Thursday, 17 April 2014

Birds and animals at the Oxford Island Discovery Centre

The Oxford Island Discovery Centre is at Lough Neagh, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland.  It is the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles and covers 160 square miles.  Six major rivers flow into the Lough while only one, the Lower Bann, flows out. Due to its international importance for wildfowl the Lough is designated as a Ramsar site, Special Protection Area and Area of Special Scientific Interest.  CLICK HERE for their web site.

I took my bird group there recently to walk around this wonderful place and through my photographs I hope you will enjoy seeing what we found.

Mr Robin waiting for us where we parked our cars.

This is the path through a wooded area where we saw, Great, Blue and Coal Tit, Dunnock, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Wren and of course the Robin sang and followed us down to the Hide.  This bunny was trying very hard to hide from us.

We arrived at the hide, had our ‘elevenies’ and looked at the birds on the Lough.  There were quite a number of Great Crested Grebes displaying (see video at end of post) some Coot, Mallard, Little Grebe, a few Swan, a Heron flew over and Pochard.  Every year we come there are less and less birds here which is worrying.


There are a variety of different habitats including reed beds, Woodland and scrub, ponds, grassland and wet and hay meadows.

Great crested Grebes displaying.

This is the Oxford Island Discovery Centre where we had a hearty lunch with wonderful views over the Lough.  This duck, that was obviously a large Mallard but I think the other parent might have been the Mascovy duck which we found round at the Marina.  Tomorrow I will be posting about it and 2 very friendly Swans we found there.  Just TOOO much to fit it all in this post!!

Reed Bunting

Gadwell at the Croaghan Hide

 From the Croaghan hide you can see the building they erected last year for the Swifts to nest in.  No Swifts nested last year however there were white dropping from some of the nest holes so hopefully they will return and nest this year.

 Friendly Robin.  I had brought some bird seed with me so some of the Tits were brave enough to take it out of my hand.  This Robin was not!

Celindine growing half way up a tree trunk.

Violets and Celindine

 I found this tree and from a distance none of us could make out what was on the tree. On closer inspection, we found little people and other things all made of plastic bottle tops, yogurt cartons, in fact anything colourful we normally throw away.  Very creative.

 Mistle thrush

Uprooted tree.  I like this sort of shot, not that the tree was uprooted!

I hope you enjoyed walking around Oxford Island with the bird group.  We all certainly enjoyed our day out.  Please look in tomorrow when I will finish my post regarding Oxford Island.  Also I made a separate post with all the fences I found so you may like to see that as well and I will post it later on today when Tex opens her meme Good Fences.

The video can be accessed at

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

Thank you for visiting.

Many thanks to all who left comments on any of my posts.


  1. What a glorious day - thanks for taking us along.

  2. your posts are always so full of magic and beauty, fun video...

  3. Looks like a great place to visit - one day perhaps.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Great post, Margaret! A lovely variety of birds and I like the tree art.. Have a happy day!

  5. I love your photos of the romin. So cute!!

  6. Perhaps it would be more likely that Sand Martins use those nesting holes Margaret, but I think they are a bit close to the hide though.

  7. Lovely blog, the shots of the Pochards are superb, thanks Margaret.

  8. Beautiful walk-- really enjoyed the grebes' display!

  9. What a great reserve Margaret - I so enjoyed sharing the walk with you. Great photos too :)

  10. All lovely shots Margaret and looks like such an interesting place to go to. Love those great crested grebes. I just saw my first grebe recently, but a different variety. Lovely foot to visit

  11. always love your robins, but the pochards are so handsome.

  12. I think I've said this before, but the robins you have are so much cuter than our American robins. Wish they'd find a way to migrate and stay here. Beautiful photos, all. In addition to the robin I really love the flowers growing on the tree trunk and the reed beds. A great birding area!