Rathlin Island

Rathlin island sits about six miles off the north coast of Northern Ireland and around 11 miles from Scotland. In the spring/summer months sea birds in there hundreds converge here for the breeding season.

The Island is a dog leg shape around 8 mile long and around 1 mile wide, there are three lighthouses at the three points. The south lighthouse is closest to the N.Ireland shore, the East lighthouse looks out towards Scotland and it here that Robert the Bruce hid in a cave close to the lighthouse during the  First War of Scottish Independence against England. He fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland’s place as an independent kingdom and is now revered in Scotland as a national hero.

Looking across the Irish sea to Scotland 11 miles away from Rathlin. Island..

rathlincommunity.org

Its’ at the other end off the island the main centre for sea birds lies at the West lighthouse. It’s a reserve run by the RSPB and a bus runs from Church Bay out to the centre. The first thing is the noise from Thousands of sea birds fill the air and the other can be the smell that can fill the air if the wind blows in the wrong direction. But the sight you will never forget.

This is the top of one of the sea stacks, covered mostly with Guillemots.

Guillemots on another sea stack,

https://abhainncruises.com/portfolio-items/rathlin-island-trip/

The above photo is from abhainncruises.com and is a view of the west lighthouse. It’s different from the normal due to the light being at the bottom, you can see it here in this image situated in front /bottom of the main building.

The next images will be from the main viewing platform which is on the left of this image.

Kittiwake nests on the ledges high above the shore. These are true seagulls, with non-breeding period spent entirely at sea.

Razorbill, note they lay there eggs on the rock without a nest. Another bird that is rarely seen outside the breeding season. It spends most of it time far out at sea.

Razorbill. A beautiful bird with it’s striking marking on the bill.

Fulmar: to me this is one of our most beautiful seabirds, And to watch them fly in to land is a marvel to watch. They approach at high speed looking like it not stopping, then land so softly. Or to watch them hang on the wind coming off the cliff faces, truly amazing. has the next photograph shows.

Fulmar: Hanging on the breeze.

Fulmar: hanging the breeze.

This is all from Rathlin at this time. Planning a walk around part of the Island soon.

thank you all for viewing, take care

George.

Before I go I’d like to say hello to Evelyn and her mum who chatted to me on the ferry back to Ballycastle. Thank you for taking time to look at some off my images and enjoy your life at university.

ATB George.

https://www.rspb.org.uk

http://www.rathlincommunity.org/visit

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