The first sunny day in what seemed like ages had me back on Rathlin on 2 February. It was quickly apparent that a lot of the birds seen on previous visits had moved on and there seemed to be low numbers of birds around generally. However, this visit did offer some hints of spring, as several species were heard singing including Song Thrush and Great Tit. Several small flocks of Black Guillemot had also arrived back, including a summer plumaged bird in Church Bay.
|Doon Bay with Mull of Kintyre in Background|
In and around Ushet Lough was eerily quiet, the only birds present were Little Grebe, Coot and 8 Wigeon. I checked the marsh at the south end and then went cross country through some rushes and pools towards Rue Point, but still no sign of a Snipe! The rock pools at the South Light held lots of tiny fish but few birds. Looking north along the cliffs were yet more rafts of Eider and umpteen Kittiwakes and Guillemots.
So a fairly non-eventful outing, but another 3 species added to the year list and signs that spring is on its way. It can’t come soon enough.
Score now stands at 61 species, 73 points or 57.5%
You can watch a short video with Chris Packham HERE about the legendary Rathlin Golden Hares.