So the boat was taken over to Rathlin Island. Everyone was asking whether I was going there so was rather excited. Eider ducks in the harbour with eider ducklings in the harbour and over 50 common seals on the rocks nearby - Heaven.
Cycled down to the first RSPB area south of the harbour and walked around there for what seemed like an hour but was actually four. Wonderful views from the cliffs of Rathlin Sound and the Mull of Galloway. Wheatear, peregrines, auks, kittiwakes and gulls. In places there were 100's of heath-spotted orchids. Beautiful.
Lunch wa staken opposite the rocks where the seals basked and time alternated with me either being alone or with a number of people according to how many people the small local bus dropped off. Most people spent a short while watching the seals before drifting away toawrds the tea rooms around the harbour. Four members of the Cedars Walking Group, from County Armagh, mostly Lurgen, stayed longer and chatted. So Hello to Liz, Marine [Emma], Lyn and Francis - thanks for the hugs girls. These four had 'cheated by catching the bus back from the RSPB Seabird Centre at the far western end of the island. I met more of the CWG later as I cycled to the same location.
Found a pair of spotted flycatchers in some conifers along the newly gritted road. . I'd been getting worried about adding them to the year list and had almost consigned them to the ' I won't see them now list'. That list includes garganey but maybe Leighton Moss will give me a repreieve.
Got to the seabird centre and will write those details next time. Best bird place yet!!!
All the best