Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Day Trip to Rathlin Island
Puffins are a big attraction on Rathlin Island. Looking down from the observation platform on Rathlin Island there are tens of thousands of birds on the ground and everyone seems to be looking for puffins easily identifiable by their bright orange feet. They were scattered among huge numbers of guillemots. I think they were guillemots and would be happy to be corrected as I have come late to the identification of seabirds.
These were the best pictures I could get. I used my long lens and cropped the image.
On the way back from the bird sanctuary we asked the driver of the Puffin Bus (yes, really!) to drop us off at the chapel so we could have a look around. I cannot imagine a lovelier setting for a church. Bert is standing close to the biggest clump of lithodora that I've ever seen.
This is the church for which Church Bay is named. The graveyard is full of sailors lost at sea, many of them unidentified or 'Known To God'.
With the help of Collins Complete Irish Wildlife I have identified this wader as a ringed plover. My education continues.
Harbor or common seals basking a short walk from the main drag. The main drag on Rathlin Ireland is barely wide enough for one vehicle. Pedestrians have to stand on verges and step over walls but it works. Bert and I sat basking in the sun and watched a group of twelve seals do likewise. We might have been there an hour or so. What could be sweeter than lying on fescue grass watching seals do very little?
A pair of eider apparently doing little. Maybe a little mollusc collecting.
Bert watching the seals from the kelp house.
This was a more comfortable spot from which to watch seals. As you will see we were a good distance from them. A decent set of binoculars and/or a camera with a bit of a lens is all that is needed to enjoy the view.
We travelled home on The Rathlin Express where we met the Spirit of Rathlin going back to the island.
Today, my peace and joy weren't hard to find. We had the best time. And are already planning our next trip.