Where to see puffins?

June 26, 2011


During our trip in May next year, my wife really wants to see puffins. I’ve read that they can be found on some of the islands in the south and west, but not sure she can stand a rough ferry trip.

Are there places on the coast perhaps where puffins can be seen that time of year? Are some island trips easier on landlubbers than others?

12 Answers

  • Shannon Champ says:

    I saw a puffin outside my bedroom window at my uncles farm in Aharney Tullamore County Offaly Ireland. I was such an amazing site. I went to reach for my phone to take a picture then it was gone. It was amazing because I have never seen a bird like that before.

  • Lorraine Carolan says:

    thank you all !

  • Johnny says:

    As always Original poster doesn’t say thanks. Bored of the rudeness!

  • Gary Delp says:

    Puffin sighting has been on my “to do” list for many years. We will be touring Ireland in late September this year. Being almost 70 I feel this will be our last visit t o this beautiful land. Will there be Puffins in the Cliffs on Moher that time of year? Thank you, GD, North Carolina, USA

    • Katherine says:

      September is getting late, but there should be some around. The best way to see seabirds of any kind at the Cliffs of Moher is not by visiting the cliffs themselves via the visitor centre but by taking a boat trip along them. Several operators runs cruises along the cliffs from Doolin.

  • Chuck Murphy says:

    I am anxious to photograph the puffins while they are feeding their young….especially as the return with their bills filled with fish…..I have photographed the Puffins in Iceland, but was too early to see them returning with a mouth full of fish…..what time of the year would be best ?
    Where would you suggest I visit…..many, many thanks…ps.. I have family on Achill Island…

  • Darragh Sherwin says:

    The following islands around Ireland have puffins along with a boat service:

    Irelands Eye (Dublin)
    Saltee Island (Wexford)
    Rathlin Island (Antrim)
    Skellig Michael (Kerry) 

    • jamesk says:

      Thanks, Darragh! Any places on the mainland? In case I can’t get my wife on a boat! 🙂

    • Cliffs of Moher in County Clare has puffins but I have never photographed them there.
      Skellig Michael is the best place to view them, they are only ever a few feet away from you. 

  • Mary Doherty says:

    Puffins are to be seen at Hornhead, Dunfanaghy, County Donegal

  • Katherine says:

    Puffins are reasonably common in many parts of Ireland. They are quite numerous at the Cliffs of Moher, which doesn’t involve a boat trip. Loop head is another good place. The best time to see them is between April and August so your timing is good.

    That said, a boat gives you a better chance, even if its just a trip up and down the shore. When you are on top of the cliffs, you don’t really see what’s going on on the cliff face too easily, and they are often on ledges below the cliff top and don’t exactly stroll up to the crowd for a photograph in places like the Cliffs of Moher.

    There is a terrific site you should keep an eye on called Birding Ireland, where bird sightings are reported. If you search for ‘Fratercula arctica’ as the keyword there, you’ll see where people are spotting puffins.

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