Bird News Wednesday 18th September

The Spotted Redshank, a Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff and 2 Grey Plover were at RSPB WoW (Gerard McGeehan)

An adult American Golden Plover was at Blanketnook along with 300 Golden Plover and four Ruff (Chris Ingram)

The juvenile Long-tailed Skua was at Grey Point early afternoon (Paul McCullough)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this picture of a male Merlin:

Bird News Tuesday 17th September

The Spotted Redshank, 3 Ruff and 50 Knot were at RSPB WoW (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

A Reed Warbler was at the hide at Portmore lough this afternoon (Mark Elliott)

Reed Warbler - Mark Elliott

Bird News Monday 16th September.

The Spotted Redshank and a Curlew Sandpiper are still present at the RSPB WoW reserve.(Jonathan Clark)

A Whimbrel and several Carrion Crow where at Ballyquinton Point.(Mark Elliott)

Grey Point late afternoon / early evening had a Long-tailed Skua, four Arctic Skua, three Bonxies, 5 Roseate Terns, three Mediterranean Gulls and the leucistic Herring or Lesser Black-backed Gull. (Paul McCullough / Stuart McKee / Wilton Farrelly)

Our thanks to Jonathan Clark for the photo of the Curlew Sandpiper(left) and the Spotted Redshank in the same shot. Also to Mark Elliott for the Sparrowhawk.

Long-tailed Skua - Paul McCullough

Leucistic Gull

This leucistic Gull, either a Herring Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull, was close in off Grey Point this evening. At any distance it could be mistaken for an Iceland Gull. (Stuart McKee).

Bird News Sunday 15th September

Belfast Lough RSPB WOW reserve this morning between 8.30 and 12.30 had the Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 9 Ruff and 3 Whimbrel, there was no sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper. (Ed O'Hara, Comghal McQuillan, Michael Latham).

The Pectoral Sandpiper was again at Belfast WOW reserve this afternoon along with the Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Ruff, 12 Knot and a Peregrine. (Derek Polley),

An adult Roseate Tern was at Crawfordsburn and Burial Island on the Outer Ards had an Arctic Skua and 4 Red-throated Divers. (Richard Weyl).

Between Swineley Point Bangor and Carrickfergus this afternoon there were: feeding flocks of c500 Gannets, 1500+ auks (Razorbill. and Guillemot.), 2000+ Herring Gulls, 1 2nd winter Iceland Gull, 35 Arctic terns and 6 Sandwich Terns. (Philip Watson).

Off Grey Point in calm conditions there was a Sabine's Gull, 1800 Gannets, 2500 - 3000 Auks mostly Razorbill, 2000+ Kittiwakes,  two adult and a 1st year Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Arctic Terns and 120 Sandwich Terns. Roosting on the rocks were 12 Roseate Terns and 120 Common Terns. Also nearby was a leucistic Herring/Lesser Black-backed Gull. (Stuart McKee).

At Ballykelly a Yellow Wagtail of the flava race dropped into the salt marsh; also seen were: 1 Whooper Swan, two Peregrines (ad and juvenile), 10 Wheatears and a pair of Stock Dove. Waders in the fields behind Ballykelly Bank included small numbers only of Ringed Plover, Golden Plover and Dunlin. There was no sign of the American Golden Plover (Chris Murphy et al).

The Bann Estuary had 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Little Stint. A Peregrine was also present.(Hill Dick).

Great Skuas were seen off Ramore ahead and Portstewart (Chris Rankin)

Curlew Sandpiper

Spotted Redshank - Michael Latham
Roseate & Common Terns - Stuart McKee

Bird News Saturday 14th September

The Pectoral Sandpiper & Spotted Redshank were both seen at RSPB WOW from Hide 2, this morning along with 2 Curlew Sandpipers (Ed O’Hara & Kevin Kirkham)

The Subalpine Warbler (possibly Eastern) was still present, although elusive, on Tory Island for its third day (Derek Brennan)

An adult American Golden Plover is at Ballykelly, Lough Foyle (Neal Warnock)

A 2nd calendar year Ring-billed Gull was at the Roe Estuary this evening (Neal Warnock).

The Little Stint was still at Myroe (John Qzak).

St John’s Point this morning had 34 Red-throated Divers and 1 Great Northern Diver flying south into Dundrum Bay, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Arctic Skuas, and many skeins of Brent Goose. Tyrella had 134 Sanderling; several thousand auks (mostly Razorbill) were between Killough and Ballykinker. Quoile Pondage had 3 Ruff, 1 Pintail; Comber Est. had 3,000 Brent Geese, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Ruff and 2 Curlew Sandpipers; Maltings to Greyabbbey had c. 9,000 Brent Geese; Inch Church near Downpatrick had 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a pair of Stock Dove (Chris Murphy et al)

American Golden Plover - Neal Warnock

Red-throated Diver - Thomas Campbell

Sanderling & Dunlin - Thomas Campbell

Buzzard - Wilf Swain
Wheatear - David Miller

Bird News Friday 13th September

A Long-tailed Skua and a Sabine's Gull were in Belfast Lough this afternoon, see pictures below. (Ronald Surgenor).

A Subalpine Warbler is on Tory Island (Anton Meenan)

A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper is at RSPB WoW reserve (Stuart McKee)

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still at Belfast WOW reserve this evening with at least 10 Curlew Sandpipers and 3 Ruff. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop, Ivan Quail & Nicky Lynn).

Myroe this morning had a juvenile Little Stint, Whooper Swan and Carrion Crow (Robert Vaughan).

A White-tailed Eagle was at Magho Cliffs in Co. Fermanagh. (Adam Butler)

4 Whoopers were at Ballyronan this afternoon. (Brenda Campbell & Ray Bennett).

4 Wheatear were on the National Trust walk up to Divis above Belfast. (Derek Polley).

Long-tailed Skua - Ronald Surgenor

Sabine's Gull - Ronald Surgenor

Pectoral Sandpiper - Stuart McKee

Little Stint - Robert Vaughan

Wheatear - David Clarke

Whoopers - Brenda Campbell

Bird News Thursday 12th September.

RSPB WOW reserve had... 1Knot, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Sandwich Tern, 3 Ruff, 26 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Swift and still 50+ Common Tern, no sign of Spotted Redshank.(Derek Polley)

An Osprey was at Lough Beg this evening and at dusk a Green Sandpiper was calling at  Slaght nr. Ballymena.(David Steele)

Our thanks to everyone who has reported Brent Geese arriving over the last few days.

Our thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the photo's of a Knot and a Dunlin.  

Bird News Wednesday 11th September

The Spotted Redshank is still at RSPB WoW this morning. 5 Ruff and 2 Curlew Sandpipers were also present (Gerard McGeehan).

An Iceland Gull was on Cockle Island in Groomsport this morning. (Ian Enlander).

Bird News Tuesday 10th September

A Lesser Whitethroat was seen at 10.30 this morning at St Cooeys Wells near Portaferry, in bushes just north of the trees. (Dermot Hughes)

A juvenile Spotted Redshank and two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers are at RSPB WoW (Stuart McKee)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was showing well in Belvoir Forest (Peter McErlean)

Spotted Redshank - Stuart McKee
Great Spotted Woodpecker - Philip McErlean

Bird News Monday 9th September.

20 Scaup where off Hazelbank, Belfast Lough.(Paul McCullough)

Late news from yesterday was of 200 + feral Barnacle Geese seen in a field in Ardmillan, Co Down.(Wallis Jefferson)

Bird News Sunday 8th September

Rathlin today had a Wood Warbler & Spotted Flycatcher at Kinramer, plus a few other migrant Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

The best at RSPB WoW this morning was a Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Ruff (Wilton Farrelly)

A Lapland Bunting was on the coastal path between Portstewart and Portrush (about a mile from Portstewart). (John Clarke).

An Arctic Skua, Mediterranean Gull and a Wheatear were at Whitehead. (Ed O'Hara).

An estimated 5,000 auks, Guillemots and Razorbills, were in Dundrum Bay between Newcastle and Ballykinler. (Stephen Foster).

A dark phase Arctic Skua and two Wheatear were at St John's Point. (Michael Latham).

An adult Hobby was feeding on dragonflies on the west shore of Lough Beg at lunchtime today. (Godfrey McRoberts).

2 or 3 Lapland Buntings were on Tory Island. The Orca known as John Coe was also photographed heading east (Brad Robson)
Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of the Lapland Bunting, to Ric Else for the pictures of the Wood Warbler and the Spotted Flycatcher and to Michael Latham for the picture of the Wheatear:

Bird News Saturday 7th September

The Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail is still at Oxford Island. A Spotted Flycatcher was also there (Michael Henderson)

A Great Skua was at St Johns Point, Co Down (Chris Rankin)

Two Lapland Buntings were at the east end of Tory Island (Brad Robson)

Thansk to Mervyn Campbell for this pic of a juvenile Sabines Gull heading up Lough Foyle:

Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern, Stephen Dunbar:


The recent westerly \ north westerly winds have seen some good seabird movements around the coast. There are four species of Skua and Thomas and Mervyn Campbell managed to get superb photographs of all four around Magilligan Point this week:

Great Skua - Thomas Campbell
Juvenile Long-tailed Skua - Thomas Campbell
Juvenile Arctic Skua - Mervyn Campbell
Pomarine Skua - Mervyn Campbell