August 2 Reykjavik and More Puffins!

Our excursion began at 9:30 AM so we didn’t take pictures of the approach to Reykjavik since we were busy with breakfast and getting ready. The QE docks at the new cruise ship pier which is farther away from the old part of the town where the most interesting shops and attractions are. To get to our Puffin Watching tour, we had to take a bus across town to the old harbor so we could get to our boat. Dino went with us and insisted on a picture:

While that was not our boat, it was about the same size and configuration and also owned by the Elding tour company which also does whale watching tours. The boat took us across the harbor to Dondi Island (not sure of the spelling) where we got to see lots of black backed gulls, puffins, skuas, eider ducks, and other birds.

Skua

Black backed gulls

Not sure if these are shags or cormorants – or both!

Puffins

Eider duck with ducklings

There are also jellyfish in the water:

The cliffs of the island are a nesting area for many kinds of birds. If you look carefully you can see puffins, guillemots, black backed gulls, eider ducks, kittiwakes, and one lurking skua on this cliff:

Puffins usually nest in burrows dug into the soil at the top of a cliff, reminding me a little of Hobbiton.

In this detail from the above picture, you can see the burrows and one young puffin just to the left of center:

Puffins will also burrow under buildings as they did under this abandoned shed on the island. The skuas (like the one coasting above the shed) will attack and kill their young:

Puffins dive for fish to feed their chicks but they have to watch out for gulls, skuas, and kittiwakes who will steal their food:

Successful dive for fish:

Kittiwake tries to steal the fish and the puffin dives:

Puffins are not the most elegant fliers and have to work up to take off:

Dino enjoyed the puffin tour:

Reykjavik as we returned:

The afternoon view from our balcony:

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