Puffin Chat

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#4
Fantastic shot! They do look very chatty!

i still really want to do a puffin trip but am too nervous/aware of the fragility of the weather vs boat trips for the ones on islands, which would mean accomdation before and after would be messed up and potential an expensive waste of time. Bempton is one you can just visit right? Im thinking this might be a safer bet than the gamble of the boat trip/going to an island etc - even if thats better, its less of a financial risk (as it could end up costing more than a week's holiday and would be my only trip of the year!)
 
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#6
Fantastic shot! They do look very chatty!

i still really want to do a puffin trip but am too nervous/aware of the fragility of the weather vs boat trips for the ones on islands, which would mean accomdation before and after would be messed up and potential an expensive waste of time. Bempton is one you can just visit right? Im thinking this might be a safer bet than the gamble of the boat trip/going to an island etc - even if thats better, its less of a financial risk (as it could end up costing more than a week's holiday and would be my only trip of the year!)
It is a bit of a gamble - the Farnes isnt too bad if you book accommodation you can cancel which we have done this year. Skomer is the bigger gamble to be fair. Bempton they can be much further away but then I havent been in June/July time
 
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#7
If you can be a bit flexible with days (or are free at weekends) and within 4hrs or so of Skomer it’s quite do-able relatively risk free in the space of 24hrs. I did this last week.

Book Pembroke Dock Travelodge or other last minute cancellable hotel, usually around £50. With Travelodge normal bookings will be 100% refunded if cancelled up to midday the day before. Booking.com also offer free cancellations up to a day before on some hotels.

If the weather is looking iffy, cancel. If it looks ok, travel across the evening before (I left London at 5pm) and get a good night’s sleep.

It’s only 35 minutes or so to the car park from Pembroke Dock, so leave your hotel at 6am and you’re all but guaranteed a slot on the 10am boat.

The 10am boat means you’ll be back in your car by 3:30pm…drive home!

Around £80 (£50 hotel and £28 for boat fees and parking) plus fuel, or cheaper if you camp, which is pretty decent for a near certain 5 hours on Skomer. I spoke to several other people who did exactly as described above (a few people camped a few minutes from the car park instead, even cheaper!)
 
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#8
Nice shot Les - haven't seen a Puffin here at Bempton since I arrived on Tuesday, mind you yesterday was thick sea mist.
Not been so bad today, dull for the most part and regular showers but at least it is possible to see the birds ... still not seen a Puffin!
The Farne Islands are great for Puffins, so many you are spoilt for choice but as you say no good if there are no boat trips.
 
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#9
Nice shot Les - haven't seen a Puffin here at Bempton since I arrived on Tuesday, mind you yesterday was thick sea mist.
Not been so bad today, dull for the most part and regular showers but at least it is possible to see the birds ... still not seen a Puffin!
The Farne Islands are great for Puffins, so many you are spoilt for choice but as you say no good if there are no boat trips.
Thank you Roger- It's a hit an miss affair at Bempton, I guess I dropped on lucky with the weather :)
 
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#10
Thank you Roger- It's a hit an miss affair at Bempton, I guess I dropped on lucky with the weather :)
I was planning on going to Flamborough today as there are seemingly more Puffins there but it's another morning of heavy rain and mist so no point in going out yet. :(
 
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#12
@ukaskew

thanks for the info.

im nearly 6 hours from Pembroke Dock. I had been hoping to do a trip where you stay on the island over a day or so, a guided photo thing perhaps so this is what was making me nervous about the uncertainity. As im not that xperience in this kind of photography i wanted to make my trip over there worth it y'know?

also, even the last minute one feels risky (to me, i know everyone has their own preferences) with the weather at the moment being so squally and unpredicatable.

just having issues weighing up the pros and cons of each of the main Puffin sites! :)
 
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#13
At Skomer I wouldn't worry about an (expensive) photo tour, read up on settings before you go and just head for The Wick when you're on the island. The puffins are literally everywhere, you're completely surrounded so you can practice constantly for around 4 hours.

I've never photographed a bird in flight in my life until last Thursday on Skomer!
 
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#19
I have been to Bempton and the Farnes - the pros of Bempton is that do you see lots of Gannets but you can see a few on the Farnes.
Inner Farne - the afternoon trip is much better as you get terns whilst Staple Island you don't, so if you only go on one trip go to Inner Farne.
I would guess outside of holidays if you can just go tomorrow you should easily be able to get a boat trip to Inner Farne - which is what I will do next year (no time this year).
 
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#21
I found the Farne's to be a little too commercial - people herded around like sheep and blue rope everywhere restricting locations
much prefer Skomer or indeed Bempton

Les :)
It's true, problem is it's a relatively small active breeding site where a foot in the wrong place can ruin an egg.
There is an argument for closing it to public access as with some of the other islands in the group but hopefully they won't chose to do that.
 
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#26
At Skomer I wouldn't worry about an (expensive) photo tour, read up on settings before you go and just head for The Wick when you're on the island. The puffins are literally everywhere, you're completely surrounded so you can practice constantly for around 4 hours.

I've never photographed a bird in flight in my life until last Thursday on Skomer!
The idea of the tours I was looking at was being able to stay on the island so being able to shoot in hours outside of the day trip visitors. i think you can stay yourself but as the accommodation is so limited, its hard to get a spot (i have been led to believe). I was actually looking at a spot in East Iceland that I wasn't familiar with, but having priced up getting over there from RVK (and not driving for dangerous amounts of time and making somewhat of a trip out of it) because its high season the price is crazy (i've been out of season on almost all of my visits to Iceland) so i had to nip that idea in the bud for the moment - as i was preferring that to staying in the UK.
 
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#28
Sorry to turn this info overall Puffin discussion, but just been looking at Bempton/Flamborough area and wondering if this might be my starter for 10 on trying to get some puffin shots. Thinking maybe if i can get a 'pay on arrival' type booking at local accommodation for some dates in June, i can hope for the best on the weather and stay for a few days and try my luck at Bempton and Flamborough. Would prob need to hiring a longer reach lens than my 200m but it feels a less risky approach than the boat trips and what not. Obv weather is still a gamble but maybe if i can get pay on arrival accomodation I will have a bit more flexibility. & might be less busy if i go during the week than at weekends. It does sound like it's less likely to see the puffins at this time though.

such a dilemma (for indecisive me anyway!)
 
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