PUFFIN REPORT - 1996 Ted C. D'Eon

April 20, 1996 - Lobster fisherman, Paul Shand of Middle West Pubnico, reported the arrival of the first 2 Puffins on Noddy Island. He also commented on the number of Gannets migrating by, perhaps 1000 a day on April 19 and 20.

April 22, 1996 - 2 puffins near Gannet Rock, flying north towards Green I.

June 8, 1996 - On our arrival to the eastern side of Round Island we saw 1 Puffin flying by in the fog. There was also one flying by on the eastern edge of Fleet Head, Mud Island.

In "Puffin Cove", Noddy Island, there were about 20 puffins. 2 or 3 of these were seen emerging from under the boulders. None were seen carrying fish. Black Guillemots were common in all three locations. All the sightings were made from the boat.

June 22, 1996 - Green Rock (a.k.a. "Green Island" on the charts). On a visit there with Lester D'Eon and his son Lance, as crew, we saw 6 adult Puffins; some emerging from the rocks just to the southwest of the lighthouse. We did not find any Puffin nests, however, about 15 Black Guillemot nests were found in this area; about 6 with the adult bird remaininmg on the nest, and several with chicks.

July 24, 1996 - Trip to Round I., Mud I., and Noddy I. with Réal d'Entremont and my son, Nigel. We saw 3 Puffins with about 100 Black Guillemots on the eastern edge of Round Island. No Puffins were seen with the Black Guillemots of Mud Island, and there were 11 Puffins in the southwest cove ("Puffin Cove") of Noddy Island. No Puffins were seen carrying fish. There were 2 men, each in a skiff, raking irish moss in the southwest cove of Noddy Island. They had not seen any more Puffins than what we saw.

July 30, 1996 - Good News! Andrew D'Eon and I found our first Puffin nest on Noddy Island. The single egg was spoiled and cold, but I am fairly certain it was a Puffin's egg!

Egg characteristics: About as long, but not as pyriform as that of a Black Guillemot's. Blotches on egg were not as dark in colour as on Black Guillemot's.

The nest? was dug into the soil adjacent to a medium size boulder. Before leaving the island we counted 23 adult Puffins flying about; 2 with fish in bill. An adult Puffin came out from under the boulders while, nearby, Andrew was checking out a Black Guillemot's nest containing 2 cold, unhatched eggs.

August 13, 1996 - With Daryl Gunter and his son, Jordan, and my son, Nigel, I returned to Green Rock. A puffin count revealed 21 adults in the adjacent waters to the west of the island. None were carrying fish, and there were no immatures found nor seen. There was what appeared to be an adult Black Guillemot still on? its nest in a rock crevice. It remained in place as I moved on.

September 22, 1996 - Andrew D'Eon and I went to Noddy I. with pick and shovel, plastic pipe and plexiglass, to construct two man-made Puffin burrows in the turf, above from where we had previously observed Puffin activity.

The entrances were made by driving the 10cm diameter plastic pipe into the edge of the turf bank. On one of the burrows we were able to remove the piece of pipe with its plug of dirt, leaving a more natural entrance. The peaty soil at the entrance of the second burrow did not seem to hold together well, and the plastic pipe was left in place.

About 40cm from the entrance of each burrow, a trench was dug out to about 1.5m where it was widened a bit for a nest chamber. A piece of plexiglass was placed over the chamber and covered over with sods and soil. The remainder of the trenches were first covered over with flat stones and pieces of wood, and then this was covered over with more sods and soil.

The idea being that next summer we will be able to check for Puffin activity in these burrows by lifting out the sod which was placed over the plexiglass; viewing the nest, and then replacing the sod, without disturbing the nesting Puffin, if we should be so fortunate.

Before leaving the island, Andrew and I, closed in some open spaces under some nearby boulders, with smaller rocks, leaving access space for Puffins and Black Guillemots, but not enough room to let the gulls through. Hopefully, these may allow the Puffins and Black Guillemots a few extra nesting sites for next year.

October 13, 1996 - With Nigel, I return to Noddy Island to construct a few more Puffin burrows in the turf. We actually only make about 6 burrow entrances, some as deep as 60cm, some only 30 or 40cm. These are all made in the same general area as the ones Andrew and I made on September 22. We used a piece of 10cm plastic pipe and a sledge hammer to drive it in, after which it was removed with a core of peat and clay. We also removed the piece of plastic pipe from the second burrow Andrew and I had left in place on Sept. 22. The soil at its entrance should hold together.


The Puffins are holding their own on Noddy I. Since I have visited Green Rock only a few times, it is difficult to comment on its Puffins. It was encouraging to see the Puffin activity there on August 13.

There may be a few Puffins nesting on Round I. The next few years should tell.

I am looking forward to the 1997 nesting season to see if our artificial burrows on Noddy I. are being used.

For best results, my pages should be viewed with Netscape 2.0 or greater


Ted C. D'Eon

P.O. Box 100
West Pubnico
Nova Scotia
B0W 3S0
phone (home)1-902-762-2097
      (FAX) 1-902-762-2885

Send E-Mail to: deonted@fox.nstn.ca

Return to Ted's page

© Ted C. D'Eon, 1996