Elliston surprise number one

July 30, 2019

When planning this trip I had a boat ride in Witless Bay on my short list of things to do.  Witless Bay is south of St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I would be staying multiple nights.  I hadn’t booked the boat ride yet because I wanted to wait until I got here to see how the weather would be.  When hearing of my plans, my Airbnb hosts in St. Andrews, where I stayed the first night on the island, suggested I go to St. Marys instead.  They had done a similar boat ride there and said it was incredible.  So that was Plan B.

They sent me a message two days later saying they had seen on the news that what I was seeking could be found in Elliston and that a boat ride, while nice in itself, wouldn’t be required.  I don’t mind paying for a boat ride but I like FREE….  This became Plan C.

Elliston is out on the Bonavista Peninsula (Newfoundland has various regions, each with their own name) between Bonavista and Catalina.  The thing I was going there to see – not whales, as you might have guessed…. Puffins!

Last year when I was on the northwest coast of the US I was hoping to see Puffins but they had already migrated north and I was too late.  I was hoping to see Atlantic Puffins this trip and my wish has been fulfilled – big time.

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Is this really Elliston?  You don’t seem to be too sure….

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Yup – this must be the right place.

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There was a short walk out onto a peninsula….

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… and maybe 200 feet past the cliff on our side, an island with hundreds of Puffins milling about.

Enough talk, JohnBoy!  Let’s see some Puffins!

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And not only were they on land, they would fly down and float on the water.

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I had taken a photo of the water when I arrived and didn’t notice any.

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A few minutes later, this was the scene:

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Not only do they swim but they can dive into the water from high altitude and achieve considerable depth.

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They are so small there was no way I could catch them in flight, but how entertaining, flapping their short little Puffin wings.  They almost look like hummingbirds in slow motion.  The cutest thing EVER.

I took some video with my smartphone but because they are small and I was far away it isn’t very good (but will at least reinforce what I watched with my own eyes).  By all means, go on YouTube and find some good videos of Puffins flying – what a hoot!!

I am soooooo glad my Airbnb hosts told me about this place!

Oh, and down on the rocks below I saw this black guillemot – sulking because no one was paying any attention to HIM.

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HEY….. GUILLEMOT….. you made it onto JohnBoysTravelBlog!

 

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