Birdwatching at Staffa: Puffins, Shags, & more

Birdwatching at Staffa, near Iona: Puffins, Shags, and Herring Gulls

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.  (Isaiah 42:12)

The three birds that I recall most, from visiting the island of Staffa (Inner Hebrides, just north of Iona) were Herring Gulls (a very common seagull),  Shags (a yellow-mouthed but otherwise all-black cormorant), and those cute and colorful (and comically clown-like) Atlantic Puffins, a couple of which settled (after some aerial arcing) not much more than a yard (i.e., meter) form where I was standing, upon the grassy cliff-side of the pasture-topped island.

Shag-Staffa.PublicInsta-[hoto

SHAG  at  STAFFA   (Public Insta photo credit)

Below is a limerick I wrote to recall my observations at the Isle of Staffa (same island that has Fingal’s Cave, made famous by Felix Mendelssohn’s overture written in AD1829), a small uninhabited island north of Iona (where I ate some of the best sea scallops, after soaking my feet in the cold Sound of Iona tidewaters!), in the Inner Hebrides archipelago on the western side of Scotland (July 19th AD2019).  Norse Vikings were reminded of staves (plural of “staff”) when they saw the upright timber/log-like columns (contiguous pillars) of basalt there  —  hence the name “Staffa“.

BIRDWATCHING  FROM  CLIFF-EDGE  ATOP  STAFFA  ISLAND,  NORTH  OF  IONA  (INNER  HEBRIDES)

Herring gulls, puffins, and shags,

Launch from cliff-edge grass and crags;

Flying low — then a splish!

Success!  Caught a fish!

Herring gulls, puffins, and shags.

Herring gulls, of course, I first observed during my boyhood days (in elementary school).  But shags and puffins are not seen in the parts of America where I have lived, so seeing them at Staffa was quite a privilege!

Puffins-Staffa.Mull-n-IonaRangerService

PUFFINS at STAFFA   (Mull & Iona Ranger Service)

 

 

Puffin Live Cam You Might Enjoy Watching.

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) by Michael Woodruff

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) by Michael Woodruff

With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. (Job 12:13 KJV)

If you click the following link, you can watch a live camera set up in a Puffin burrow. This is from Audubon’s Explore. [From Time to Time they make go blank, but will come back. Also, they might leave to go catch a fish, but they will be back.]

CLICK HERE TO WATCH PUFFIN LIVE CAMERA

Love those Puffins!

Puffin with Sand Eels

Puffin with Sand Eels

On the page you will see other Live Cams available to watch.

Enjoy!

Here is an excerpt from a previous viewing.

Puffin Family – Alcidae – Auks

Sad Clowns of the Sea

Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 3/10/16

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The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. (Proverbs 3:19-20 KJV)

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Family Pages Done – IOC 4.1

Puffin with Sand Eels

Puffin with Sand Eels

All 237 Family pages are updated to the new I.O.C. 4.1 Version. I am still kicking up dust and now preparing the Alphabetical Indexes.

Stay Tuned! Thanks for the encouraging Likes and Comments.

And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. (Ecclesiastes 12:12 NKJV)

In the mean time, a friend sent me this article and I love the photo of the Puffin.

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/01/a-trip-to-the-farne-islands/100658/

There are some great photos of the Farne Islands. It is from The Atlantic.

Birds of the World (When you see that page show 4.1 Version, you’ll know I am finished.)

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Atlantic Puffin

The spectacularly colorful triangular bill of the Atlantic Puffin is one of the most recognizable features of any bird. Find out more about this distinctive and—dare we say—cute species.

Back to the Peterson Field Guide Video Series

“Atlantic Puffin” Video is from petersonfieldguides at YouTube