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.


  1. a very special location and very special wildlife too; you captured the real essence of your journey there Margaret. I like how you all contributed to the cleanup too; not all that hard with the right equipment and makes such a difference...

  2. Looks like a great place to spend some time - the clean up is so hard, when it all comes back next week! I have cleaned the same stretch of the Yarra a number of times over the years!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  3. A wonderful tour of a wonderful place. And thank you for being part of the clean up.

  4. Carole, what a wonderful place to visit and bird. The Guillemots are my favorite with their cute bright orange /red feet. THanks for taking me along, I enjoyed the visit. Have a happy week!

  5. What a gorgeous place. And you know, it says a lot about you that upon seeing a dark, narrow, isolated cave, you immediately wander in as far as you can go, haha! I am not a fan of caves myself so you're braver than I!

    I love those Fulmars, I think I saw them when I was down in Beachy Head, near Eastbourne a few years ago.

    Great that you and so many others are active in clean-up efforts - thank you!

  6. Super place to see birds and other wildlife!

  7. The last parting shot is gorgeous! I know you will miss your little island friends. You really took some amazing photos. I enjoyed them so much. And also the page from the ringing book--that was cool to capture the same bird so many times.

  8. Those black guillemots are lovely. They almost look as if they have a heart on their sides. Also loved the fulmars. I believe we saw a rookery of these when we were in Hawaii. Love the wildness of the nesting places. The seals are amazing.... and am looking forward to a trip that we are leaving on this very week where i am hoping to photograph some of these up close. What a wonderful island to visit. Isn't all of Gods diversity simply amazing. What creativity! Unimaginable. So glad you are experiencing all of these amazing places.

  9. What a wonderful time you all must have had on that island. And it was great to participate in the clean-up... We try to keep things picked up around here when we hike.. People are SO SO SO careless....

    Love the Black Guillemots and those sweet little Fulmars are adorable... Thanks for sharing your experience from this marvelous island.


  10. love the cliffs and neat cave! the birds, too, of course. love your little ducky mascot!

  11. A beautiful journey you had on Copeland island. The best on the island is Black Guillemot, it is wonderful and there was an old Hastings, ha ha.

  12. Beautiful looking birds, and many interesting pictures to see! It's so great that the children were willing to pick up trash too!

  13. I love the guillemots feet, and the sad big eyes of the seal. The thought of you in that tight space is really scary; I would not have been as brave.

  14. I would NOT have walked into that narrow place. Great shots of all the birds and scenery.

  15. You're very brave going into that narrow crevice.

    Beautiful birds Margaret.

    I'm trying to catch up on your posts after you left me a comment last week while I was out birding most days along with a national birding convention being held in our city. Hope your week ahead is a good one. Thanks for stopping by to leave me a comment.

  16. it looks a great place Margaret and now much cleaner with your efforts and what a cute little duck.


  17. What fun you must have had visiting and taking all these beautiful photos! Lovely Margaret!!!

  18. I would say that you had a wonderful and successful visit to Copeland Island. I think it is especially marvelous that your stay ended with the cleanup.

  19. This is such a beautiful place to visit and I really loved seeing the birds. Your shots are awesome!

  20. Such a lovely place - your photos are wonderful. So nice to hear about the large turnout for the clean up.

  21. Your pics were such a treat! I enjoyed them immensely. Thanks so much fos sharing:)