Monday 30 June 2014

Bird Group arrive on Copeland Island for the day in May

It was a lovely day for the 20 people I had organised to visit the Copeland Island for the day and no one was sick on the journey over.  They  were escorted over by Ron and Brenda who would be telling them about the history of the island and after lunch, then taking them on a tour of it.  So let me take you with us to see some of the things they saw.  Firstly I will start with a video.  

It can be accessed at

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

Well they are safely arrived apart from Jimmy who forgot to come!  These are some shots of the group gingerly making their way up to the house.  Wesley and I had gone down to great them.

This is Wesley on the right welcoming the group to the island.

It is quite a climb up to the house as it is on top of the island but we all took our time seeing different aspects of nature on the way up.

It was just about lunchtime when we arrived at the house and everyone decided to have lunch before the tour.

This is the group with Ron telling them about the history of the island and these next 4 shots are of photographs that he showed the them from the 1950's.  

When we were standing listening to Ron, both the Peregrines were squawking away in the distance and we also heard a Cuckoo several times.  There had not been a Cuckoo on the island for several years. 

There were a lot of Ladybirds on the plants and the group were thrilled so see swaths of Pink Campion in all directions.  You can just see one of the bird
traps in the distance in this shot.

Going round the island enabled them to see all the nesting gulls and in this shot, it is a Herring Gull, but they also saw Black headed, Common, Lesser Black backed and 4 Great Black backed Gulls sitting on the rocks

We were thrilled to see our first Eider ducks with their ducklings.  Many of the Eiders were still sitting on their eggs.

Of course all the gulls rose when we were remotely near their area.

We found this Peacock Butterfly on a wall as well as seeing a few Green veined butterflies.

Everyone always loves the bunnies that are everywhere and we are glad of them as they eat the grass which means a bit less mowing on some of the paths.

We saw numerous Wheatear but I will show you more on 
Wednesday of this week.

Lesser Black backed Gull

Herring Gull

Pheasant walking among the Bluebells and Bladder Campion.

These were so far away that the shots of these Peregrines look like silhouettes.

When we were standing on top of a cliff and looking over to Mew Island, 4 Puffins flew into the sound (bit of water between the 2 islands).  These were the first Puffins to arrive near the island so we were all thrilled.

Then we heard and saw the Cuckoo albeit quite a distance away and I have added the 2 shots that we saw the other day that Ian Enlander gave me to use (at the end of this post) so that the group when they look at this post, will see the Cuckoo better.

We returned to the house, Wesley had been busy ringing in our absence so he divided the group into 2 and took them into the Laboratory to explain why ringing was important in research, how ringers were trained and then showed them a bird being ringed.  The group were fascinated.

We have this board in the Laboratory and all the sites for the mist nets etc are on the board and when a net is erected, the relevant marker is put on the board at that position.

These bags are all colour coded now and names with the different sites on them with the length of netting inside them.  Not all nets are the same length, depends on their position on the island.  The 2 poles for each net are kept at the sites.

This is a Sedge Warbler that Wesley was showing the group and having ringed it, we often take it outside for a photo before release.

The other group saw a Spotted Flycatcher being ringed.

As I said, I have added these in as some of you may not have seen them in last week’s post but mainly for the groups benefit.  Thanks Ian again.

It was all too short a visit however everyone enjoyed the experience and I know of at least 3 people who have joined the Copeland Bird Observatory because of being here and next year hope to come out for a weekend.

Tomorrow, I will continue with showing you the birds I saw after they left.

Thank you for visiting and also for leaving comments on any of my posts.

Sunday 29 June 2014

Sunday Thought

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Once an egg, 
then a Caterpillar,
 turning into a Chrysalis,
 and finally breaking out as a beautiful 
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

Photographed at Mount Stewart Gardens

3 September 2013

Thank you for visiting.

Many thanks for leaving comments on any of my posts.

Saturday 28 June 2014

SATURDAY'S CRITTERS - Copeland Island in May

I am continuing my posts on Copeland Island (look at last 2 posts to get filled in) from May time and I was up, out and about with Wesley from 6.30am checking the unfurled nets and traps one Saturday morning in May this year on the Copeland Islands.  These are the photographs as I took then.   There was a lot of birds singing. Many Wrens live and breed on the island and this Chaffinch I caught singing although the light still wasn't too good.

I am linking this post with Eileen's SATURDAYS CRITTERS


Lesser Black backed Gull

Herring Gull


Spotted Flycatcher

A few shots that escaped Tex’s Good Fences meme!

This is on my way down the cliff to visit the “loo with the view”

Here I am on the “loo”.  Now how about that for a view!

Imagine bird watching from a “loo”.

Black Guillemots nest on the island in burrows.

Fulmar also nest on the island.

Beauty all around me.  I love it.

Seals and Eiders resting on Mew Island(island opposite)



These birds nest on the island and in June when I was there, I saw, photographed and got a little video of one of the chicks.   I had never seen one of their chicks before, so I was quite excited.  So that is something for you to look forward to. 



These were the only “white” Bluebells on the whole island.

There are 4 gulls nest on the island.  This is the Herring Gull.

You have to be very careful where you put your feet. Eggs everywhere.  All the gulls have eggs now and they nest down mainly near the coastline on the island.

Fulmar nest high on the cliff faces.

Eider also nest on the island and are very well camouflaged.

Black headed Gull and eggs.

Lesser Black backed Gull. 
All the gulls nesting in May successfully breed and had chicks.  When I was there in June and after I finish these posts of May, you are in for a treat to see the chicks running around.

Herring Gull nest and eggs below.

Common Gulls and eggs

Eider on her nest.

I hope you enjoyed joining me so early and seeing all the birds I came across.  I am off for breakfast now and to get to ready for the 20 people who I have organised to come to the island for the day.  On Monday, on my post, I will meet the group at the jetty as they join us for a wonderful sunny day.  So until then, have a great weekend and thanks for visiting.

Many thanks for all you leave comments on any of my posts