Puffin Spotting on the Small Isles

Updated: Nov 14


The Small Isles are a haven for wildlife. Largely undisturbed by humans, wildlife has been allowed to flourish. During the summer months, one of our favourite visitors - the puffin - returns and can be spotted at various locations around the Small Isles. Puffins spend the majority of the year out at sea only returning to their breeding colonies in April/ May time. They lay a single egg which hatches into a puffling.


There are several locations where they can be spotted throughout the Small Isles including on your boat trip to the Isles. On Canna, follow the Canna Puffin Trail from the pier, past Canna House and onto Sanday. There are over 2000 Puffins which nest on the cliffs and sea stacks. You will also be able to observe plenty of other seabirds as well as otters, eagles, seals and dolphins. Consider joining a Wildlife Ranger trip to hear more about the seabirds on the island as well as lots of other wildlife and Canna facts.

Visitors can also view puffins from Horse Island which lies just off of Gallanach on the Isle of Muck. This tidal island is home to many nesting seabirds including puffins and the birds are regularly seen in the surrounding waters.


If you are staying on Eigg, it is possible to join a circumnavigation of the island on the MV Sheerwater. This 1hr trip runs every Sunday throughout July and August. In addition to seeing puffins, you may also witness basking sharks, minke whales, sea eagles, dolphins and more.


Families/ groups can charter wildlife trips around the Small Isles on local boat - MV Lochan. Spot Minke whales, dolphins, seals and more. Contact Colin MacEwen for prices/ availability t: 01687 462362 colinmacewen@hotmail.com

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