Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Copeland Island Visited in March

I was fortunate to be given a surprise opportunity to go over to the Copeland Bird Observatory Island early in March.  We were taking over AFBI scientists who were mapping the shoreline for possible oil spills in the future and how it would affect the island.  So this is a photographic journey, (please remember I took quite a few shots from a moving boat!) that I would like to take you on today and as there are a lot of photographs, it might be better if you grab a cuppa, and put it into slide mode.        CLICK HERE for web site of Observatory.

 I was pleased that it was lovely sunny day and we were leaving from the small town of Donaghadee which is 6 miles from my home.  This is the Donaghadee Lighthouse standing over a large harbour which nowadays has the Donaghadee Lifeboat and Phillip who was taking us over to the island in his boat is the skipper of the lifeboat.

Took this shot through this red handrail.

 These 3 shots below I took of the town as I looked back at it from the pier.  
In the last one you can see The Moat on the hill.

You can see the lifeboat in this shot and also the boat we were travelling on you can see through the red handrail.

These Gulls were waiting for a free ride but they were on the wrong boat!

Eider waving us good bye.

Cormorant fishing in the harbour.

Off we go.  That is Big Copeland Island you see on the left.

Black Guillemot nearly in breeding plumage.

The three, nearly awake scientists!

Big Copeland Island however our island is on the other side of it.

A group of Auks flying by.

This is our first glimpse of the Lighthouse Island and to our members, known as Bird Island.  This is the one we will be landing on and you can see on the top of it is our house.  It is the only house on the island.

This is the third island belonging to the Copeland Islands and is called Mew.




There are 2 landing stages on the island and it depends what the tides are doing, which one we land at.

 Waving good bye to Phillip.  He will come back sometime in the afternoon when the scientists have finished their work.

As I climb up a steep cliff I pause to see Phillip’s boat head back to the mainland.  It is a wonderful feeling be the only people on this island especially as the weather is so lovely.

 Pausing again for breath, I see one of the many ferries that head daily to mainland UK.

 Magpie nest

I spied one of the Magpies, later I saw the pair together.

At last the house was in sight and I was ready for a cup of coffee.

 This is the view of Mew Island from the left of the house and at the bottom of the shot you will see one of the traps.  There were Chaffinch, Dunnock and Wren seen nearby.

There are a lot of Rabbits on the island and they keep the grass cut down. 
This one just about got into this shot, no prizes for this photo then!

This is the little pond that overlooks the kitchen window so no hassle washing the dishes.  There are Water Rail around this area but I did not see one on this occasion.

This is a shot of the daffodils that are looking healthy but not in boom as yet and Norman, one of our members relaxing. 

I decided to walk down a cliff at another side of the island and found this sheltered spot where there were these daffodils blooming.

Further down the cliff I spotted a 
Lesser Black backed Gull and a female Pheasant.

This side of the island is overlooking Mew and so I was able to get a few more shots of the seals that breed there.

Part of Mew Island with its Lighthouse.

Still moving down, I spotted our ‘Loo with a view’ and it is a flush toilet.

 Well here you are, me sitting on the loo photographing the view and even caught a bird in the shot!

 This is one of the hides on the island.

Still more seals basking near the end of Mew.  There are a lot of Lesser Black backed Gulls, Common Gulls, Common and Arctic breed on these islands in the summer.

Shelduck sleeping on Mew.  

I had never been on Mew Island myself, and little did I know that in the afternoon I would be given that opportunity as the scientists wanted to map that island's shoreline as well.  However, that trip and story will have to wait for another post later on.  So I hope no one was sea sick and you enjoyed coming with me to this beautiful island.  This weekend I will be going back again and hopefully I will be greeted by the daffodils blooming.

Thank you for visiting.

Many thanks for those who have left comment on any of my posts.


  1. These are really great. Those landscapes are wonderful. Would love to take my camera and explore them myself. I especially like images 24 and 38, since I love lighthouses. They are really good!!

    Mersad Donko Photography

    1. HI Mersad Glad you liked this post and the lighthouse. I think I will be posting the article and shots of visiting Mew Island on this coming Friday, so you will be interested in seeing that lighthouse Many thanks for often visits to my blog and your comments

  2. Looks like a Wonderful place!!

  3. really neat adventure. i love the lighthouses and the views.

  4. Hello Margaret, what wonderful photos. I love that tall shot of the oystercatchers with all those colors in the landscape and how the seals could be mistaken for large rocks if one doesn't look carefully, can't they. I thoroughly enjoyed this photo trip with you.

  5. Hi Margaret!
    Thank you so you can explore the beautiful birds.
    It is a great happiness to see seals and blooming daffodils ..
    I marvel at all your wonderful photo.
    I dream to one day go on a cruise and be able to watch the birds.

  6. Oh I love the lighthouse images and the seals!! What a fun experience, Margaret! Magpies are also a personal fave of mine, but I don't think we have them here in Louisiana.

  7. I love the Oyster Catchers and their red bills. Actually my favorite pictures here have no birds in them!! Picture #6 and the one through the handrail, I love those the best.

  8. You are so lucky to have gone on this marvelous birding adventure!

  9. You had the opportunity to see birds I've never seen before! WOW! And the lighthouse is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos! My favorite...the one from the loo of course! heehee!

  10. I really love the images of the light house in the harbor and of the town.

  11. Fascinating journey and being on the water didn't bother me at all.If I had been there in person it might have been a different story.