Birdwatching for seabirds around Rathlin Island.
A bird-watcher’s paradise, the dramatic white cliffs of Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island, shelter bird nesting sites and first flights of gannets, guillemots, auks, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars. For most people though, the star of Rathlin Island are the adorable puffins! Every year, thousands of puffins return in May for breeding season.
The seabird centre in Rathlin Island’s old lighthouse draws the birdwatchers from around the world searching for new sightings of unusual birds, like the rare red-legged chough.
From a historical context, Scotland’s famed King Robert the Bruce once hid in one of its caves. Here, he watched a spider climb and fall several times before eventually succeeding. Taking this as a ‘sign,’ he returned to Scotland and successfully defeated the English in battle in 1314. Though you won’t find any Scottish kings, Rathlin Island’s shores, caves, and hills are the perfect place to hike and explore while spotting wildlife!
Visit the puffins and other birds on Rathlin Island on our new Northern Ireland family adventure, Giants, Myths and Legends.