Monday, 30 June 2014

Bird Group arrive on Copeland Island for the day in May

It was a lovely day for the 20 people I had organised to visit the Copeland Island for the day and no one was sick on the journey over.  They  were escorted over by Ron and Brenda who would be telling them about the history of the island and after lunch, then taking them on a tour of it.  So let me take you with us to see some of the things they saw.  Firstly I will start with a video.  

It can be accessed at

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

Well they are safely arrived apart from Jimmy who forgot to come!  These are some shots of the group gingerly making their way up to the house.  Wesley and I had gone down to great them.

This is Wesley on the right welcoming the group to the island.

It is quite a climb up to the house as it is on top of the island but we all took our time seeing different aspects of nature on the way up.

It was just about lunchtime when we arrived at the house and everyone decided to have lunch before the tour.

This is the group with Ron telling them about the history of the island and these next 4 shots are of photographs that he showed the them from the 1950's.  

When we were standing listening to Ron, both the Peregrines were squawking away in the distance and we also heard a Cuckoo several times.  There had not been a Cuckoo on the island for several years. 

There were a lot of Ladybirds on the plants and the group were thrilled so see swaths of Pink Campion in all directions.  You can just see one of the bird
traps in the distance in this shot.

Going round the island enabled them to see all the nesting gulls and in this shot, it is a Herring Gull, but they also saw Black headed, Common, Lesser Black backed and 4 Great Black backed Gulls sitting on the rocks

We were thrilled to see our first Eider ducks with their ducklings.  Many of the Eiders were still sitting on their eggs.

Of course all the gulls rose when we were remotely near their area.

We found this Peacock Butterfly on a wall as well as seeing a few Green veined butterflies.

Everyone always loves the bunnies that are everywhere and we are glad of them as they eat the grass which means a bit less mowing on some of the paths.

We saw numerous Wheatear but I will show you more on 
Wednesday of this week.

Lesser Black backed Gull

Herring Gull

Pheasant walking among the Bluebells and Bladder Campion.

These were so far away that the shots of these Peregrines look like silhouettes.

When we were standing on top of a cliff and looking over to Mew Island, 4 Puffins flew into the sound (bit of water between the 2 islands).  These were the first Puffins to arrive near the island so we were all thrilled.

Then we heard and saw the Cuckoo albeit quite a distance away and I have added the 2 shots that we saw the other day that Ian Enlander gave me to use (at the end of this post) so that the group when they look at this post, will see the Cuckoo better.

We returned to the house, Wesley had been busy ringing in our absence so he divided the group into 2 and took them into the Laboratory to explain why ringing was important in research, how ringers were trained and then showed them a bird being ringed.  The group were fascinated.

We have this board in the Laboratory and all the sites for the mist nets etc are on the board and when a net is erected, the relevant marker is put on the board at that position.

These bags are all colour coded now and names with the different sites on them with the length of netting inside them.  Not all nets are the same length, depends on their position on the island.  The 2 poles for each net are kept at the sites.

This is a Sedge Warbler that Wesley was showing the group and having ringed it, we often take it outside for a photo before release.

The other group saw a Spotted Flycatcher being ringed.

As I said, I have added these in as some of you may not have seen them in last week’s post but mainly for the groups benefit.  Thanks Ian again.

It was all too short a visit however everyone enjoyed the experience and I know of at least 3 people who have joined the Copeland Bird Observatory because of being here and next year hope to come out for a weekend.

Tomorrow, I will continue with showing you the birds I saw after they left.

Thank you for visiting and also for leaving comments on any of my posts.


  1. I suspect that Jimmy spent the time kicking himself. Hard.
    What a wonderful day.
    Thank you.

  2. such an interesting destination Margaret; I really enjoyed this post, so much to enjoy out there.

  3. This looks a wonderful party. I hope the birds enjoyed it.

  4. Quite a variety of birds spotted. How could anyone forget about the trip!

  5. the cuckoo is amazing. love the eiders and puffins.

    yes, i'll link you in thursday if you can get a post in. :)

  6. The pink champion fields are beautiful! I don't think we have any here. The five spotted ladybug shot is really good, they are so tiny. You had a rally good sized group.

  7. Margaret, what a great outing and tour! The birds, flowers and butterfly are all wonderful. The puffins are my favorite. Thanks for sharing your day! Have a happy week!

  8. It looks as if the group had a great visit to the island. I enjoyed your photos.

  9. Hi There, We are home from a trip to the gorgeous West VA mountains –where we celebrated our anniversary… I’ll be blogging about this time for awhile –since it was so special.

    Looks like a great trip to Copeland Island. Looks like a gorgeous place --and I'm sure you especially loved seeing all of the birds.



  10. Beautiful butterflies and BUNNY! How nice to have a group to explore with.

  11. Another fabulous outing! You see so many interesting and beautiful birds, not to mention the wonderful scenery! Thanks for sharing this trip with us!