Copeland Artwork

Below is some wonderful artwork entitled “To be Continued” by Adele Pound that was completed on CBO this year as part of several visits by local Artists. The visits were thoroughly enjoyed by both the artists and the Observatory and some wonderful pieces were created and exhibited at a wonderful showcase earlier in the year. The full piece below can be viewed by clicking on the arrows at the bottom.


To be Continued compressed

Ringing Trip to Mew

A CBO ringing team visited Mew Island on 14th May to ring Eider ducks. 51 birds were handled of which 23 were new birds and 28 were retraps (birds which were ringed previously, and have been recaptured to read the ring number). Of the retraps, 4 birds were ringed in 2008, 7 in 2009, and 8 in 2010. This long-term CBO project is showing encouraging retrap results which will feed back into the BTO database and provide important longevity information on the life of these marvellous Copeland birds.


Remember, you can help support the work of CBO by joining today. It’s easy by Direct Debit – just check out our website.


The team were fortunate to visit on a beautiful spring day. On the way out, passing Lighthouse Island (home-base of CBO) 24 Puffin were spotted in the water below the sound-system/decoys.

c d b a o n m l k j i h g f e

Late spring day trip: Saturday 30th May

This is the final day-trip opportunity to experience the island in its full spring glory.

The trip departs from the pier-side at Donaghadee at 10.30 am.

The trip includes an island tour, a look at some of the habitat and bird-ringing activities carried out by the observatory, and some free time to wander, bird-watch, or just loaf around! There is a good chance of seeing Manx Shearwater, Arctic Tern, Black Guillemot and Puffin (there were up to 40 present last week-end). Check out our Facebook page for images of recent trips.

The return boat will leave the island at 4.30 pm with docking at Donaghadee around 5 pm.

Visitors will need to bring a packed lunch, suitable waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear.

Price is £15 adults, £10 under 18s.

For more details contact:

Wesley Smyth


CBO Spring weekends and other plans

Now that the new CBO season is upon us, why not consider a weekend visit?

Spaces are still available on the following spring weekends:

  • w/e commencing Friday 08 May
  • w/e commencing Friday 15 May
  • w/e commencing Friday 22 May

The trip commencing on 15 May includes a week visit (to 22 May) as well as the standard weekend visit.  This will be primarily for habitat management and volunteers for either the full week or Sunday (17th) to Friday (22nd) would be particularly welcome to allow this valuable work to proceed.

Whilst the day trips planned for 16 and 23 May are both now fully booked, we are holding a list of those still interested in going on either day and already we have sufficient interest to arrange a second boat for 23rd, on which there are now only 6 spaces left.  So if you want to go you will need to be quick!  Day trips are only £15 for adults, £10 for under 16’s.

We also hope to have a work day on 09 May for delivery of the materials required for the roof project.  Willing (and physically able) volunteers are sought for this important work, which is likely to take the whole day, but it should be possible to help for parts of this.  The roof project itself is planned to commence on 07 June.  The observatory will close then to normal visiting until this project is completed (hoped to be around 2 weeks), but a small number of physically able and willing volunteers are required to assist with this work.  If you think you can help for any of this time, then do please get in touch.  We will probably be able to arrange boat transport to/from the observatory to suit the availability of volunteers, but all visits are likely to include at least two overnights.

You can find details of our accommodation by exploring this website or check out the following link for panoramic views of the island and buildings

Visit fees are:
Adult overnight visit fee (any number of consecutive nights)  £30
Under 18s overnight visit fee (any number of consecutive nights)*  £20

Note: Junior members must be accompanied by a responsible designated adult.

This includes use of all of the facilities that we have available and the boat journey to/from the island.  This compares very favourably with other UK bird observatories and so far as we are aware, CBO is still by far the cheapest (off shore) bird observatory to visit anywhere in the UK.

Please remember that you must be a full member to visit, so if you haven’t renewed, our membership fees are detailed on our Join CBO page.

For more details contact the Bookings Secretary at

As always, you can see all the latest news and pics either on our website, or do visit our Facebook page.

Day Trips 2015 – Update

Following the recent advertising of day trips to the observatory on 16 and 23 May, we can now advise that the trip on 23 May is fully booked. The 16th May trip still has a very few places, so if you want to book, please do so as soon as possible.

We would still encourage anyone who is interested in either day to contact the Bookings Secretary (>) to register their interest.

If there is sufficient demand, we will be delighted to run a second boat on both days.

Day Trips 2015

The observatory plans to run day trips to the island on Saturday 16 May and Saturday 23 May for both members and the public.

The trips will depart Donaghadee at 10:30 and return around 16:00, weather permitting.

The cost will be £15 for adults, £10 for children and both trips will be subject to minimum numbers booking to make the trips viable.

If you want to book your place, please do so by contacting the Booking Secretary at as soon as possible – first come, first served!