Recommended Birdwatching Sites Near The Grange, Coleraine Ornithologists from Britain and Western Europe come to study the birds of Northern Ireland every year, and with good reason. The province's position on the western fringe of Western Europe, and the sheer size of many of the flocks that breed or visit, have made it of particular interest both to experts and the increasing number of birdwatching visitors who are able to combine their special interest with a relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings.

The majesty of the Causeway Coast vies for the birdwatcher's attention with fulmar, black guillemot, eider, turnstone, buzzard, raven, and rare crow like chough. Offshore are the seabird colonies of Rathlin Island (near Ballycastle) and The Skerries (near Portrush). In the Antrim plateau area - red grouse moor, bog and forest provide suitable habitat for a broad range of species.

Within a short distance of The Grange, Coleraine lie ten of Northern Irelands recommended visiting sights for ornithologists. Below are listed a few to start you off.

Ramore Head
The peninsula at Portrush Species: on-shore winds bring winter flypasts of cormorant, fulmar and gannet; in autumn strong north-west winds bring flights of Leach's and storm petrels, shag, Manx and sooty shearwaters, plus Arctic, great and pomarine skuas; and Sabine's gulls in autumn. Ramore Head is particularly rewarding from August to October.

Gary Bog
Area of Special Scientific Interest 5 miles north of Ballymoney Species: grasshopper warbler.

Giant's Causeway
National Nature Reserve, National Trust Species: buzzard, kestrel, peregrine, sparrowhawk; gannet, occasional black and common guillemots, razorbill; eider duck; chough; purple sandpiper; twite.

Sheep Island
Area of Special Scientific Interest, Important Bird Area, Special Protection Area Species: breeding cormorant numbers of European significance.

Rathlin Island
Area of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserve. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Important Bird Area The main bird colonies are in the Kebble National Nature Reserve by the west lighthouse and in the cliffs to the north. The island is reached by boat from Ballycastle. Species: cliff-breeding colonies of fulmar, guillemot, kittiwake, Manx shearwater, puffin, razorbill, shag; peregrine, raven. Access to West Light platform only with RSPB warden.

Fair Head
Signposted off A2 west of Ballycastle Species: breeding buzzard, kestrel, peregrine, sparrowhawk; chough; twite.

Murlough Bay
National Trust Nature Reserve adjacent to Fair Head Species: eider, fulmar, buzzard.

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