Many people landing on Hirta want to know what the puffins are doing and where they can see one. Well, the first puffins were spotted quite far out to sea at the end of April but then we didn't catch sight of them again for a few days. After that they were seen in increasing numbers and increasingly close to land.
Now, the puffins are going through a 'quiet' phase as many birds are in their burrows incubating eggs.
It can actually be a bit of a challenge to see puffins on land at St Kilda, which is a surprise to most people given the sheer number of birds that breed on the islands! Accessing colonies is difficult and usually involves a lengthy walk and then scrambling down sheer grassy slopes and across jagged boulders, neither of which I recommend when the weather is anything less than perfect!
Smaller numbers of puffins do breed in burrows on the cliffs closer to 'home' (Village Bay) and with a bit of patience it is possible to get good views.
I've been ready to start my survey of puffins on Dun for days. Unfortunately, the weather has been quite grim leaving the sea churned up which in turn makes landing on Dun virtually impossible.
So, I'll continue to check the weather charts and hope the conditions settle.... fingers crossed things improve by next week!