Punctual puffins arrive for Easter 
at Rathlin Island

The first puffins of the year have been spotted on Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 7:52 am

Like clockwork, Rathlin Island’s punctual puffins have landed back on almost the same date for the past six years, making their first appearance before the clocks spring forward at the end of March.

This year, the first puffins of the season were spotted on Saturday, the exact same date (March 26) they were spotted in 2020 and just one day earlier than they were sighted in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The puffins returned to one of the UK’s largest seabird colonies, which also includes kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and guillemots, to nest and raise their young before returning to their life out at sea in late summer.

The first puffins have landed back at the RSPB’s Rathlin West Light Seabird centre

RSPB NI Rathlin reserves warden, Liam McFaul, said: “The first puffin sighting of spring is always an uplifting sight. On Saturday morning we glimpsed the bright orange feet and colourful bills of our first puffins to arrive back to the island.

“Despite puffins being listed as an endangered, red-listed species, one of the best places to see them in Northern Ireland is at the RSPB West Light Seabird Centre which will be opening again this Easter (April 15).

“Visitors from all around the world enjoy their antics, as the adult birds take it in turns to incubate their single egg from late April or early May and share the feeding duties until the chick is ready to fledge.”