Monday, 5 May 2014

BIrds at Mount Stewart Gardens and Lake

These photographs are taken of the birds on the Mount Stewart Estate in March and April of this year.  It was noticeably that there were more visibly birds on the lake in March whereas in April some had disappeared, probably to another area to breed and others had in fact started breeding and were sitting on their eggs.  This Mute Swan below was one of the signets that bred last year but they were not around when I returned in April. So the first 11 shots are taken in March followed by the April photographs.

  Tufted Duck

Four Mallard ducks coming towards me.

There were 2 your year old Swans still with their parents.


Great Tit – not the best side of him perhaps!

Now the rest of the shots were taken in April.  
The Gulls on the lake were all Lesser Black backed Gulls.

Little Grebe – in fact there were several of them.



Tufted Ducks

Now for the exciting news and views.  This Mute Swan was sitting on her nest only feet away from me.  She had 7 eggs although at this point I had not seen them.

She was either dosing or moving her nesting material closer around her.

This is the male Swan and you will see him on the video at the end of this post of it moving the reed material around in the water and then going into the middle of the lake to have a bath returning back to the bank near the female to preen.

On that day, the first time I saw the swan on her nest she never got up off the eggs so after I had photographed the rest of the garden, I returned to stay to see if I could get a shots of the eggs should she raise herself up.

I had been there for about 40 mintues when she stared to raise herself up and I decided to record the event of seeing the eggs on video (I thought).  I was so excited when I pressed the button that I did not notice is was on the setting for still photography and when I pressed it again to when I thought I was stopping the video after I had seen the eggs momentaryily, I realised my terrible mistake.  It was not on the video setting!!! I was so disappointed.

This is the male returning after his bath.

So unfortunately this is the shot I got when I thought I was stopping the video!!!  I am putting this shot into my post as a reminder (to ME) to be more careful with my settings especially when I get excited!!

You can access the short video at

if there is a black space below, click it and the video will appear.

Thanks for visiting.  If you were as disappointed to see the eggs as I was, then CLICK HERE.  On the Mount Stewart web site, Trevor Moffet managed to capture a shot  of the 7 eggs.

Many thanks for leaving comments on any of my posts.


  1. Such a treat. For you, and for us. Thank you.

  2. Hello Margaret! wonderful shots of the swans.. And I love the row of ducks.. The Tufted Duck is one of my favorites. Great post, have a happy day!

  3. The young Mutes get driven off by their parents at that time Margaret.
    I usually find unattached Mutes out on the wide fenland rivers in various groups. A bit like life really going out into the World ploughing their own furrow.

  4. Lovely shot of the tufted duck - a duck I would LOVE to see in person. Neat series of photos about the swans too.

  5. They're all beautiful, but there's something so special about swans!

  6. loved the 4 mallards shot! :)

  7. It is always special to see swans.

  8. such beautiful water fowl. i just recently found and photographed a swan on her nest. now i am keeping an eye out for little ones!!

  9. We have the Mute Swan on our lake but they nest back in the reeds where you can't see them so this was a wonderful treat for me, as it was for you, I am sure. They are magnificent birds to watch ... Your other pictures were also lovely and I especially enjoyed the back side of your Great Tit ... after all it is rare that we get to see that view, right? Wonderful post and video, Margaret. You are a very talented photographer ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  10. I'm so sorry you missed the eggs on video due to a technical error. I get excited like that too when I see something special and tend to forget everything I'm supposed to do. I have gotten better, but sometimes still screw up. Enjoyed your still photos AND the video.

  11. I like those mallards all in a row. And your wonderful shots of the nesting female swan. She is graceful even when nesting!

  12. I love all the birds, but I agree with the others: the swans are really special. I believe we have two nesting pairs in the lake close to where we live and I hope we'll get to see cygnets later on.

  13. Lovely swan shots! How nice to be able to see them. I liked all the other birds as well. Thanks for all your visit to my blog!

  14. Wonderful shots! Especially the swans ... I love them!

  15. Fantastic! I especially love the photo with the four ducks paddling towards you.