I’m sharing some posts about our recent holiday in Fife. You can read the first part here and this one is all about our puffin trip to the Isle of May! I do not apologise for all the puffin photos.
The entire reason we went to Fife together was to try and break our puffin curse as our boat trips keep being cancelled. We’ve previously booked trips from Oban but this time we tried the Isle of May from Anstruther. Our original trip was cancelled yet again but the weather had been so bad all week that they were allowed to sail on an additional day so we were rebooked on a bigger boat.
I hadn’t expected the Isle of May to be so big and there was really a lot to see. We were left to explore for a few hours and could easily have spent longer there (if it hadn’t started raining near the end).
We also thought it might be hard to see puffins but they were everywhere and really close. Above is the nesting area near the information centre – even if the weather is bad, you can see a lot of puffins from inside, though you really need binoculars to get a good look.
Once you walk around to the cliffs, it’s easier to spot individual puffins – and pairs – who seem to be posing shamelessly for the camera. They’re so cute and funny to watch and the colours stand out really well from the landscape.
I was taking photos with my pocket camera, not really expecting them to be any good but they turned out great with so much detail. It’s amazing how they hold the fish in their beaks and check for predators before heading to their burrows. Sadly you don’t get to see any baby puffins (called PUFFLINGS, really!) as they’re underground.
There’s plenty other birds too – above is a guillemot and a razorbill. We also got dive-bombed and screamed at regularly by nesting arctic terns, which was quite an experience.
This was one of my luckiest photos – it’s a flying puffin! The cliffs are quite high but there are good paths so it isn’t too scary. It was only on the boat back that I realised quite how high up we had been.
There’s other interesting things to see too including a lighthouse and two foghorns. It’s a bit of a hike up to the lighthouse but worth seeing, and you can look over to the smaller island which is used for research.
I’d definitely recommend a trip to the Isle of May if you want to see puffins. This exceeded our wildest dreams of puffin viewing and we had the best time. I would even like to go back with better weather and explore further. We originally booked on the smaller Osprey fast boats (which looked fun if a little scary) and ended up on the bigger and slower Isle of May ferry, which was still great.
There’s lots more photos on my Flickr and check here later for a post on Cowden Japanese Garden.