Saltee Island: big adventure 2016


Sweet puffin looks at me with his wise grey eye.  Another hour on the island and the boat will come to pick us up. I don’t want to leave. I want to stay there, on the edge of the cliff, and see what he sees.


The aquamarine blue water turns a shade darker.


There is a dark cloud coming from the East, and it means rain.


Before long it was raining lazily, and the raindrops sat on the puffin’s back and head, like diamond beads.

puffin puffin

I have had a fabulous time and took many photographs. I photographed birds perched on the cliffs, and in flight, from the front and from behind, …



… single and in groups.


We even saw a family of partridges and a rabbit.


It is time to leave.


Enjoy this short video from Saltee Islands website .

We take the stairs down to the rocky shore, and walk along the water edge taking photographs of everything that lies around.

saltees 2 152

saltees 2 143

Huge thanks to the Neale family who have turned the islands into the bird sanctuary, and set up a shelter for those who might get stuck on the island overnight.

saltee islands

Our boat arrived with more photographers on board. This group will stay until the dark to take pictures of the sunset. The rubber dinghy is speeding towards the shore. It is also named after a bird. Guess which? A Puffin! 🙂


This is Declan Bates, the captain of  An Crosan, The Razorbill. Last August Captain Bates spotted an overturned boat that capsized near Great Saltee Island. Ten people had been in water for five hours. They were rescued and taken by An Crosan to Kilmore Quay. Nine of them survived.

Thank you for the safe trip, captain!

Captain Declan Bates

I do hope you enjoyed this trip, extended over so many blog posts 🙂

Don’t lose connection with the beautiful things of the world. Everything else won’t last long.

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for capturing all of this, and sharing it with us. I wouldn’t want to leave the island, either. Will you return next year?

  2. What a wonderful post with which to end your beautiful posts on Saltee Island. Your photos again are stunning and I loved seeing the puffin again. The video was perfect and the music hauntingly beautiful. I also really enjoyed reading about the history of the Saltee islands. I noticed remnants of the old hill forts in the video. As in many locations around the British Isles, so many different peoples settled on the Saltees in days gone by. All so interesting – thank you, Inese. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Millie! The history of the islands is fascinating, up to our time. The current owners did a wonderful job to preserve the wild beauty, but they also planted thousands of trees, and made Great Saltee accessible to visitors. When I go there next year, I will focus on historical part and take pictures of the ruins. Thank you again for joining the trip.

  3. Inese, I’ve so enjoyed this trip of yours to somewhere so wild and unspoiled. Looking at the picture of the black clouds rolling in, I always think there’s something both exciting and scary about those sort of clouds. For some reason, I can’t help being disappointed if they end up as damp squibs, rather than chucking it down or bringing with them a mighty thunderstorm.

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! Thunderstorms are rare here, and they mostly happen in winter. I am used to the dark clouds that bring only some drizzle 🙂 Disappointing? Yes, it is 🙂 I love a good thunderstorm.

  4. Oh wow, the puffins pictures are just amazing, I never get tired of them. I’ve seen them in three countries so far but never in Ireland 🙂 The little picture of the bunny is quite cute as well.

    1. Thank you so much! So, Ireland is your future destination 🙂
      That bunny never came close, but I took that picture because it was the first bunny I got to see on the island.

  5. Your post takes me back to our Iceland trip. We weren’t half as lucky with the puffin shots or views. No humpbacks either. And despite not seeing most of what we set out to see, I enjoyed the whiff of cool air, clear waters below and blue sky above. 🙂 Great shots as always.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, such trip is a matter of luck. I didn’t get to see a feeding puffin this year, and actually there were just a handful of them – I came a week too late.

  6. I SO enjoyed this adventure to the Saltee Islands, Inese. Thanks so much for the many posts, descriptions, and fantastic photos. I would find it difficult to leave too. In fact, I hope I can go someday. 🙂

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