Six million of these irresistibly cute birds make Iceland’s islands and coastal cliffs their home every summer for the breeding season. We visited the colonies that are found on the cliffs both at Vik and Reynisdrangar and over on the Dyrholaey headland. Each place has offers a different setting. At Vik, you get the best opportunity to see them close-up whilst bobbing about on the water.
Puffins fill the sky, alongside Arctic Terns and gulls, flying in great circles way above our heads.
They are typically less than 30cm long, but against a clear blue sky as a backdrop, I had trouble keeping my lens focussed. It seemed almost impossible to capture them in-flight.
I needed to get closer…
Driving out of Vik towards Dyrholaey, we took a left-turn to a small community called Reynisdrangar to see what was on the other side of the headland.
Puffins nest by digging tunnels into the ground just above the clifftops.
These puffins and nests were way up high, above some pretty cool basalt columns, it has to be said ;)
But we weren’t close enough. Nope, we needed to get closer…
I wonder what’s over there..???
…Just some of these guys!
Again, no barriers – just puffins on the edge of cliffs, and a viewpoint right next to them. You couldn’t get much closer.
They were extremely obliging puffins, posing this way and that…
One of them decided to break into an aria for us
Which was all very lovely, but they were all extremely entertaining. Take offs were amusing, but landings were hysterically clumsy. So clumsy, I was giggling too much to take a decent photo!
When you’ve had your fill of puffin viewing (actually, the space to watch them from is pretty small and so we made way for other puffin-lovers), there is always some beautiful scenery to enjoy. Dyrholaey means “hole in the door” referring to the large natural arch in the sea cliffs. The sea is a beautiful blue-green colour.
Behind us all the while is the glacier Myrdalsjokull. It covers Katla, one of Iceland’s most horrific volcanoes. It looks peaceful and serene now…