Photographing puffins

One of my ambitions regarding photography was to photoshoot puffins. I just came back from the Farne Islands on the Northumberland Coast. They are a haven for nesting sea birds and are managed by the National Trust. A unique wildlife experience.


I stayed at Seahouses, close to the harbour in a very old inn called the Old Ship Hotel. The main bar has tremendous character, stained glass windows and low beams. This place is like a sea museum. Model fishing boats, figure heads, lamps and telescopes all add to a unique feel. It was first licensed in 1812. The current owners have had the pub in their family since 1905.


I took a boat from the harbour to Staple Island. During the summertime 150,000 breeding pairs of seabirds cram the islands. There are colonies of grey seals up on the rocks or bobbing about in the sea. I am here to photograph puffins.


Staple Island is a rocky island with vast seabird colonies such as guillemots, razorbills and puffins of which there are over 100,000 nesting pairs on Staple Island alone. The perfect opportunity to see these birds in their natural habitat, a photographer’s dream.
The puffins mate for life, have one egg a year which hatches in 40 days. They raise their chicks before going back to sea for the rest of the year. They have a hard time getting back to their burrows with their haul of sand eels for the chicks as the gulls wait close by trying to get the chicks and eggs.


My aim was to get a photograph of the puffins carrying eels in their mouths and yes, first time, I did it. They entertained me all day.
This is one of my photo highlights and I would highly recommend it.

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