Five incredible creatures you might spot at the Causeway Coast this summer
If you are wild for wildlife, the National Trust properties at the stunning Causeway Coast are the perfect species spotting sites for you to explore this summer. The Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge are home to hundreds of fascinating species including colonial seabirds such as the Razorbill, coloured Cinnabar Moths and breath-taking botanical beauties like the flowering Orchids that brighten the coastline.
We have compiled a list of five local species you might come across when visiting the Causeway Coast this summer.
Red Campion wildflower
The dazzling displays of the bright red wildflowers, the Red Campions don the Causeway Coast during the summer. The Red Campion blooms from spring right through summer and is an excellent source of food for the variety of bee, butterfly and moth species that call the Causeway Coast home. Take a closer look on your next visit - you can identify this popular species by their five petals and hairy stems.
Painted lady butterfly
This summer we have seen more painted lady butteflies than ever before on the Causeway Coast. Experts believe we have been seeing a mass emergence that happens only once every ten years. Weather conditions and food sources are providing ideal conditions for the species to thrive this year and our Area Ranger, Dr Cliff Henry said: 'The big story this summer is the number of painted ladies. Usually we only see a few at this time of year, sometimes none. During six 15 miute butterfly counts on the cliif-top path we recorded 115 painted ladies, it's been incredible!'
Stoats have been making more appearances at the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede during the spring and summer months. Stoats are small carnivorous mammals belonging to the weasel family. They have brown coats with a cute white underbelly. They move quickly but try your best to snap a photo if you spot one!
As a leading conservation charity, the National Trust works hard to maintain Carrick-a-Rede as a home and a breeding site for five different species of seabirds. The perfect location for birdwatching, this special site is home to the Kittiwake (from the gull family) in the summer. Unlike other gulls the Kittiwake’s beautiful black wing-tips show no white, and look like they are dipped in ink.
The skylark, also found all year round at the Causeway Coast, is a small brown bird only 16-18 centimetres long. They have a reputation as one of the finest songsters in the bird world. Their singing invariably starts before dawn, so their voice is the first to be heard in the dawn chorus. These cute little birds also make a definite impact in the bright summer skies, with their white rear edged wings and vertical display flight. With its short and sturdy legs, the skylark also spends a lot of time on the ground rummaging for seeds and insects - keep an eye out while taking a walk around our sites this summer!