Wednesday 30 April 2014

Silvereye - Zosterops lateralis

Silvereye - Zosterops lateralis - 11–13 cm.  I only managed to get 1 shot of this bird.

The many races occupy diverse habitats: eucalypti woodland, forest, coastal heath, mallee, mangroves and many other vegetation types; also can be found in gardens, orchards and vineyards. Foraging Silvereyes are lively, busily active little birds, constantly on the move; they depart to the next patch of shrubbery with brisk, bouncy flight and much calling. All races are gregarious: after breeding they gather into small parties and then into large flocks, these foraging through foliage of trees and undergrowth. 

Major migrations occur along Australia’s E coast. The southernmost populations seem to undertake the longest migrations to escape the approaching southern winter. 

Sep.–Jan. Builds a small, deep cup of fine grass and other plant matter bound with webs. In drier regions the nests are the pale golden buff of freshly-dried grass; in more humid coastal regions such as Tasmania, and elsewhere that such materials are available, the nest may be quite green with fine threads of moss. The nest is suspended by the rim from slender twigs, usually well hidden in the dense foliage of a shrub or a tree’s lower canopy. Usual clutch 2–4 eggs. Both parents share the nest building, incubation of eggs (10 days), and feeding of the young. 

I am linking this post with WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

Thank you for visiting.

Many thanks for comments left on any of my  posts.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Mount Stewart Gardens in March

I visited Mount Stewart House and Gardens in March and these are some of the photographs I took.  Over time, I will be showing you how the restoration of the house is being undertaken.  I also visited the garden again the other day, so again later you will be able to see the difference in the growth of the garden from March to April.  There are quite a number of photographs so perhaps, grab a cuppa, put it into slide mode and just enjoy walking round the garden with me.

Lindera obtusiloba above and Pachyphragma macrophyllum below.

Cyclemen -  Lovely to see these in woody areas.

Corylopsis pauciflora 

Emerging shoot belongs to Gunnera manicata and I saw the same plant the other day and it stands at about 4 feet now!

This is part of the formal garden.  The other side is designed the same.

I loved the way the stakes which are made of bamboo and willow are used to support the emerging shots and plants and these are Paeony peeping through.

This is a wonderful Camellia gracing part of the house.

Chrysosplenium macrophyllum  

Prunus ‘Kursar’ found near the Lake.

Rhododendron Cilipense

Clianthus puniceus (Lobster claw  or Parrot's Bill)

Phormium – a bronze variety


This white Stag overlooks some of the wonderful Rhododendrons below.


This is part of the Mairi Garden

The Mairi Garden commemorates the success of the Women’s Legion of which Edith was the Colonel-in-Chief and the arrival of a late child, Lady Mairi, whose elf-like countenance clinched the status of Mount Stewart in Lady Londonderry’s eyes as 'The Land of Heart’s Desire'.

Although in March there are not many plants blooming the colour scheme for this garden is blue and white which makes it a very peaceful and relaxing area.

I hope you enjoyed your walk around this beautiful garden with me.

Thank you for visiting.

Many thanks for leaving comments on any of my posts

Monday 28 April 2014

Last day on Copeland Island

I have come to the end of my stay on Copeland Island and although it was a lovely sunny day, the wind was whipping up and as the day progressed the sea got rougher.  I decided to walk around the island to say goodbye to some of the birds and animals I had seen.  Please join me as I say my farewells, until next time. 

Of course I had to see how the Fulmars was doing and they were at times flying about and then back to their nesting sites.

I was told there was a cave on the island so I decided to investigate and found it.  It was only the width of me but I went in to see how far I could get.  I have to confess, when my sides were tight to the sides of the cave, I started to wonder if the tide came in how would I get out!  Anyway, it did not go very far and when it was only 2 foot high, I was not able to go any further.

This shot was taking looking out to the sea.

This is as far as I got and I am told there is not much more further on.

It was lovely to watch the behaviour of them.  They often would be quite vocal and touch each other’s beaks and then nearly both at the same time would suddenly put their heads into their necks for a rest but only for  maybe 2-5 minutes and they would start all over again.

Then down to the water’s edge to see the many Black Guillemots that were mostly in the water.

Some decided to sit on the seaweed.

A few more were sitting at one of the jetty’s.

There were still a lot of seals either in the water or on the rocks over on Mew Island but this fellow was lying on the seaweed keeping an eye on me.

I made my way up to the house again as I had to pack and clean up (more dishes) and have some lunch.  I  passed this bunny.

Ian was completing the records of the birds that that been ringed or re - caught over the weekend. He was showing my some past records as many birds are often re -trapped.  This is a page from the record book.

I hope you can see this, I have cropped the shot so you can hopefully see line number 58.   The bird was first caught in February 1989 and again in April of that year.  If you look along that line you will see it again was caught several times in 1990, twice in 92, then not until 95 and last time was caught twice in 2004.

This is a view from my bedroom window.

After lunch 8 of us got geared up with rubber gloves to go as a team to clean up some of the rubbish that has landed on the shore.

The main thing collected that day were plastic bottles but we also found balls, bits of balloons, bottle tops, 4 large crates and many more items.

Bending down is Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. (Duty Officer that weekend)  

He said, "The BIG Spring Clean is such a brilliant way for the silent majority to get out and show the litter louts just how we want the place to be kept.  I'm proud to be part of this growing movement of people who care enough to do something positive about it."  More information can be found at

We had 2 children in the party and it was lovely to see that they were very keen to pick up the litter and were a great help.

I added this shot to show you a little more of the landscape of the island.

 My best litter find and in keeping with the ‘Clean Up’ was finding this little duck.  The Hastings hotels is a magnificent and largest group of hotels in Northern Ireland and I have been privileged to have met the owner, Sir Billy Hastings.  However his  son, Howard is supporting The Big Spring Clean in Northern Ireland.  This year, they are hoping that 100,000 people across the province will help make this our largest anti-litter campaign to date.

 Howard said after am amazing result last year, "Thank you to everyone for your fabulous response to the Big Spring Clean Campaign the volunteering efforts to clean up our public areas have demonstrated how much this message resonates with so many people.  

This effort is a tangible demonstration of how Northern Ireland is turning the corner in showing how we want to be viewed by both those who live here, and by our new visitors."

So we named the duck, “Hastings” and made him our mascot and now he sits in the little office at the front of the house where he can see out and watch all that is going on!  Now how could anyone throw him away!!

This is the last shot I took on the island as I looked over to Mew Island Lighthouse.  I knew we would have a rough ride home and certainly not a time to bring a camera out!

I will leave you with a short video which can be access at

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

I know it has taken me ages to complete all the posts from Copeland Island however I hope for those that followed everyday you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed being there.  

Thank you for visiting.

Many thanks for commenting on any of my blogs.