Importance of an Early Rise...

Part 2..

With a full belly and a racing mind of what images I could be creating I jumped out of the CR-V and started to gather up my gear...all to the sound of an on coming head sank...the tourists have arrived lol no worries my plans were to not head back down to the island just yet but to focus my attentions on another species...the Black Guillemot. 

I often find these beauties are overlooked by most when heading out to Elliston since the Puffins are the main attraction. I personally always dedicate an hour or more during my day trip and have found a number of great spots along the cliffs edge to capture up close images of these guys. They look stunning with their red feet and mouth's during breeding season.

The first one I spotted was sitting nicely on a rock face all by itself. I grabbed this distant shot before approaching. As you can see the rain hadn't let up yet.


Guillemots are continuously calling which provides great opportunities to see their distinct red mouth. They are for the most part tame as long as you move slowly towards them.

Not wanting to stress this guy out I moved onto another location. This spot isn't the best for photos since its mostly back lit and you can't get as close as I would like but its pretty much a guarantee to see them. To my surprise and delight when I reached the edge of the cliffs I noticed one had caught himself a little lunch. Only wish I could have been closer to get a nice portrait of him.

Here is a short video of the above pair..

After sometime with these two it was time to make my way over to the puffins again. I normally walk the edges of the cliffs trying to locate more Guillemots along the way. With little luck I was nearing the foot path to the puffins when I heard the distinct call of a Guillemot. I glanced over the edge there it was, perched on a jagged rock making for an interesting image and one of my favs from the trip.

By this point there was a continuous flow of people coming and going from the viewing area of the puffins. To my surprise there were a group of puffins hanging out on the rocks at the edge of the cliffs. Normally once the crowds of people arrive the puffins stay away from the mainland.

I moved myself into position and began to capture a few more images. The rains had slowly started to pass and the sun beamed down on the rocks.

This opportunity didn't last long as crowds of people would descend on each puffin with their iPads and iPhones trying to capture a close up. Causing them to take flight. It was very sad to see and frustrating to say the least. It reminded me way I left at 3:30am to get there before the crowds showed up. I knew at this point my chances of anymore close ups were gone.

I decided to sit back and enjoy the surroundings as I watched the puffins cruse by. While enjoying the view I noticed a Black Guillemot quietly sitting below a group of tourists. Without creating any attention to him I belly crawled into position and grabbed a few frames and video.


Before ending my day I located a perfect spot for in flight puffin shots as they glided from the cliffs edge down to the water and out to sea. I didn't have much time to capture many keepers but I did come away with this one. It will certainly be a new location for me for another trip.


I will end this post with one last video that I forgot to include in part 1 of this blog post. This video was shot earlier in the morning when the wind and rain was pretty heavy.


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