An impressive island nature reserve, off Islandmagee, home to the third largest colony of cliff-nesting seabirds in Northern Ireland.

Location

Portmuck
Islandmagee
Co Antrim
BT40 3PG

OS Map Reference

D 464 024
A static map of Isle of Muck

Know before you go

Size
5 hectares

Entry fee

Not open to the public.

Access

There is no public access to the island to help protect the breeding seabirds from excessive disturbance. 

Dogs

No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

N/A

Best time to visit

N/A

About the reserve

During the summer, thousands of seabirds nest on the Isle of Muck such as fulmar, shag, razorbill, guillemot, black guillemot, and kittiwake.

Although puffins do not currently breed here, they can sometimes be seen in small numbers during the breeding season in the waters surrounding the island. Peregrine falcon and common buzzard can also be spotted hunting over the island. 

A large variety of other birds pass through, feeding on the productive waters around the island, including gannet, Manx shearwater, tern, divers and passage migrants such as skua.

Most of the breeding birds nest on the seaward side of the island, so are difficult to observe from the shore. However, with a bit of patience and luck, you should be able to see all of the birds that nest here as they fly to and from the colony.

The waters offshore are also one of the best places in Northern Ireland to spot harbour porpoise and other cetaceans. Common and grey seal are also regularly sighted.

At very low tides, the island is connected to the shore by a tombolo (a bar of sand) – but it is very unsafe to walk across.

To ensure the breeding seabirds don’t suffer excessive disturbance, there is no public access to the island.

As well as monitoring the populations of breeding seabirds on an annual basis, we also manage the grassland to encourage seabird nesting and control invasive plants such as bracken.

Contact us

Ulster Wildlife
Contact number: 028 9045 4094

Environmental designation

Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)