Puffins and More!

April 3, 2011 at 1:14 am 2 comments

On Day 28, I woke up impossibly early with my mom to ride a boat and look at wildlife. I’m not super keen on boats (this may surprise those of you who are keeping track of how many boats I took on this trip!) and I’m normally not super keen on wildlife, either. But my mom really wanted to go, and I didn’t want her to go alone. I also really wanted to take her to breakfast at Cora’s, which I’d been talking about for five years, so we hit up a location in St. John’s before driving south to Bay Bulls to catch a boat tour with O’Brien’s.

Atlantic Whaler
We climbed on board the Atlantic Whaler and apparently, the first sailing of the day isn’t a popular one, because my mom and I only had to share our guide, Greg, with about five other people. It is worth noting that of the 8-10 people on board, counting crew, I was the only one that got pooped on, and my lovely white Canada Olympic sweatshirt was pooped on three times. I am not over this.

Tail of a Whale
The boats leave the dock and head out toward Gull Island, part of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, and on the way, they try to find whales. We found quite a few, or we found the same one quite a few times. Either way, here’s my best whale shot!

One of the first birds we encountered was the kittiwake, a highly common seabird.

But the puffins weren’t too far away! I was pretty excited to see all the puffins. They’re like mini northern penguins that also fly, and penguins might be my favourite animal. Since I don’t have any trips planned to penguin colonies in the near future, seeing the puffins was a highlight. They’re just so stinkin’ cute.

Puffins in Love
Many puffins mate for life, so I like to think that I caught these puffins canoodling.

Swimming Puffin
Puffins aren’t great fliers (their stocky build makes them slow and awkward), but they are great swimmers and fishers.

Flying Birds
Although it’s a reserve, the birds have natural predators, so whenever they see one, they all freak out and fly off. And poop on unsuspecting photographers below.

Whoa, Murres!
I was using a 70-200 zoom lens on the boat, so the above shots are quite zoomy, but this one gives you an idea of how many birds are on this island! Insane. These are murres, I think, or razorbills.

These guys are definitely murres, and I also definitely think that the two guys on the right were posing for me. They heard that I’m fond of unison.

I got some really fun shots that I might never have the chance to take again, so I’m really glad that my mom ended up wanting to go on the boat and I’m glad that we got to squeeze it in! I heard that the tours are really lively and fun when they’re full…there’s sometimes dancing and fiddles in addition to puffins and whales. We did get a traditional Irish song from Greg the guide at the end of the ride, though!

Mom and Me
Who thinks we’re related?


Entry filed under: Bay Bulls, Newfoundland, Photos, St. John's.

East. Mile Zero!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Justine  |  April 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Mel!! I see where you got that glowing and infectious smile from!! ūüėÄ Your pictures of puffins are amazing!! I’m so sorry about your sweatshirt :((((

  • 2. Pink Bliss. « Mel's Travels  |  December 16, 2011 at 10:41 am

    […] funny, we went out on a boat last year in Newfoundland to see puffins, since we didn’t think that we’d have that opportunity again. One year later, here we […]


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.


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