“Puffin Peak” is located in the Barren Islands between the tip of the Kenai Peninsula & Kodiak. This piece is based off my experience spent hiking the ridge lines surrounded by hundreds of Tufted Puffins doing their thing.
We started climbing up the mountain from the beach enjoying the beautiful wildflowers, sounds of sea lions on the rocky cliffs below & views of the ocean surrounding us. About 1/2 way up we started to see birds flying in and out of the soil covered rocks. It was impressive and startling how fast they were dive bombing/landing in their burrows. As were climbed higher one finally got close enough to see… they were PUFFINS!! Within minutes of hiking we were surrounded, they were everywhere! Right next to us and as far as we could see. Hundreds of puffins diving a thousand feet down to the ocean surface and coming back with mouthfuls of little fish. Although Puffins spend most of the year on the ocean the islands steep grassy sloping land is a perfect nesting zone.
As we hiked the entire ridge line towards the setting midnight sun with puffins all around still hard at work, silhouettes of Mt Augustine and the Neacola Mountains were glowing across the Cook Inlet.