Rathlin Island Walking Tours
with Paul Quinn
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February 2008

It is good that the days are lengthening, but stormy conditions are still frequent in February. As I stand out on deck a giant barge is passing in the opposite direction. In its bowels, invisible, is the wrecked lifeboat which has been salvaged after two weeks on the rocks of Rathlin.

 

Last monthís conjoined caravans have been separated and are leading independent lives. Snowdrops are in bloom together with some early daffodils. Down at the Rue there is a gale blowing from the East. There arenít any seals, but as I sit on the rocks, a peregrine is doggedly making progress along the shore.

 

If there was an X FACTOR competition for birds how would hooded crows fare? Together with many people, I donít like themÖ they arenít pretty and they canít sing. But you have to admire their stamina. In a day that is none too pleasant and with other birds nowhere to be seen, a hoody is busy nearby pecking at something disgusting which it has found on the beach.

 

A blackbird is singing uninterruptedly long after dusk.
© 2008 Paul Quinn. All Rights Reserved. Additional title photography © Andy McInroy