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Off the west coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides, the island of Rhum is a National Nature Reserve and famous for its population of Red Deer. The deer have been studied for decades and have been the basis for countless papers on animal behaviour and population dynamics.
Rhum has also been the site of the White-tailed Eagle reintroduction programme which has led to the, so far, successful re-establishment of this magnificent bird in Britain.
The island is large and mountainous with a range of habitats including rocky coasts and cliffs, streams, lochs and bogs, rough grassland and heather moorland and small patches of woodland. Much of the island has been undisturbed by man for many years and the island is now a Biosphere Reserve.
 Notable Species
While many of the young eaglets imported from Norway left Rhum and wandered widely over Scotland, some stayed on Rhum and breeding was first attempted there in 1983. The first chick was eventually reared in 1985 and the first successful fledging of an eaglet from a British-raised pair took place in 1996. Although a sighting of White-tailed Eagle cannot be guaranteed on Rhum it certainly provides the best chance of seeing this species in Britain.
This island is also the site of one of Britain's largest Manx Shearwater colonies numbering more than 100,000 pairs and located on Askival, the island's highest hill. On the lochs in summer are Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser and Common Eider and the streams have Common Sandpiper, Common Dipper and Grey Wagtail.
The small woodland areas and increased planting of native tree species in recent decades has enabled birds such as Eurasian Robin, Dunnock and Goldcrest to become established on the island and summer visitors include Spotted Flycatcher, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Wood Warbler and Willow Warbler.
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, European Shag, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Common Eider, Red-breasted Merganser, White-tailed Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Red Grouse, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Eurasian Curlew, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Rock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Short-eared Owl, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Common Wren, Common Dipper, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Hooded Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Twite, Lesser Redpoll, Common Bullfinch
 Other Wildlife
Insects have been well documented with butterflies such as Dark-green Mesoacidalia aglaja and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries Clossiana selene, Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi and Large Heath Coenonympha tullia.
Moths including Drinker Philudoria potatoria, Fox Macrothylacia rubi, Northern Eggar Lasiocampa quercus callunae and the large and beautiful Emperor Moth Saturnia pavonia and the aspen woods have Puss Moth Cerura vinula, Pebble Proniment Eligmodonta ziczac and Poplar Hawkmoth Laothoe populi.
Orchids including Northern Marsh Dactylorhiza purpurella, Fragrant Gymnadenia conopsea and Frog Coeloglossum viride occur in the lowland areas along with various gentians, trefoils and pansies. In higher regions there are typical upland species such as Moss Campion Silene acaulis, Mountain Avens Dryas octopetala, Alpine Pennycress Thlaspi alpestre, Stone Bramble Rubus saxatilis and Northern Rockcress Cardaminopsis petraea.
 Site Information
 Access and Facilities
The island can be reached by ferry from Mallaig or Arisaig, those visiting for the day land at Loch Scresort and can freely explore the area around the south side of the loch. Beyond this area permission is required from the warden at White House, Kinloch, Isle of Rhum Tel. 0867 2026.
Kinloch Castle provides limited accommodation and some camping is permitted on the island.
 Contact Details
Those who wish to pursue some serious study of the island's natural history should contact Scottish Natural Heritage.
 External Links
Content and images originally posted by Steve
Gabriel Rasson's review
We made a boat trip around Rhum island in July and could see MANY Manx Shearwaters, common and black guillemots, puffins, gannets. It's an outstanding experience! Pictures taken from the boat were good because we came very close to the birds. Grey Seals can also be seen.