Due to strong winds and swell, heading out to visit the puffins on the RIB speedboat was unsafe today. All tours have been cancelled.
Hi puffin´s friends :) This Friday Iceland gifted us with another moody-weather day, where we had sun, hail, rain and wind: all four seasons. But that was not enough to stop us to go in search for our little feathered friends, who were welcoming us as usual. We could see them in numbers, flying around us and welcoming our boat from the entrance of their burrows . We could visit the three islands, so lots of puffins.
Classic Puffin tour
The weather was quite changeable today but puffins were everywhere! We got close look at them in Akurey and we enjoyed them flying around us. They are getting ready for the season as they seemed to be very busy. A must do in Reykjavik.
Dark clouds covered the islands this morning, with rainfall looming. This however, did not affect the abundance of puffins. Many puffins grouped together, rafting on the waters surface, flying around the RIB and clumsily walking on the islands. The small boats moved slowly, allowing for some exceptionally close views of the brave puffins that swam past us. Engey, as always, proved to be a great place to witness these little black and white birds standing in the burrow entrances.
Today was a good day in puffin islands. Akurey and Edey was showing a nice community of our little friends, flying around and taking some swims, especially during the afternoon. Our guests, even though the sea was a little bit bumpy, could share some nice times with the animals.
Yet again the day was full of these little guys, particularly at the island of Akurey. Large groups of puffin filled the sky, swirling over our small boat as we approached. Others were seen hopping over the rocky shore, running through the tall grass and standing proudly in front of their burrows. Another great day spent watching the Atlantic puffin.
The puffins are everywhere right now! The islands are littered with these little guys as they are now adapting to life back on land after the long winter at sea. Many puffins are now guarding burrow entrances and trying their best to walk on dry land again. As the RIBs can get you closer than any other vessel, the birds can be seen with ease. The few, braver puffins that fly just over head always amaze on the guests first encounter.
What a day for puffin watching! The weather was wild in parts as flurries of snow were combined with strong winds that made for a bumpy ride. Our afternoon tour took us to Akurey where hundreds of puffins were seen trying to deal with the weather conditions. Puffins were flying in large groups, rafting on the surface and standing on the island, looking as surprised as we were with the weather.
Wednesday proved to be a great day for puffin watching even if it did feel like Iceland experienced all for seasons within one afternoon. Sailing to the islands, rain and snow showered down, but once we reached our destination (a short 5 minute sail) the sun had broke through the clouds. Many birds were seen swimming on the waters surface close to the island which we were able to see closely as we approached very slowly. The passengers were all very excited to see puffins in their natural habitat so close. We came close to the islands to see some puffins hopping along the rocks and standing in the burrow entrances
The Puffins are back and today we had the first Puffin tours of the season although they have been around the last couple of weeks. In this morning Puffin Express Tour we got quite good numbers of Puffins around the three islands close to Reykjavik, especially in Akurey. In the last and in Engey we could see already some Puffins on land, close to their burrows. In total we could count 16 bird species today like Puffins, Black Guillemots, European Shag, etc. Very happy guests in this snowing day and is always exciting to watch our guests reaction when they see a Puffin for the first time.
The Puffins have been gone for some time now, with no sightings at sea or at the burrow sites for weeks. The summer spent with the puffins was one full of close encounters and excitement, particularly once the pufflings had hatched.
The adults were seen returning to the islands with beaks full of small fish in order to feed the hungry young. This however led to skuas and large gull species attacking and stealing the fish right from the puffins mouth. The aerobatics of the skuas and the sheer numbers of puffins trying to evade theirs attacks, were worthy of scenes from Planet Earth.
August saw the departure of the majority of these little birds from Iceland. The puffins will head to open ocean, although their migrations are poorly understand. They are believed to be spread widely across the North Atlantic, North Sea and even the Mediterranean. There is great variability between puffins as there is no evidence to suggest a single overwintering destination. Instead, individuals travel over a range of distances and directions.
For some lucky passengers puffins were still witnessed at sea during the Whale Safari whales, puffins and Reykjavík tour at the beginning of September, but sightings were becoming less frequent. Now sadly, no puffins remain and we are eagerly anticipating their return to the shores of Iceland next May, where once again, puffins will be arriving to lay an egg and successfully rear a young puffling.
Depended on the arrival of the puffins, our Express Puffin tour will start running on the 1st of May and the Classic tour on the 15th of May. You can book onto these tours for the 2018 season through our website or by visiting our office on the Old Harbour.
Pictures are provided by our RIB boat Captain Friðrik Örn
Atlantic puffins spend the summer on land, some of them choose Iceland as a nesting place to laid the egg and raise the chick and they come back to the open ocean for the winter season. So far we are lucky enough to have this birds still around being so active, specially on Lundey and Akurey. The adults keep on bringing fish to feed the chicks. Some of the fish that they catch are almost the same size of the puffin itself, being so impresive to watch to hang them with the beak!
Sailing the bay was an incredible and challenging adventure due to the strong wind coming from the north. We did have very fun rides on our RIBs cruising around the islands in the search of the Atlantic puffins. Unfortunately we didn't see any Puffins on Engey island, but we saw them flying around Akurey island. On one of the tour we spotted a big flock of birds feeding between Videy and Lundey so we decided to check them out. There were lots of sea gulls of different species, Northern fulmars and Atlantic puffins among them, surfacing with fishes in their beaks.
Final countdown for the "frailecillos" to leave. We still can enjoy their wing flapping and their charming company. Some of them already left as the numbers are dropping down around the islands, but there are still a lot to see!
So today everyone who saw the many Atlantic puffins on Engey and Lundey, saw them through a curtain of rain as many, many showers have happened today. But a shower never stopped a puffin! And all is as usual with our little colourful clowns!
After the bad weather of the last few days the puffins were out in force enjoying the beautiful Icelandic sun and calm seas. Puffins a-plenty stood outside their burrows, grouping together and generally interacting with one another. Puffins when they leave soon will be sorely missed.
Sadly the puffins will be leaving us in two weeks but right now its business as usual with puffins flying back and forth to their burrows with fish for their pufflings.
The pufflings are stuffed to the beak with food and will be working off some of their calories by strengthening their wing muscles in their burrows. Still mostly invisible to us at whale safari, we hope to catch more sightings of them before their moving out date.
The wind is keeping us out of the bay and the whales, but we still can take the boat to sail next to Reykjavik where the puffins are finishing the season. While Engey was a spot where the birds hang around very chilled outside of their burrows today, in Akurey we could see them very active flying around getting away from the skuas whom tried to steal the meal for the pufflins, what an amazing display to see!
Although some pufflings already fledged, we keep seeing Puffins in good number around Engey and Lundey. Especially in Lundey we still see some adults bringing sand eels to the burrows.
So many puffins! As we sailed around Lundey we were greeted to hundreds of puffins rafting on the waters surface and flying around our boat. As we approached the puffins standing in the entrance to their burrows, we could hear the soft growling sounds of the little birds which was a nice addition to the tour as they are normally silent.