Seeking Tufted Puffins
Tansy was eager to see puffins while sailing aboard the schooner Passing Cloud earlier this month.
She had helped to rescue a rare puffin-in-the-shape-of-a-muffin once (click here for that story) and had listened avidly to Constance’s stories of the Atlantic Puffins she saw in Iceland (here).
From these encounters Tansy had developed a strong urge to see Tufted Puffins in the wild and up close. Last summer she had spotted them at a distance while motoring along the west side of Gwaii Haanas, but they were too far away to appear much more than small dark seabirds.
The first stop on the puffin search was Flatrock Island near the mouth of Louscoone Inlet. A few puffins nest there, and Tansy did see them, but not close enough for her liking.
Later in the trip, the Passing Cloud stopped at another puffin nesting site on the east edge of Kunghit Island where to Tansy’s delight there were many Tufted Puffins to be seen.
At first the puffins were a bit far away, and it was not safe to get too close to the nests, nor kind to the puffins who react badly to masts swooping by close to the cliff surface.
Eventually, the boat was able to get close to some that were fishing a bit off shore and Tansy finally saw Tufted Puffins up close.
They are quite different from the muffin shaped puffin that she knows quite well.
It was a satisfying conclusion to the puffin search and Tansy finally feels as if she has seen puffins properly.