Call of corncrake heard again on Rathlin Island
The distinctive call of one of our rarest and most secretive birds has returned to Rathlin Island.
The unmistakable "crex-crex" call of the corncrake has been heard on the island, much earlier in the season than usual, prompting hopes that it has successfully bred.
The corncrake is a red-listed species and while many people can fondly remember hearing its call in years gone by, Rathlin is the only place in Northern Ireland where the birds have been heard in recent years.
Over the weekend RSPB staff and volunteers confirmed that the call was heard on the western end of the island.
Liam McFaul of RSPB NI said: "It's fantastic news."