1. an inquisitive person
2. An act of looking at or watching something, especially something which does not directly concern the one looking.
Wherever you are in the world, there are interesting animals and plants to be enjoyed. We love to have a good old stickybeak at what’s around and what it’s getting up to. We’ll poke our beaks into anything but we particularly love birds, especially when we get to stickybeak birds that have a sticky beak!
Stickybeak began in Sydney, a city with fascinating creatures around every corner. Then we continued stickybeaking in New Zealand, mostly based in Kaikoura, which is best known for its whales, dolphins and albatrosses, though we found lots more to discover there too. For our third Stickybeak adventure we followed the Australasian migratory shorebirds north to Kamchatka in far eastern Russia. Now we are in the UK, stickybeaking on beautiful Rathlin Island.
Rathlin is undoubtedly a special place, with breath-taking scenery, unique wildlife and lots of great stickybeaking to be done. Located four kilometres off the north coast of County Antrim, Rathlin is Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island. The current population stands at about 140 people, which during spring and summer are outnumbered a thousand times over by nesting seabirds as the island is home to one of Europe’s biggest seabird colonies.
Rathlin Island is also home to an awesome array of other special wildlife, including the only Red-billed Choughs and Corncrakes breeding in Northern Ireland, the most southerly nesting Great Skuas in the UK, and a unique population of “golden” Irish Hares. And as if that weren’t exciting enough, Rathlin is one of only three known sites where the rare Pyramidal Bugle grows, and its rich marine environment is remarkably diverse in sponges – so far 134 sponge species have been found here, including 29 species that were new to science.
Rathlin’s natural beauty and importance for wildlife is reflected in its swag of designations: a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area, Marine Conservation Zone, the Rathlin Island coast and Kebble Areas of Special Scientific Interest, Kebble National Nature Reserve, and finally, as the crowning jewel in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.