A glorious sunrise met us this morning under not so great circumstances. Last night I somehow lost my memory card from that day’s shooting. I scoured the area a few times and was up early to look again in the sunlight before we had to run off to our next destination. Luckily for me my friends are amazing people and helped look for the card at all the nearby places we shot but to no avail.
Sunrise on the Bay
That’s how things go sometimes so we packed up and headed to Bonavista, a puffin spotting area north of St. John’s. As we drove down the highway the most amazing thing happened -a female moose and her calf sauntered across the road right in font of us. Don’t worry we were far enough away to stop. But what a great opportunity for us!
Moose and Calf
The encounter was quick but one that will stay with us for a long time. Now it was time to set our sites on Bonavista and the puffins we would find there. Well, that’s what we thought at least. It seems that the majoirty of these clownish birds had already left for colder waters. Only a few pairs were left but we still had the opportunity to get some fun shots of the birds.
For those looking to see puffins in Newfoundland – these birds tend to migrate on or after the Labour Day weekend. So, had we shown up a couple days earlier there would have been hundreds of these funny little guys to photograph.
Soon after settling in and grabbing our dinner at our hotel we headed off to Dungeon Provincial Park to get some sunset and blue hour shots. The park has a stunning shoreline of craggy rocks giving us a great foreground as they sky turned pink and purple.
We stayed until the moon rose, a sliver in the sky behind us and as we walked back to the car we all agreed that we would be back here tomorrow for sunrise.
Today was the day. We were finally going to see puffins!! At least that was the hope when we left our guesthouse this morning. Fuelled up on breakfast we were all anxious to get to the place that was supposed to be crawling with puffins. As with every other day the drive started with scenic views. It has been non-stop jaw-dropping scenery here.
All one has to do to get a great photo is pull over and shoot. There is nothing here that isn’t worthwhile to point your camera at. I still feel in a daze even though we’ve been here over a week – it’s surreal. We followed the road that would takes us out to a fjord and all we had to do to find puffins is drive until the road didn’t go any further. Simple enough. At the end of the road we found a parking lot got our gear together and explored a little hill that stood there. There were staircases to help us climb up to the top to get some good views of the ocean.
From our views we saw a lot of yellow grass, some birds in the water and way in the distance, looking like little tiny specks of nothing were the puffins. Disappointment went through me as we attempted to get some shots of these little guys with our long lenses. After awhile our cohort Kathy ask used if the birds we were looking for were the ones behind us. Turning around we saw them!! Oh my god there they were. And as we stood there taking our shots more and more started showing up along the cliffs. It was amazing!
Seems that they only come in to land in the early to mid afternoon. Lesson learned – we did not fully do our research on the puffins and so we were very lucky to see them just because we happened to get there at the right time. Researching pays off kids – don’t forget to do it before you travel a long distance away from home.