Puffin, Puffling, Puff...
The bird life of Iceland is characterized by a low number of species and a high degree of scpecialisation.
A total of 390 different bird species have been spotted, but only 75 species nest here, out of the 11000 different known worldwide.
When it comes to our bay, the Atlantic puffins are the star of the show. And that is due to the fact that the second largest colony is just a few miles away outside Húsavik, visible from the coast.
From a fair distance this place looks a huge metrople in rush hour, booming with mosquito-like silhuoettes, but as we get closer and closer, this suddenly changes to something more like out of a Batman’s trilogy, with the little brother from the Arctic (Fratercula arctica) at a maximum speed of 88km/h (55miles), flying in every single direction, racing the next bird in line, while taking the advantage of the Arctic wind gusts just right outside of their summer house.
It is very likely that the ones that we see flying around the island, were born here, raised here and will eventually cease existing here. One of the reasons that keep them coming back, beside the nutrient-rich life in the Bay? The love of their life! Known for their attachment to the roots, Atlantic puffins mate for life, and couples often reunite at the same burrow site each year, building the burrow together and incubating the single laid egg together.
Only a few days until we stop running tours to Lundey ( Puffin Island ). Their chicks, or pufflings, are about to get ready to take off to their first winter open ocean staying.
Come to wish them safe travels, before they puff...gone!
- Guide Rui Duarte
Photographs by guides Rui and Koen and whale watching passenger