What to Expect
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The weather in New England this time of year is generally pleasant with typical daily lows in the low 50’s and highs typically in the high 70’s. Rain is possible so it will be important to bring your rain gear though we usually encounter favorable weather conditions. When in the mountains we can encounter cooler temperatures (sometimes in the low 40’s) and the possibility of high wind so a wind breaker and some warm clothes are recommended.
Insects generally aren’t too bad this early in the spring but there is a chance that we could encounter pests like mosquitoes, biting flies and tics. Clothes treated with pesticide and insect repellent can help make your experience on this trip more comfortable.
The transit time to the puffin colony is typically about an hour each way and it is usually a pretty easy trip. If the weather is bad the boat won’t go out. There are toilet facilities on the boat and on the island assuming we are able to land. The trip is not strenuous. Typically we will be out for about four hours. Sun screen and a shade hat is recommended.
During the trip we will do a lot of our birding and photography from near the van, often along the road. We don’t typically do any long hikes and again the trip is not intended to be strenuous. We make it a point to find birds that are in accessible locations and we try to spend plenty of time with accommodating birds so that everyone is able to get good photos.
Recommended photographic equipment is a modern digital interchangeable lens camera with a quality telephoto lens. Our recommendation is that you have at minimum of a 400mm focal length lens. There will be lots of opportunities to shoot from a tripod though we do suggest that you also have a rig that you are able to use hand-held. This is especially beneficial when on the boat and when shooting from the puffin blinds. When we are in the puffin blinds I have found that having a zoom lens is quite useful if not necessary. I have had great success using an APS-c camera and a 70-300mm or 100-400mm lens attached. At times we have had puffins approach the blind as close as arms length. A telephoto zoom lens will also come in handy if we encounter any large mammals such a moose. The scenery encountered on this trip can be inspiring and it is advisable to have a wider angle lens available to take advantage of scenery opportunities that might present themselves. When we photograph songbirds in their habitat a long telephoto lens 500mm or greater is very useful. We often linger at a particular location for longer periods so use of a tripod isn’t a problem.
The guides, Greg Lavaty and Wes Fritz are both knowledgeable and experienced photographers and birders. They are always happy to help with any photographic questions that might come up along the way. Our goal is to make sure you succeed and we are happy to do whatever we can to help you succeed.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.