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