Thursday, 24 April 2014

Birds found on Copeland Island on Saturday PART 1

If you saw yesterday’s post about the Manx Shearwater, you will know that I did not get to bed to nearly midnight and I wanted to be up to join some of the other birders that were going to ring any birds that were trapped.   So 6.30am came much too early!!  Two Heligoland traps were set and the other mist nets were unfurled.  I will be posting later in the day and showing you a Heligoland trap in Tex’s “Good Fences”.  I had so many photographs that I had to make this part 1 and even then, you really need to sit down with a cuppa and just enjoy the island with me as I walk around it.  (Part 2 tomorrow)

 I tried to get the light in the lighthouse in the shot and finally I did although the shot will not win any prizes!

 The nets and traps are checked every 5-10 minutes and it was not long before we had caught and ringed this female Blackcap.

Lots of Wren were singing and hiding although one was caught and ringed.

 As I wandered round I took photographs and these are 2 Herring Gulls and below is a Great Black backed gull.  We don’t see as many of these on this island.

Then I came upon this Willow Warbler and a Robin in a mist net and Ian, the Duty Officer, disentangled it, put them in separate bags and we headed quickly to the ringing laboratory.

This is the Willow Warbler just before release and below is the Robin.

During Saturday there were 13 birds ringed.

This shot is taken though the kitchen window.  The routine is, that we leave all our dirty dishes on one side and then we use rainwater which we boil to wash them.  When I called into the house for coffee I could see a MOUNTAIN of dishes so I decided to get stuck in to make the mountain disappear!!!

While washing the dishes, I noticed the Pheasant and 2 Mallard down by the little pond.  I was ever hopeful that the Water Rail would put in an appearance but sadly it was only heard but not seen that weekend.

This area is quite swampy and I had hoped the Moorhen would be there but alas, no one saw it all weekend!

There were some Bluebells blooming however most of them still had to come out and I am hoping that when I am bringing a group over one day next month, they will still be there and in full bloom.

 Then back to see the Black Guillemots.  At one time I counted over 70 together so we thought there were probably round about 100 around the island.  They should start nesting in May.

I found more Fulmar nesting in a different part of the island and this Saturday I have decided I will give you some information and show you photos of them when I join up with Eileen’s Saturday Critters.

Pied Wagtail

Mew Island Lighthouse

 When I was photographing the Black Guillemots, I heard this Pheasant below pass behind me.

 As I looked along the coast I could see one of our jetty’s practically under water!  Can you see it?  The island is the distance is Big Copeland.  

I'm sure if you have been following my posts for some time and have seen this island, not only this time but the numerous posts I did last year on it, that it will be no surprise that is has been designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and also designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA)  There are several reasons including the presence of a significant colony of breeding Manx Shearwater which I showed you yesterday. 

Loved seeing the Narcissi and the start of the Bluebells blooming.

Now do you see the jetty?

Well here is a closer view of the jetty.  Do you see the seal?

Here he is keeping an eye on me.

As I pass this clump of Narcissi, I will finish my post for today so thank you for visiting and until tomorrow when we will continue to walk around the island finding things to photograph, I will leave you with a video.

It can be access at

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

Please note when you heard me say I a looking at Eider in the video, I am NOT!!  Senior moment!! They are of course, Black Guillemot.

I hope you will join me tomorrow as we continue 
our walk around the Copeland island.

Many thanks for commenting on any of my post.  
I appreciate every single one.


  1. A beautiful place with wonderful birds. The seal is adorable.

    1. HI Gunilla Glad you liked it and thanks for comment.

  2. Magic. And I will definitely be back tomorrow. Thank you.

    1. HI EC Glad you enjoyed it, Now have a rest before coming back tomorrow! Thanks for comment.

  3. Looks as if you had a good time annoying the little birds. Poor things.

    1. HI Adrian I did NOT annoy any birds and the trained ringers are very experienced people who do a wonderful job in ringing so that more research can be known about the birds. I hope you have a good weekend, I may be off to my old caravan again.

  4. A beautiful tour- thank you for sharing!

    1. HI Terri I hope you will join me tomorrow as we wander round this wonderful island. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your comment.

  5. What a beautiful island to visit and love your shots. looks like so much beauty and wildness here. I loved that seal watching you too. This looks as if it is a place well worth a short night sleep, and will look forward to more of your shots!

  6. Love the lighthouse!!!
    And the purple fingernail polish!

    But most of all, the birds are fantastic.

  7. beautiful birds throughout. the pheasant was a nice surprise! and so was that adorable seal!

  8. That pied wagtail is so pretty and your shot is fabulous!!! The seal is pretty icing on the cake. What a fantastic day for birding.

  9. Lovely landscapes and birds that make you want to come visit you renre ;-)
    Céline & Philippe

  10. Looking at this takes me back to that special place where I grew up. WONDERFUL NORTHERN IRELAND SCENERY FLORA AND FAUNA.