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.
Is this really Elliston? You don’t seem to be too sure….
Yup – this must be the right place.
There was a short walk out onto a peninsula….
… 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!
And not only were they on land, they would fly down and float on the water.
I had taken a photo of the water when I arrived and didn’t notice any.
A few minutes later, this was the scene:
Not only do they swim but they can dive into the water from high altitude and achieve considerable depth.
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.
HEY….. GUILLEMOT….. you made it onto JohnBoysTravelBlog!