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PUFFIN Fratercula arctica


The puffin is my favourite bird species.  I saw them for the first time on Lunga Island part of the Treshnish Isles on the Isle of Mull in Scotland in 2007. I would say this was the turning point that changed my photography from primarily landscape photography to wildlife photography.  They are very trusting and allow you to get very close.

I now find the best place to see them is on Inner Farne and Staple Island (weather permitting) part of the Farne Islands in Northumberland, North East of England.  Billy Shiels operates Glad Tidings and offers daily boat trips during the breeding season April to July.

The Islands are owned by the National Trust and charge a landing fee on both Staple Island and Inner Farne.  If you are a member there is no charge even if you are a member of the National Trust for Scotland.  Worth bearing in mind to join if like me and go for a week and try visit both Islands every day. I certainly get my money's worth. There is an opportunity to join at the harbour in Seahouses where the boat departs.


The Isle of May on the East Coast of Scotland is another great place to see puffins, owned by Scottish Natural Heritage there is no landing charge. Boat operator May Princess based in Anstruther offers day trips and of course at the end of your trip you have to sample Anstruthers famous fish and chips before heading home.


Puffins come ashore in Scotland from late April (some may be later in the north and west) until mid-August.  July is the peak month to see adults with beak-loads of fish coming in to feed hungry chicks (pufflings).