have time to make the detour.

I never knew that Puffin often carry up to 10 fish in their beaks, and occasionally even many more!

Mating happens out at sea and then they fly to land to nest.  Those burrows they have dug for nesting are about 3 feet long and the egg is laid at the end. For the first week, the puffling can't maintain it's own body temperature so one parent keeps it warm under a wing while the other goes in search of food.

Unlike other animals you probably won't get to see a puffling while it is small.  They stay in the nest until they are 75% of their adult body weight and when they first start coming out they do so at night to evade predators.

No matter when you go to visit make sure you bring a jacket, it can get windy and chilly on the point even on the nicest of summer days.  It would be terrible not to be able to stay and watch them because it was too cold for your outfit!

Wear appropriate shoes for the walk out and watch yourself on the edges of the cliffs.  Admission is free but donations are accepted.  Once you're done head to Bonavista like we did to see more great Newfoundland attractions!

On a side note, it's November now and I'm in the same again today...but the puffins usually leave in September so no side trip to Elliston! I'm going to try hard to catch up on the blog, I've just been too busy with all my new hobbies to tend to this one!!


  1. Love Puffins, and am glad to see your great shots of them. Thanks for the tips about the B&B, though I probably won't be coming anytime soon.