Runde, Apr 23 2016

Overlooking the puffins…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location Link
Rundebranden 294m 141m Herøy GPX WCP

I had one, clear goal for going to the famous bird island Runde on this afternoon:

IMG_3820
The puffins are back!

But let’s rewind a bit. My girlfriend Anne is a Field Inspector in the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (SNO) with main responsibility for the Jostedalsbreen glacer (the largest glacier in the mainland of northern Europe). But as she’s coming to Sunnmøre every other weekend, SNO decided that she could contribute with field inspection on Runde island.

IMG_3868
Anne, overlooking the puffins on Runde

As Runde has thousands of visitors every year, the paths on the island are under significant pressure. Projects are both ongoing and on the way for mending the situation, but as emergency aid, Anne will help in restoring some of the wooden planks along the paths. So her primary task this afternoon was to take measures of the existing planks in order to fix the broken ones.

We took the path from Goksøyr to Rundebranden via Raudtinden. This path is in a terrible condition and is in desperate need  of restoration.

When we reached Rundebranden, Anne observed thousands of birds on the ocean. I was keen to get moving to Lundeura – the best viewpoint for observing the puffins.

IMG_3749
On Rundebranden

The life of the puffins is a complex story, and I won’t get into the details here. But once they have arrived on the island, it’s a matter of timing in order to see them up close. The rule of thumb is to be there when they have made their final flight for the day and are ready to settle in for the evening. Then you can watch them lick the sun and clean their feathers just a few yards away. When we got there, there was not a puffin in sight.

To get to Lundeura, one has to climb a short ladder. But it’s steep and cumbersome enough to bring a 30kg dog down there, so I waited while Anne went down. Within the next 5 minutes, the puffins came in. Approx. 20:15. Great timing! And after a while, Anne came back up and looked after Karma (the dog) while I climbed down. And man, there they were..

IMG_3808
A puffin in flight

I stayed down there for 5 minutes. I don’t have very fancy camera equipment so there’s only so much I can get out of being there. But camera or no camera, it’s always a thrill to see them!

And in addition to the birds, there was a magic view due to snow showers roaming the coast line.

IMG_3753
Snow showers hitting on the coastline

Pictures from the trip:

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