Malin Head, the most northerly part of Ireland’s landmass, can be a land of extremes. It lies on the same latitude as Moscow but basks in the Gulf Stream. The Aurora Borealis can often be seen here.
It’s one of Ireland’s richest wildlife areas – especially for birdwatchers – and the jewel in its crown is the corncrake, the only globally-endangered species to breed in Malin Head. Its distinctive ‘kerrx-kerrx’ call can be heard from fields of long grass and tall weeds. But there are other ‘stars’: east of Banba’s Crown, Ballyhillin Beach is internationally-renowned for its wintering Barnacle goose population. And Malin Head was only the second place in Ireland where the black-browed albatross was recorded.
In certain conditions, other rare seabirds such as the sooty shearwater, great shearwater and Leach’s petrels can be observed close to the shore. Great skua, Arctic skua, pomarine skua and long-tailed skua have all been observed between late May and early October.
Malin Head is home to a third of Ireland’s eider duck population. Buzzards and peregrine falcons are established here. It’s also estimated that half of the world’s basking sharks pass its coast every year, while seals, dolphins, porpoises and even whales appear regularly in its waters. Regardless of the time of year, wildlife lovers will be rewarded at Malin Head.