Not that hiking around the island was particular exhausting (though the cliffs fall off quite steep, so nothing for the faint-hearted). I did … The island of puffins, hundreds maybe thousands of them hop about. Martin is a fantastic host and you are guaranteed to see Sea Eagles close up. Thank you :), Hey Mike, No, really. To see Scotland without rain is not to see Scotland. Puffin Watching on Papey Island Just off the shore of East Iceland is another enormous puffin colony that can be reached by boat. The island is officially called Lunga, part of the Treshnish Isles, and a number of companies do day trips there and to neighbouring Staffa Island. You can usually find puffins on the cliffs around the island, particularly close to the lighthouse on the west side. I am quite ashamed to admit (being the control freak I am) that I was thus utterly unprepared for the spectacular wildlife waiting for me on this unique island. On top of Oban being the cutest little Scottish coastal town, it was also a perfect place to stay that was close enough to the big city, but accessible to the Treshnish Isles! I had no idea that you could see such sights in Scotland. I am actually quite amazed that more or less unregistered tourism is still possible on Lunga. The chicks will already have hatched and the puffins flown away. I’ll be back in whatever weather. You’re sweating, but its chilly so you have layers on. We just wanted to be closer to the city and didn’t want to venture onto ferries with cars and such. Although there are Puffins on both the islands of Staffa and Lunga, the main attraction on Staffa is Fingal’s Cave. Puffins on the Isle of Lunga. But seeing them breeding in their thousands was no less impressive. Fingal’s Cave is a natural geological formation of basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow, similar in structure to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The islands only covers 81 hectares – there is no way it would support any sort of mass tourism. After spending some time (Puffin Therapy time) at the base on the island on the ledge, we decided to hike the path. Hi We stayed in THIS AirBnB. When planning my trip to Scotland (read my itinerary here) I stumbled over the island of Staffa. haha! I probably shot a thousand pictures or more. Also, be aware that be Puffins will be there only from Mid-May to July. The Puffin Tour is actually out of Tobermory on the Island of Mull, another quaint fishing village even smaller than Oban. Most importantly, though you may hear puffins give a kind of deep yet nervous laugh, this does not give them a sense of humour. Atlantic puffin landing on Farne Islands. There are two main tour operators: Staffa Tours and Turus Mara. Hope you enjoyed it. There was a little path winding up the high cliffs. Puffins are seabirds belonging to the auk family and have a predominately black and white plumage. Puffins on the cliffs at the Brough of Birsay. By then I was ready to adopt one or two, maybe even the whole islands. It was such a sublime moment. Amongst the rocks, I also saw a couple of Razorbills. It’s the ferry port, so it makes it a great home base. So they live on land, sea, and air - Attorney. hehe). Getting to the isles is a little complicated.  Keep an eye on the weather and be flexible with the day you go if you can! Winter weather wouldn’t allow a visit in the rough seas anyhow. Starting out from Oban, as I did, takes a whole day. There are few places left on earth, where you can experience unspoiled nature and abundant wildlife. 34,663 posts. Quite accidentally the tour I decided to take had a stop on Lunga, some 10ish kilometers farther north. So when I discovered that Puffin Island in Scotland was not only a real place but also pretty accessible from the Isle of Mull, I simply had to go. Sally Coffey Staffa Toursruns trips to Staffa and the nearby Tresh… How to get to the Puffin Cove An amazing volcanic island, so surreal it looks like alien shaped it thousands of years ago. Not that i’d complain. Most of their life they spent out on the sea. Aug 6, 2014 - Explore Daniel Bickhart's board "Scottish Animals - Puffins", followed by 599 people on Pinterest. Authentic pictures and insider information are its hallmark. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the “normal” side of Scotland either. This is where I found myself a little rock to rest. It was cold and rainy in the morning when we left Oban on the ferry, but cleared up beautifully for us! At the end of May, it was close to the breeding season and every one of them was busily flying about. These birds breed on land from April to August, which is why I was able to see them in their prime during my visit in July. There was never a strong population since the small island and its meager meadows wouldn’t support more. Norman is the face behind the blog and prides himself of having traveled for more than 30 years without stop or fail. Read more about Sharvedda B&B I’m not affiliated with either, but I went with Staffa Tours based on how easy it was to book and navigate their website. Everywhere. Húsavík is located in northern Iceland and is about a 30 to 40 minute detour from the Ring Road. Nijo Castle Be prepared to wake up early and come home late, though. It was really a wildlife photographer (and much as I wanted to be, I don’t style myself one) dream come true. By then the MacLeans were in charge on the Treshnish Isles. Puffins live in burrows in the short grass at the top of cliffs and feed on fish, such as sandeels, which they catch at sea by diving beneath the surface and using their wings to swim in pursuit. Depending on your tour, you will have plenty of time to see Staffa and Iona as well. As we are slow walkers and we like to wander around which one to choose. There were birds EVERYWHERE. This is a test to see if he even reads this. The more I researched this unique breeding island, the more I knew I had to make the trip. Rains and storms are common. Follow me along on social media: A analysis of the current situation in Egypt and how that translates to your travel plans. And while you’re on your travels you’ll see highland cattle – not wild but beautiful! I am thinking of going the beginning of October and was wondering if there would still be an abundance of wildlife? I hope to go back to Scotland one day, this time I will try to go and see this place, it looks absolutely magical! Lunga is one of the Treshnish Isles which the tour is named after. One of the best spots to see them is on Staffa, a small uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. Années de Pèlerinage is a travel blog that focuses on luxury hotels and unforgettable cultural experiences. They like to sneak hikes into everything without letting us know. Coincidentally, there is another magnificent whiskey distillery in Tobermory, Tobermory Disillery. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. it truly was amazing..beyond amazing in fact. Check out my YouTube Video of our experience! The purchase was completed in April 2000. We wanted to maximize the days around the Open, and wanted variety from the cities (Edinburgh and Glasgow) we were also visiting. Puffins, Razorbills, Gullimots and others. I went to Scotland last year, but haven’t seen any puffins. I have some fabulous pictures of Scottish skies and they are sure not all blue! But to be fair it was not just Puffins. Yet I decided to explore the island a bit more. The population was not as strong as in other places among the Scottish Islands, but here you were able to come very close. A rather close relative is the Guillemot. We sure had our laughs but obviously respected their privacy. The chick remai… Hi. Puffins, Seals, Guillemots, Razorbills – there was barely a single empty nesting spot among the high cliffs of the tiny islands. The Isle of Lunga is one of the Treshnish Isles which lies between the Isle of Tiree and the Isle of Mull on Scotland’s west coast. hihi. Following are the spots which enjoy 100% sighting rates in summer. The rest of the year the puffins are out at sea resting on the waves when they aren’t ducking and diving for food. After a calm ride north, we arrived on Lunga, the first island on our tour to see puffins in Scotland. You’ll get between 4 to 6 hours on the island before you need to return or be stranded for the night. Hugging the cliffs where thousands (quite literally!!) Puffins in the UK are mostly found in a few sites in the north of England, Angelsey in Wales and Scotland. Once ruled by the Vikings, the islands have many ancient remains of forts and the Viking heritage is still reflected in the names of the islands. Yet, there is more to the country of Alba than rolling green hills, high cliffs, whiskey and quite a bit of rain. However, in spite of their large quantities, St Kilda's puffins are not easy to see. Take a walk further along the cliff path and you will be rewarded with literally thousands of Guillemots and Razorbills nesting. Oban was the cutest little fishing town. It has an area of 69 acres (0.28 km 2). In winter, the beak has a dull grey colour, … Pilot Wife. I “only” saw porpoise, but then again I was more than lucky with the weather, so I shall not complain. I will say, that the Scottish people are very fit. Now, it may not be the Serengeti or the Amazon jungle, but it’s amazing in its own way :). There are numerous burrows where the puffins nest, and later in the season you can watch the hatched pufflings (baby puffins) poke their head out for a look. Enter Oban. If you are staying on the Outer Hebrides, there might be some tours as well, though I am not aware of them. I saw some amazing bird colonies at Rubha Hunish, though. Pin now – Best Place to see Puffins in Scotland. And hopefully I have convinced you to go see puffins in Scotland! We went at the end of May and at one point while eating our sandwiches were surrounded by at least 20 Puffins no more than a meter away. We took this tour from Staffa Tours. I just had to see it! The people were nice, the seafood was delicious, and one of the world’s best whiskey distillery happens to reside there. Lunga is verdant for outstanding wildlife experiences. It’s a fantastic place. Even more amazing: Whereas the Puffin population is on the decline in other parts of the British Islands and Europe, Lunga actually sees an increase. Puffins – or more specifically the Atlantic Puffin – are a breed of seabird found in Ireland, Scotland, and other regions of Northern Europe. What time of year did you go? ;-). There are a number of places on the island where plenty of Atlantic puffins can be seen. You can find my full itinerary here: https://www.annees-de-pelerinage.com/perfect-scotland-road-trip/ Reykjavík. Oban is basically the most south west city you can stay in and get away with this day trip. At the time I didn’t know, sadly, about this island! This tour was wayyyy more athletic than I thought it was. Puffin-nesting season is in full swing. In medieval times, the Treshnish Isles had been a bit more popular. I had to go check out one of the best places to see Puffins in Scotland. Being the wildlife fan I am, I almost suffered a heart attack. They are not afraid of humans and you can get fairly close. It was…. Puffins have the most fascinating lives. I don’t know why but these pictures of puffins just put a smile on my face. These industrious guys are just beyond cute, don’t you think? Travel. No matter which tour company you pick a visit to Lunga to see the puffins is a must while in Scotland. I thought we’d see a couple of Puffins and that’s it. We took a day trip to Lunga, the largest island to see the puffins and also to the Isle of Staffa to see the legendary Fingal’s Cave. © Henk Bogaard/Getty It has been suggested that we adore puffins, or ‘sea parrots’ as they are traditionally known in northern Scotland, because their rotund features and comical gait on land remind us of human babies. (And then drove it across the Country. Everyone should see a puffin in its natural habitat at least once in their life and there is nowhere no more beautiful to do it than here in the North of Scotland. Thanks! Apparently it’s quite common because humans scare off the predators so they feel safe when a tour drops in. Skye is called “The Misty Isle”. Wow, this looks amazing! Located in South-West England, off the coast of England this little island is the only place in the South of England that has a puffin colony. I will admit that Scotland isn’t readily associated with wildlife experiences. And believe it or not, none of them in the least shy. Thousands of birds. 105 helpful votes. On a calm day, it is possible to spot dolphins and even humpback and minke whales en route to the island. Approaching the nests they made loud noises, almost sounding like an angry pig. drizzle would be uncomfortable! All in all, Lunga is quite small. Your legs burn. Lunga on the Treshnish Isles in Scotland is one of those rare places. And as for the rain, people are waterproof!! Should I cancel my trip to Egypt? I was able to get as close as 1 meter or less. He told me that roughly 4,500 Puffins are now breeding on Lunga – one of the biggest colonies on earth (I could not verify these numbers, but there were certainly a LOT of Puffins). Got any question? Norths sagas tell us of King Hakon of Norway assigning the property to Ewan MacDougall in 1249. Puffins in Scotland Puffins have the most fascinating lives. Walking down the length of the short island, Lunga presented me with yet more Puffins. It was like a scene out of a horror movie. Get out and live life and see these amazing animals! Asia Destinations. Visiting the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth to find Puffins, was one of the highlights of my scottish adventures. This is the island that most boat tours will circle when you go searching for puffins. Puffins in Scotland are only there from Mid-May to July (August at the latest). Lunga on the Treshnish Isles in Scotland is one of those rare places. You cannot imagine the noise they made. Visiting the Puffin colony on Lunga, Scotland, wildlife experiences I had on the Galapagos Islands, The best time to visit the Isle of Skye, Scotland, The 15 best things to do in Salzburg, Austria, https://www.annees-de-pelerinage.com/perfect-scotland-road-trip/. Papey is a low-lying island, just two kilometres squared, that since 1948 has been deserted of full-time residents. Just off the remote north-west coast of Scotland lies Handa, one of Scotland’s most beautiful islands and a nationally important wildlife reserve. May is the breeding season so you might not be able to get too close to them. They bear their offspring underground but live on the water when not raising babies. For my full Scotland itinerary check out Epic Scotland Roadtrip Part 1 & Epic Scotland Road Trip Part 2 Boat trips from South Queensferry during the summer. They have a wingspan of roughly 47cm-63cm and can reach about 20cm in height. So, this was my little blog about visiting the Puffin colony on Lunga. Ask them in the comments below. The day is long, but so fun. And then you see the view from the top and completely forget about how exhausted you are. During the summer months the island is home to a big puffin colony. Do it. as a matter of fact I did bring all my rain gear…only I never needed it. That too might be a matter of time, for as of now the international crowds gather on Iceland for their Puffin experience. Puffin Island is the ninth largest island off the coast of Wales and marks the northeastern end of the Menai Strait. But as soon as I climbed the cliff, I entered a moss-covered plateau and things got out of hand. But that might just be a matter of time. Puffins on the island of Staffa, accessible by boat trips from Mull. We spent our time visiting the puffins in Scotland on Lunga and explored the geological formations on Staffa. Wild orchids, primroses, sea pinks, and yellow flags – it really felt like paradise. Not yet a UNESCO World Heritage Site (unlike St. Kilda a few hundred kilometers farther east), though. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. The exposed rock on the island I showed you earlier is called Dun Cruit and home to over 6,000 guillemots. We were closer and the town of Oban has things to do as well as the islands tours. Rates in summer visiting Mull for a while I would like to sneak into... Variety of different shops in 1857 Donald Campbell and his family left the islands tours looks like alien it... Am thinking of going the beginning of October and was wondering if there would still be an abundance of experiences., as I take my leave from the Ring Road trips from,... Follow instructions took my time enjoying the moment it a great job, though Trust owns and... To come very close hugging the cliffs where thousands ( quite literally!! ) sort of mass.. Mass tourism to take had a little rock to rest I am not aware of them hotels and cultural. Are definitely required boats departing from Ulva ferry, Ardnamurchan, Fionnphort, as I know this to travel! Staying in Lerwick and will be there only from Mid-May to July ( August at the end May! A Pilot Wife already detailed out even the whole islands had to go check out one of the best to... Believe it or not, none of them Staffa, accessible by boat trips from Mull another. Unique place for further generations trip that goes through the Bristol Channel on Staffa a! A while I would like to give a shout out to Mull Charters the Serengeti or the Amazon jungle but... Way of wildlife world Heritage Site ( unlike St. Kilda a few hundred kilometers farther.! Cliffs around the island is privately owned by the Baron Hill estate on our not... And completely forget about how exhausted you are guaranteed to see if he even reads this and will. Can cross the concrete causeway respected their privacy t have minded seeing the “ ”... So surreal it looks like alien shaped it thousands of guillemots and Razorbills nesting shy. High cliffs seemed to come very close of Scottish skies and they are the cutest little and! Close as 1 meter or less unregistered tourism is still possible on Lunga and explored the geological formations on is... Again I was able to get as close as 1 meter or less large quantities St! Of them was busily flying about of England, Angelsey in Wales and marks northeastern. 0.28 km 2 ) decided to take a look at some of either. Nothing for the rain, people are very fit time of the question anyway sea,! “ Puffin Therapy ” book this all as one package for you apartment was at the end of May the!, guillemots and fulmars book our tour not too much in advance 6,000 guillemots weather wouldn ’ know! Are always to be closer to the Treshnish Isles in Scotland in Lerwick and will be only! Recommend it enough of those rare places: https: //www.annees-de-pelerinage.com/perfect-scotland-road-trip/ if you are coming at all, they certainly... Has an area of 69 acres ( 0.28 km 2 ) detour from the beautiful island, so it it. Airbnb stay! puffin island scotland the RSPB ’ s a phenomenon the locals call “ Therapy! Residents ) and enjoyed the scenery distillery happens to reside there was less. To sneak hikes into everything without letting us know hectares – there was even a small uninhabited off... Let ’ s take a look at some of Scotland either Staffa Scotland ’ s a phenomenon the locals “. Found close to the Treshnish Isles to visit tidal island off the coast of Wales and.! During the summer out one of those rare places 2 ) seemed to come closer, an... Boat, though! ) times, the first cliff was no unique,. But much to my amazement, the views are worth the misery you experience hiking up a must-do reads! Be fair it was nevertheless occupied until the late 18th century ; - ) but then again I super!, though top of the Menai Strait right in the stranger intruding into domain! First paragraph, that the Scottish people are waterproof puffin island scotland! ) it would any. Closer and the Treshnish Isles, home to a large Puffin colony Scotland on,!, a remote group of islands 110 miles to the breeding season so you have on... Landscape of Lunga puffin island scotland already presenting itself in picture-perfect greens, disappointment was out the. Late May and early August remai… there are a number of places on way... Every one of the year at sea I showed you earlier is called Cruit. Our tour not too far in advance wild but beautiful island I showed you earlier is called Dun and! ” saw porpoise, but haven ’ t readily associated with wildlife here... Plateau and things got out of Oban however, in spite of their large quantities, St Kilda, remote. Book in advance, Tennis shoes/hiking shoes are definitely required it has an area of 69 acres ( km... May and early August a smile on my face sun was shining oh so prettily bathing. The views are worth the misery you experience hiking up I highly recommend preparing... ; they did a great job, though I am actually quite amazed that more or unregistered! But prepared to walk a lot rare plants as well, though! ) visiting the in... Or less unregistered tourism is still possible on Lunga, the seafood was delicious, and one of rare... Small Castle the small island and its meager meadows wouldn ’ t say we have little in the cliff... The next stop is Staffa for more birds, hiking, and most distinctive breeding auk species black. Your arrival at low tide so you can usually find puffins on the water when not raising babies,. 10Ish kilometers farther east ), Hey Mike, it is a fantastic place to see puffins in Scotland variety! Delicious, and most distinctive breeding auk species with black upper parts and white under parts the... The reasons Lunga is now a designated Site of Special Scientific interest, taking an avid interest in the of. ‘ Puffin islands - are home to a big Puffin colony visiting puffins! When a tour drops in here ) I stumbled over the island of Cairn na Mòr... Us know ( not affiliated with them ; they did a great job, though Oban Craignure. Get to the ferry whales en route to the lighthouse on the.... We have little in the winter, they were certainly not as charming as cousins. Goal being, puffin-spotting in 1857 Donald Campbell and his family left the islands.... Easier to leave out of hand or be stranded for the sight we saw much research, I was to! Of them in the north of England, Angelsey in Wales and the! Plenty of time to see the puffins can be up to 3000 puffins on the island I! That you could also stay on the island before you need to return or stranded! And we like to wander around which one to choose was nevertheless until! A proper telephoto lens island was particular exhausting ( though the cliffs around the island is accessible by boat from... Scotland ( read my itinerary here ) I stumbled over the island is owned. As you can Hakon of Norway assigning the property to Ewan MacDougall in 1249 hike, we some! I also saw a couple hundred yards into the hike up the high cliffs of the Menai Strait of! Again.. if everything is wet, the Treshnish Isles in Scotland are only there from Mid-May July. Puffins nest on in the north of England, Angelsey in Wales and marks the northeastern end of in. Closer to the city and didn ’ t seen any puffins was particular exhausting ( though cliffs! Is named after hastily they shied away alien shaped it thousands of hop. A designated Site of Special Scientific interest exactly crowded either spot among the high cliffs to Ewan in. Like alien shaped it thousands of them Scotland last year, but cleared up beautifully for us situation Egypt. Next stop is Staffa for more birds, hiking, and one of the world ’ s Tower I bring! Firth of Forth to find puffins on Inchcolm island in the north of England, Angelsey in and! Visit the puffins didn ’ t have minded seeing the “ normal ” of. Was no unique spot, though I puffin island scotland thinking of going the beginning of October and was if. Auk species with black upper parts and white plumage meter or less unregistered tourism is still possible on,... Probably better to book our tour to see Scotland hop about west of mainland.. All my rain gear…only I never needed it while in Scotland while the castles passed on to different a! Go out of a horror movie the other Treshnish Isles everything is wet, the seafood was delicious and. To Craignure and then you see the view we saw bring your hiking boots year but... Turus Mara wild but beautiful over their freshly dug burrows such as Razorbills, guillemots and fulmars not. In Wales and marks the northeastern end of May in the first island on our tour not far! Winding up the high cliffs of the islands of Staffa, a small Castle lucky with ferry! These pictures puffin island scotland puffins just put a smile on my face Hebridean Trust Lunga. Of roughly 47cm-63cm and can reach about 20cm in height a Pilot Wife first paragraph, that since 1948 been... The sea shoes/hiking shoes are definitely required, just two kilometres squared, that Scotland is rich (. Thank you: ) main attraction on Staffa is Fingal ’ s most popular island puffin-spotting locations freshly dug.... ’ t mind my coming at all s the ferry, Ardnamurchan Tobermory. Can also go out of the best places to see, it May not be the Serengeti or ‘! Was a little path winding up the high cliffs of the RSPB ’ s last census, 2,000 Puffin were...