Sunday, 16 June 2013

Copeland Island Visited Part 3

In the last 2 post I have been telling you about bird ringing and showing you some of the birds that they ringed on Lighthouse Island.   So today we will continue with that theme.  I finished yesterday with the 'loo with the view' and when I was returning from there, I noticed high up on the cliff a male and female Eider. 


Below are some of the Eiders (females) with their chicks. 

Eiders do breed on the Island and they make their nests from plucking the eider down from their own feathers and when the female site on the nest she is so camoyflaged that you might walk right pass her without even noticing.  However Stefan Greif did manage to photo one and these are his photos below. 


  

These first 2 photos were taken by Stefan of Oystercatchers. 
 


These other 2 are my photos.  Oystercatchers do breed on the island although not in great numbers.


There was a window that looked out from the kitchen and when you volunteered to do the dishes, you always saw Oystercatchers on this wall below.  Also what you were looking out there was a pond where Water Rail frequented and everyone but me had seen one so the group said I had better always do the dishes and then I might see one!!!!   Although I did a lot of dishes I did not see the Water Rail from the sink but had the best view ever as you will see in this post.


As we walked round the island checking frequently on the various traps I photographed more flowers and these are some below.  Notice how close these meadows were to the house on the right.

                                                                          Bluebells Bounty

Red Campion 

                                                            Close up of Red Campion flower

The only butterflies I saw were small white but Stefan managed to photograph this Small Copper butterfly below.


Birds are caught for ringing in a variety of ways.  I have already told you about Mist Nets, however about 20% of birds are ringed as chicks in the nest and will be done later on in the season; this is valuable because their precise age and origin are then known.  Yesterday I had shown you some birds that were caught in mist nets, however others were caught funnel traps.  These have a narrow entrance into which birds may be lured or driven and the entrance typically leads to larger holding pen.   Funnel traps can be very large and a particularly well-known large scale form was devised in the German bird observatory at Heligoland and are termed as a Heligoland trap.  We have 4 of these traps on the island and this is one of them below.


As I have explained, all traps are checked very often and below is Shane and Richard doing a round and notice that Shane has got a bird in the bag he is holding.  I wonder what it is? 


Wow!  A Sparrowhawk  These 3 photos below are mine and I was so disappointed with them as when I saw them, I had a smudge on my lens so they could have been much better, however the next 3 after mine are Stefan's photos and they are much better.  Enjoy.











So from something large to a small female Chaffinch below.  I could not get over when all the birds were in hand, just how small they were instead of what I had imagined.  I suppose I am usually looking though binoculars or telescopes and they appear larger then.


This is another type of trap below and was used to try and catch a Pied Wagtail.  A live maggots was threaded through a piece of wire and the trap set.  We never caught one however we did catch a Water Rail.  This was a wonderful experience to see one so close and it was so gentle, unlike the Gulls that would have launched their huge beak into you.  You will see the Gulls tomorrow.


As I told you, washing dishes did not let me see the Water Rail, but Stefan caught one in a trap he had set and he was delighted.  Everyone came to see this beautiful little bird.  Needless to say, I was  very thrilled.









Below is the spread out wings of the Water Rail and this is one of the way they can age a bird. 


After they had finished ringing and photos, Ron took the bird so that Stefan and I could photograph it as he released it onto the grass where it lived.  Below, is the shot that Stefan got and I decided to take a video of the event and I will leave you with that today.

 
If there is a black space below, click it and thevideo will appear.

 

Well I am sure some of you are wondering why I added this video into my post, well as it gives me a laugh every time I see/hear it, I hope someone else has a laugh from it also.  It is good to be able to laugh as oneself!!

Thank you for visiting today and tune in tomorrow to see the next installent!

22 comments:

  1. I was going to start commenting on one or two pictures,but all of them are splendid. I love the vast fields of flowers as well as the close-up of the birds.

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    1. Hi Ruth Very many thanks for your kind comments. I knew you would love the flowers. Everywhere you looked, there were more and more flowers. Of course we have to give credit to Stefan for his photos are fantastic. Hopoe you are enjoying your weekend. Margaret

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  2. each of these images became a favorite as i scrolled thru!!i have seen oystercatchers, i love their quick little runs and bright carrot noses!!

    the fields of flowers are lovely...what an action packed entry this is!!

    have a happy sunday!!

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    1. Hi Debbie So glad you enjoyed this post. There is more to come. I never thought when I went away for the weekend, that it would take so much work getting these posts out but I feel it has been worth it from the comments. Thanks for commenting. Margaret

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  3. Wonderful set of shot...beautiful

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    1. Hi Many thanks for your comment and I am glad you enjoyed the post. Margaret

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  4. Great story and photos and its good that you can laugh about the video, i enjoyed it.


    peter

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    1. Hi Peter Very many thanks for your comments and I am so glad you also got a laugh! Margaret

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  5. wow, just gorgeous birds - and again, so up-close-and-personal views!

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    1. Hi Tex Glad you enjoyed the post. It is such a priveledge to be that close to the birds. Many thanks for comments. Margaret

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  6. Wow, what an awesome trip! the birds are all wonderful. I love the Eider, Oystercatcher and the cool Rail! Wonderful photos!

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  7. HI Eileen Yes you are right. A wonderful trip and I am glad I could share it with my blogging frends. Thanks for kind comments. Margaret

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  8. What stunning amazing gorgeous photos, and an awesome trip. The beak,close up is wonderful, they are all great shots, I think I am gushing :-) cute video and I giggled.

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    1. Hi Lynn You enjoyed my post, I can tell! Very many thanks for your Kind comments adn I am so glad you giggled at my video. A girl after my own heart! Hope you had a great weekend. Margaret

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  9. Margaret, I am so enjoying this series of posts as it brought back memories of watching a Waxwing being ringed (a first for Surrey)where I worked some years ago. The island location is stunning and the close images of all the species are amazing. Lucky you.

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    1. Hi Frank I am so glad you are enjoying my post to Copeland. Yes I was very fortunate to have been there and in such glorious weather. Thank you for yuor comments. MMore to come. It has been a lot of work adn I haaven't even started processing my photos from Rathlin Island!!! Anyway, I will get then eventually. Hope you had a great weekend. Margaret

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  10. You really did have an excellent weekend Margaret, lots of fantastic birds, beautiful wild flowers, (Wow! what about that stunning show of Bluebells!...amazing!)great company and to top it all off some superb weather!!
    Love that little room with the BIIIIG view, we could all do with one of those!
    And you got some excellent photographs along the way.
    An excellent series of posts...[;o)

    btw. I reckon your picture of a Garden Tiger Moth is actually a Small Copper Butterfly!

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  11. Hi Trevor Many thanks for your fantastic comments and I am so glad you are enjoying these posts (I think 2 more to go, this is turning into a job!!!) Thanks for identifying the butterfly for me, I am not good on those but that is what I was told it was! Will corect that now on my blog. Margaret

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  12. Brilliant taking of Copeland birds, the one that blows my mind is the Water Rail, superb shooting.

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  13. Hi Bob Many thanks for your generous comments. I am glad you enjoyed the posts. Margaret

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  14. What a wonderful place and the photos are excellent!

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  15. Hi Mary Thanks for visiting. Yes, it is a wonderful palce. Margaret

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