Thursday, 27 June 2013

Rathlin Island Visited Part 6

Well for those that joined me yesterday for part of my walk to the East Lighthouse and leaving comments, I thank you.  I hope you are not tired as we have still a good bit to go before we reach the lighthouse!  Off we go again.  Below is a Hooded Crow.

The Irish Hare

Although the Irish Hare can be found in places all over Ireland, historically large colonies have  declined.  Rathlin Island, remains a stronghold for Irish hares.

Irish hares breed throughout most of the year, with leverets recorded from January through to November. With a gestation period of 52 days and a lactation of around 6 weeks, this means that females (does or jills) may be in an active breeding phase at any time. Irish hares are thought to have up to four litters a year of between one and four leverets, the average being two. 75% of the leverets are unlikely to survive their first year of life. Like the brown hare, Irish hares do not breed in their first year. 

You’ll see plenty of rabbits on Rathlin but there are also plenty of unique Irish hare. With smaller ears, a white tail and reddish coat, this native Irish species is quite distinct from the Brown hare found in Britain. They can be found all over the island and there is even a rare local genetic mutation – an albino – with a much lighter coat and blue eyes, called the Rathlin Golden hare.

There were dozens of Rabbits that I saw on my walk and overall I saw about 7 Hares so it was worth while getting up early!


Below is a Willow Warbler.
I only had a quick chance to get this shot.

You will hear on the video at the end of this post that I saw Whitethroat, in fact quite a number  however some were camera shy and others were far away.  Now the challenge is for you to see the Whitethroat is the shot below!!

Below is a Blackbird out gathering food for her hungry chicks.

At last, I reached the East Lighthouse.  
It has been flashing a warning to mariners since 1856 . It is the oldest of the lighthouses and has since been automated  and has attracted some famous visitors, notably Guglielmo Marconi who was contracted by Lloyd's Insurers to install a wireless link which would allow swift announcements of successful trans-Atlantic crossings by Lloyd's ships. On May 1898 Marconi and his associates successfully transmitted the first commercial radio signals across water from Rathlin's East Lighthouse to Ballycastle on the Northern Irish mainland. 

In July, 1898, the Marconi telegraphy was employed to report the results of yacht races at the Kingston Regatta for the Dublin Express newspaper. A set of instruments were fitted up in a room at Kingstown, and another on board a steamer, the Flying Huntress. The aerial conductor on shore was a strip of wire netting attached to a mast 40 feet (12 m) high, and several hundred messages were sent and correctly received during the progress of the races.

I thought this information was interesting and worth sharing with you.  At this time His Majesty King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, had the misfortune to injure his knee, and was confined on board the royal yacht Osltorm in Cowes Bay.  Marconi fitted up his apparatus on board the royal yacht by request, and also at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, and kept up wireless communication for three weeks between these stations.

 On the headland at the East Lighthouse, I tried to video the hundreds of Auks passing the point and have included this clip, however I did not manage to capture most of them as they were a good distance away and going very fast.  Also on the video, at the little lake when I passed it for a second time, I said the bird was a Little Grebe, in fact it was a Tufted duck.  As you can see from these lighthouse shots I have experimented a bit so you can see which one you like best!

The video below can be access at

I hoped you enjoyed the walk to the East Lighthouse with me and tomorrow I will show you the wonderful Orchids I found  along the way.

Thank you for visiting, so until tomorrow, have a lovely day.


  1. Hi there - never herd of the the irish Hare - I wonder why it has small ears?

    nice pictures and vids.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  2. I had never ever heard the term 'leveret' for a young hare. What a fascinating post!

  3. the lighthouse is really striking. beautiful shots. love the sweet hares!

  4. I love the close ups!!! That little guy looked like he's having a bad hair day,the LHouse photos are stunning, all of them.

  5. I have never heard of a Hooded Crow, it is not even black!! I guess we have none in this country, a strangely unusual bird to see. Also the little Willow Warbler is so cute!! We have lots of rabbits in our yard, but I think the hares are further west.

  6. It was information that I'd never heard before, Marconi and wireless, really great. I also loved the Hares, superb.

  7. very informative and entertaining Margaret. All those hares and here's me thinking there was just the Brown Hare.

  8. Fascinating bit of history, I do like the images of the hare and hooded crow, the whitethroat reminds me of an xmas tree decoration.

  9. THANK YOU FOR THE was very good.


  10. I never heard of this 'hooded crow' before, so I'm glad you shared the photo. The history was extraordinary, thank you. And your bunny is cute...the lighthouse images are fabulous.

    And, as I am an avid birder, I do have another blog, that is bird photography only. And on Saturday 12NOON [Texas time] I have a birding meme each week. If you have any more bird photos to share, please drop by and add your hyperlink!!

    My birding blog is on my right hand sidebar at Hootin' Anni's OR you can go here:

  11. The lighthouse is fantastic - and such a great history.

  12. Beautiful series of photos.
    The lighthouse is very beautiful, also the information in there is very good.
    The video is also beautiful.
    The Willow Warbler and Blackbird, you're perfectly photographed.
    Best regards, Irma

  13. Lots of information Margaret; great post.
    I never knew you had different Hares there. Fascinating.