With the weather having turned to freezing RDF, we sat at Wally World and curbed our Newfoundland enthusiasm for as long as we could without going completely crazy. Soooooo glad that we are not on a specific time schedule.
Four days later, we looked at the weather and there was to be a break in the nasty. It was going to be a cloudy but rain free day! This was predicted to be followed by another several days of RDF. So, we made a beeline for Elliston and the PUFFINS!
By the way.... there will be A LOT of photos in this post. A LOT. We're NOT kidding. A LOT OF PHOTOS!
Upon entering the town we caught sight of our first Root Cellar. Elliston is known for the large number of Root Cellars that still exist in the area.
We saw a few other cellars during our time in town.
It is a short walk to the edge of the cliff that puts you within seed spittin' distance from a Puffin Colony. The walk, however, is not without its distractions.
Most people that came when we did (and even several that arrived after that) sped right past us with Puffins in mind. As usual, we were distracted for a good while by all that was 'the approach'.
None the less, cresting the hill and catching sight of Puffin Island and the awesome berg that happened to be hanging out just behind it was equally as captivating.
Okay... prepare yourself for incredible cuteness. We spent several hours sitting in the freezing temperatures watching these adorable creatures.
Well, the answer is... Puffins are specially adapted to living on the open sea. Waterproof feathers allow them stay warm as they float at the ocean’s surface or swim underwater. Diving as deep as 60 m (200 ft.), they swim by flapping their wings as if flying through the water and use their feet to steer. There, they hunt herring, hake, capelin, and sand eels. They supplement their meals by drinking saltwater.
Atlantic puffins have the ability to carry several fish in their beaks at one time. They push the fish to the back of their mouth with their tongue, where ridges at the top of their bill secure the fish in place. This allows puffins to keep their mouth open to catch more fish without losing any in the process. In general, they can hold around 10 fish in their beak at once.
Herring gulls (like the two in this photo and the many who have set up nests right beside the Puffins) are also a threat because they steal puffins’ fish and they pull puffin chicks or eggs from their nests.
She did a fantastic job using her personally developed technique that consists of the following (and we quote) "I really can't see anything I am shooting. I just point, click and hope I get something."
As the hours passed we noticed the puffins seemed to be disappearing. Until we realized they nested in burrows, we had no idea where they had all gone.
So excited to have had the opportunity to spend time observing these little birds. Now we're off in search of whales and whatever else wants to present itself to us while we are on this beautiful province.
Who knows what we'll see or when we'll see it...