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Last Updated: Monday, 2 August, 2004, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK
Seabird colony set to 'wing away'
Puffins will not return to the island until next May
Nature lovers have been urged to see one of the "wonders of the natural world" before they leave Northern Ireland's coast for the winter.

Puffin, guillemot and kittiwake colonies are currently residing on Rathlin Island, off the north Antrim coast.

At the begining of autumn, the seabirds will leave the island and not return again until next May.

They will spend the winter cruising the stormy seas and sleeping on the waves.

In a bid to encourage people to see the seabird colony, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is holding a open days on Monday and Tuesday.

The RSPB's Alison McFaul said: "Rathlin Island must be one of the most beautiful places in Northern Ireland.

"It's not just the incredible seabird spectacle, but the atmosphere and landscape which make it what it is.

"People travel from all over the world to see this place and are constantly amazed at what they find.
Puffin, guillemot and kittiwake colonies are currently on Rathlin

"The RSPB invites everyone along to experience is natural wonder at the West Light with free use of telescopes.

"If you have children and if the weather permits, we'll be holding outdoors games and activities as well."

The open days will take place at the West Light on Rathlin 1100-1600 BST on Monday and Tuesday.

The ferry for Rathlin Island leaves from Ballycastle.

A tern for the better
10 Aug 02  |  England

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