Newfoundland Puffins, Gannets and More – Trip 1, 2024

StartsJul 8th 2024
EndsJul 13th 2024
LeaderSteve Gettle & Nicole Sudduth
Participants6 (FULL - Email us to be added to our Early Announcement List of 2026!)

With thousands of nesting pairs of Atlantic Puffins to the northern part of the island, over 85,000; Northern Gannets nesting in the south, and thousands of other nesting seabirds like black-legged kittiwakes, common murres, thick-billed murres, and razorbills all within reach of our lenses, Newfoundland is the place to go to experience and photograph the intimate breeding period of species that otherwise spend their entire lives at sea. Join us for an adventure to the cliffs of this unspoiled island to photograph these spectacular birds!

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Newfoundland is known as a quaint fishing community that provides an authentic glimpse into times past. For this trip, we will be staying primarily at small Bed & Breakfast establishments. To maximize our time in the field, we will take some bag lunches. You will be responsible for reserving and paying for your own transportation but Avis and other rental car companies are available right at St.John’s airport and we are happy to help coordinate car sharing among travelers. The drives that we will be doing are all very straightforward. All meals and lodging are included in this tour.

Fitness: You must be able to walk up to 3 miles (1 1/2 each way) in order to get out to Bird Rock and the Gannet Colony. You can go at your own pace and there are some benches along the route. In addition, there are some uneven trails/rocky areas that will need to be able to navigate to get to both the puffins and the gannets.


Day 1

Monday, July 8 – Arrive in St.Johns

Fly in to St. Johns at your leisure and drive approximately 1 hour to our hotel in Clarenville for the overnight. While there is nothing planned tonight, you may want to explore the fishing village that is here.

Day 2

Tuesday, July 9 – Puffins!

Departing early in the morning, we will finish our drive northward to the coastal area and upon arrival, spend the remainder of the day photographing Puffins as they engage in nest building, courtship and other behaviors at their nesting cliffs.

Day 3

Wednesday, July 10 – Puffins and Gannets

Spend the morning photographing Puffins at the cliffs. After lunch, we will drive through tundra terrain where we may encounter moose, caribu and other wildlife. We will arrive at Cape St. Marys for our first glimpse of the Gannets!

Day 4

Thursday, July 11 – Gannets at Cape St. Marys

We will spend the day at the amazing Bird Rock with the opportunity to photograph over 15,000 pairs of gannets as well as Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, Thick-billed Murres, and Razorbills.

Day 5

Friday, July 12 – Whales, Puffins, Razorbills

We depart early and drive up through Witless Bay where we will take a boat trip for the opportunity to photograph whales as well as puffins and other seabirds on the wing.

Following our boat ride, we will check into our hotel for the final night and share a farewell lunch. You will have the rest of the day on your own to explore St.John’s or rest before your flights home tomorrow.

Day 6

Saturday, July 13 – Travel day

Transfer to the St. John’s airport for flight home


Payment schedule

Deposit of $1000 due with registration
Payment #2 of $1000 due December 15, 2023
Final Payment of $825 due March 15, 2024

* Pricing based on double occupancy
*** Single Supplement (if available) add $365

* Non-photographer spouse/partner discount of $935

– All lodging while in Newfoundland
– All meals
– Donations made at bird entrance sites
– Comprehensive Pre-trip Booklet that includes all the photo gear and other packing information for the trip as well as all other pertinent details to help you make the most of this adventure

Not included

– Air travel to and from St John’s Newfoundland
– Gratuities
– Rental Car
– Any alcoholic beverages
– Travel insurance

** Please note we are always happy to help coordinate rental car shares

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Newfoundland provides some of the best opportunities to photograph the Atlantic Puffin, Northern Gannet, and other majestic seabirds. On this tour, we go straight to the nesting colonies where these birds have been carrying on life for centuries.

We will start by venturing to the cliffs on the north side of this island where thousands of Atlantic Puffins can be found nesting on a rock outcropping just offshore. This site offers the closest view of puffins from land in North America. We will have the opportunity to photograph Puffins as they guard their burrows, fly in with nesting materials or fish for young, or stand cliffside monitoring the surroundings. Puffins often fly from their nesting rocks to within just feet of us, giving us a chance to photograph these beautiful birds in very close proximity to us.

From here, we head south, traveling through tundra, possibly seeing moose, caribou, fox and other wildlife along the drive. Our destination for this next part of the tour is the world-famous rocky outcropping known as Bird Rock where over 85,000 Northern Gannets engage in courtship and make their nests each year. This location is the third largest nesting site of northern gannets in North America. The sights, sounds (and smells LOL) of this location will fill your senses as you watch male gannets make repeated flights around the colony carrying nesting material in their bills as they attempt to land in the dense colony and deliver seaweed bouquets to their mates below. In addition to gannets, this is the place to photograph Black-legged Kittiwakes with young, murres, and razorbills. These striking birds all nest along the cliffs to either side of Bird Rock.

Wrapping up the trip, we will head towards Witless Bay, where the world’s largest population of Humpback whales return each year to feed on capelin and krill. Weather permitting, we will take a boat ride out to not only photograph the whales but also to capture Puffins at sea as they forage for capelin and fly back to their nests.

Important note: The weather of Newfoundland is quite variable and some of our shooting locations can be fogged in 60-70% of the time. While we will be in all the right places for photography throughout the trip, the weather could be a factor that impacts our ability to take photos. We have planned some extra time at each location to try to account for this but as with all nature photography, there are no guarantees.