It is the time of the year when I go to see the Puffins. I have written four blogs about Saltee Islands, and I don’t want to repeat myself writing about the birds and their biology again. If you love sea birds, you might be interested in reading the following links to my previous posts:
In the opening picture, you see the Kilmore Quay port. The red boat is our trusted An Crosán, or Razorbill in Gaelic.
I have a half an hour before the boarding to walk around and take some pictures of the fishing gear.
The weather is mild and the sea is smooth. With the back wind, we make the trip in 15 minutes.
A group of photographers are waiting for the boat to pick them up – they came to the island before the sunrise. It is what I am going to do next year.
We walk up the steps, pass the owners house, walk to the throne and turn left. It is where I always start my walk to the Gannet cliff and back. This time I decided to explore some other parts of the island too. Later I will share with you what came out of that idea.
My first Puffins this year! These birds are too young to start a family, so they are hanging out with their neighbours.
When I see Puffins, there is no force in the whole Universe that could stop me from taking pictures! I don’t own a telephoto lens, so I have to get as close as I can to the birds. For that, I sit down and slowly slide to the cliff edge, inch by inch.
This face is one of the funniest and sweetest faces on Earth. A grey eye looks at me knowingly and intelligently. ‘A human with a camera, another one? Want me to stay still do you? ‘
The water changes color as the sun pops out of the clouds, all the shades of cobalt blue, turquoise and aquamarine twinkling like precious stones.
We are slowly moving along the cliff edge in the direction of the Gannet nesting site, taking photographs on the way. I like this cove and always take a picture. The cliff drops down to the ocean almost vertically.
Another puffin, another picture. We keep to the path away from the cliff edge and begin our climb to the highest point of the island.
On the left from the path, all is green and looks like lush grass. It is not. Most of the island is covered with ferns that can grow up to the height of 4.5 f. Between the ferns, there grow briars and brambles of all sorts. I will tell you more about that part of the island later.
From here, the path climbs through the ferns up the hill almost vertically. A tiny rabbit, not bigger than my fist, springs from under my feet.
The real view from the summit is much more beautiful than any photograph I have ever seen.
We turn around and resume our hike to the Gannet Cliff. The sight of thousands of nesting birds and the sound of their voices is one of the Nature’s most magnificent spectacles. My heart is beating in anticipation as I walk closer to the cliff edge where we start our descent down to the Gannet colony.
More to follow. Thank you for loving the Puffins! 😉
Have a wonderful weekend!