Dec 7, 2009

Bonavista's Atlantic Puffins

For the past several years my partner and I have been traveling to Bonavista, on the north eastern coast on the Island of Newfoundland.

We both hold Bonavista dear to our hearts for numerous reasons. First, both my mother and grandmother were born there in the same house which still stands today. Second, since our first trip we've seen and had some of the most fantastic experiences in the Bonavista area...from scenery to wildlife to weather!

During July and August months Cape Bonavista is a mecca for wildlife! This area is frequented by such whale species as Humpback, Fin and sometimes even Killer whales, as well as a host of sea and shorebirds!

My favorite resident in and around Bonavista is the Atlantic Puffin. Not much larger than a Robin or Blue Jay, they nest in burrows on some the grassy islands that dot the coast in the area. Often seen with mouth fulls of Caplin, these little beauties are the provincial bird of Newfoundland.

After several years of attempting to get closer and closer to the Puffins (I have a nasty scar on my right palm from an earlier attempt that required stitches to close), I've finally been able to get closer than I have ever dreamed of! On our last voyage in July of this year I could not wait to try the 500mm telephoto lens I purchased in the spring. To my utter astonishment, my best images were taken with both a 300mm prime and a 70-200mm zoom as the 500mm can't focus closer than 12 feet! I was shocked to realize that when conditions were right I could get to within 3 feet of the Puffins! It was close enough to hear the vocal growls of the Puffins while in and around their burrows and close enough to get frame filling images of one of the most enchanting little birds I've ever photographed. In some of my images you can actually see my reflection in the Puffin's eye! I would like to take this time to thank Tony Seaward for the inside scoop on getting close to the Puffins! I owe you one T!

A fine local restaurant in Corner Brook called The Bay of Islands Bistro invited me to hang some of the Puffin images I had taken this past summer on their walls. They will be in the Bistro at least until the end of December of 2009.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Bonavista area during July and August, keep your eye out for humpbacks and puffins! I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

If you see an image you love please do not hesitate to contact me! I offer the highest quality prints and framing on the west coast of Newfoundland. You can reach me at

I really hope you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed taking them! Please click each to see a larger version.

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