Bird News Sunday 19th February

On Strangford Lough, there were 42 Slavonian Grebe between Greyabbey Bay and Kircubbin and a further 5 north-west of Newtownards Sailing Club  (Richard Weyl).

Two female Brambling and a Great Northern Diver were at Cushendun (Colin Guy).

A Waxwing was at Croft Road, Ballygally and a male Goosander and 6 Twite at Glenarm (Stephen Foster).

At Larne Lough this morning, an adult and 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull were at the Inver River and 4 adult Med Gulls and a 1st winter Iceland Gull at Glynn (Neal Warnock).

Late news from yesterday of a 3rd winter Iceland Gull at the Bann Estuary (Colin Guy).

Siskins are being widely reported from gardens.

Thanks to Gareth Platt for the image of two unfortunate Common Gulls from Millisle. There are more details about the ringed bird here.

Bird News Saturday 18th February

2 Siskin were visiting a garden in Lisburn this morning (Kevin Kirkham).

A Pink-footed Goose, 19 Greenland White-fronts and a Barnacle Goose were at Myroe Levels (Richard Donaghey).

27 Waxwings were along the Antrim Road in Belfast this morning (Larry Toal).

A Little Egret was seen along the canal at Scarva this afternoon (Karen Elliott).

4 Waxwings were at Knightsbridge Park, Stranmillis, Belfast this afternoon (Philip McErlean).

3 Ruff were at Dundrum Inner Bay South, 14 Purple Sandpiper at Newcastle Harbour and good numbers of Great Northern Divers offshore (David Nixon).

At least 7 Waxwings were still in Eden, Carrickfergus this afternoon (Cameron Moore, Shirley Dunlop and Neal Warnock).

Mediterranean Gulls continue to arrive in Larne Lough, with at least 6 present today including displaying adults at Glynn.  Two Purple Sandpipers were at Sandy Bay (Neal Warnock).

Lough Mourne, County Antrim had 360 Teal, 7 Pochard, 25 Goldeneye, 11 Lapwing and single Whooper Swans and Black-tailed Godwits (Neal Warnock).

Lurgan Park today had 40 Shoveler and 2 Little Egrets (Stephen Foster).

In Strangford Lough, 2 Black-throated Divers and a Jack Snipe were at Horse Island, 21 Slavonian Grebe in Greyabbey Bay and another 6 off Newtownards Sailing Club (Richard Weyl).

Many thanks to Christine Cassidy for the photo of the Sparrowhawk, Neal Warnock for the first Waxwing photo and to Philip McErlean for the second Waxwing photo.  More photos can be seen here


Bird News Friday 17th February

The Ruddy Shelduck was still present at Ballysaggart Lough. The bird had clipped wings and allowed close approach.  A Mediterranean Gull was also seen.  The Marsh Harrier was seen again at Oxford Island (Gerard McGeehan / Joe Lamont).

An adult Mediterranean Gull nearing full summer plumage was in Larne Harbour (Neal Warnock).

Between 7:30 and 8:40 this morning, Whitehead had 90 Red-throated Divers and 4 Great Northern Divers flying into Belfast Lough. 30+ Bottlenose Dolphins were also seen (Ian Enlander).

In Donegal, a Smew and juvenile Glaucous Gull were at Inch Island. A Velvet Scoter, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck and 60 Scaup were at Mill Bay and a Ruddy Shelduck on the levels (Birdguides).

Goldeneye at Inch Island, Robin Cunningham

Bird News Thursday 16th February

c20 Waxwings are at Eden, Carrickfergus, this afternoon (Brian Sutton)

A Ruddy Shelduck was at Ballysaggart Lough, Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Possibly the first county record (Michael Stinson).

A Great Northern Diver was at Whiteabbey, a Skylark was on the beach (Paul McCullough).

The male Goosander and a Red-throated Diver were at Glenarm and the Twite flock at Whitehead (Garry Wilkinson/Nigel Moore).

Ruddy Shelduck, Michael Stinson

Bird News Wednesday 15th February

14 Waxwings were at Edenderry (Sam Thomas)

A Canada Goose was seen very briefly and at distance with the Whooper Swans at Toome. (Neal Warnock).

50+ Canada geese, 15 Whooper Swans, 7 Cormorant, 30 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 2 Tufted Ducks, 4 Great - Crested Grebe, Mallard, Mute Swans & a Kingfisher were at Upper Lough Erne close to Tamlaght. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

A Little Egret was showing well in Islandmagee (near bridge) this morning. (Jim McKeown).

Thanks to Phil Webb for the picture of the Treecreeper.


Rathlin Greylags

Further to the recent post about the Rathlin Island Greylag Goose project, Kerry Mackie caught three Greylags on Rathlin Island on Friday.  All adults – 2 males and one female.  The neck collars are Orange B|VH, B|VI and B|VJ .

If anyone sees these birds either on Rathlin or the mainland please email Clive Mellon at:


Bird News Tuesday 14th February

7 Great Northern Divers were very close to shore at Greencastle, Co Down (Robin Vage)

The Ring-billed Gull was still at The Round O, Enniskillen today (Kevin Kirkham)

A male Brambling was seen again in a garden at Whitehead, Co Antrim (Cameron Moore)

The Little Egret was still in Lurgan Park (Phil Webb)

Thanks to Robin Vage for the pic of the Great Northern Diver and Wilfie Swain for the pic of a Curlew and Wigeon:

Bird News Monday 13th February.

A Woodcock was seen over Conlig, flying towards Green Road at 4.30pm (John Edwards)

A male Marsh Harrier and 3 Pink-footed Geese were at Lough Beg (Sean McCourt /Richard Weyl)

A Chiffchaff was in a garden on Newington Avenue, Larne, today. (Geraldine Seymour)

Brent Geese - Wilf Swain

Bird News Sunday 12th February

Three Goosanders (inc 2 males) were at Waterfoot & another male at Glenarm, where there are now 7 Twite. A Carrion Crow was at Ballygally. (Neal Warnock)

The Spoonbill was still at Castle Espie (Ronald Surgenor)

The Twite flock were still at Whitehead (David Stirling).

5 Waxwing were in trees on the Knockmore Road between Trinity Methodist Church and the junction with Prince William Road in Lisburn. (Garry Armstrong).

A Red Kite and a Buzzard were at Altnataggart in the Mournes this morning. (David Cooper).

A Chiffchaff has been at Upperlands Dams (Londonderry) for the past 2 weeks (David Morrow).

Thanks to David Stirling for the picture of the Twite, to Ronald Surgenor for the picture of the Spoonbill, to John Moore for the picture of the Dipper and to Cecil Smyth for the picture of the Fieldfare.


Bird News Saturday 11th February

The redhead Smew was still at Drumgay Lough and the Ring-billed Gull was still at the Round O, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

A male Brambling was in a garden in Whitehead. 56 Greylag Geese and also a White Fronted Goose were at Steele's Point Islandmagee. (Cameron Moore)

12 Waxwing were on the Antrim Road in Lisburn this afternoon. (Garry Armstrong).

A 1st winter Iceland Gull was at the Barmouth. (Birdguides).

A 1st winter Glaucous Gull flew past Dunseverick Harbour. (Colin Guy).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Brambling, to Lilian Cummings for the picture of the Redwing and to Gareth Platt for the picture of the Yellowhammer.


Greylag Geese on the North Coast

Allen & Mellon Environmental are doing a study with Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust on Greylag Geese using Rathlin Island and Fair Head. There are two known neck-banded birds  - Orange NDD and NCL – which have been recorded in both areas. We would be grateful for any information on geese using these sites and in particular on any neck-banded birds. You can email details to

Bird News Friday 10th February

20 Waxwing were on a tree at Manse Road, Mossley this morning. (Jim McKeown)

A Red-breasted Merganser was at the RSPB WOW centre, Belfast. (Lorna Henry)

A sub adult Glaucous and second winter Iceland Gull were at Corbally dam. An adult Med Gull was in a field with Black-headed and Common Gulls near Portrush (Stuart McKee).

A flock of 22 Snow Buntings were at the top of Keady Mountain near Limavady today. (David Steele).

Thanks to James McQueen for the picture of the female Blackcap.


Bird News Thursday 9th February.

A Marsh Harrier was at Oxford Island this afternoon, it was watched from the Croaghan hide for half an hour.(Annette Elkin)

The Black Redstart was still at the boat yard in Whitehead.(Cameron Moore) It was also seen up towards the 'Wrens Eggs' on the path (Graham Day) see pic below

A Pink-footed Goose and Greenland Whitefront were in with 200 Greylags at Fair Head. (Clive Mellon)

The Great White Egret was seen again at Horse Island, Co Fermanagh on Monday 6th Feb (A Gallagher)

2 Jack Snipe and a Woodcock were at Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB reserve, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

A Chiffchaff was at the RSPB conservation area on the Airport Rd West.(Derek Polley)


Bird News Wednesday 8th February

The Black Redstart was still at the Wrens Eggs/Port Davey area on the path to Blackhead (Ian Enlander).

Strangford Lough at the Netwalk in Killyleagh this morning had 12 Razorbill and 6 Black Guillemot, all in summer plumage, and 2 Guillemot and a Sandwich Tern. (Spencer & Joan Marshall).

The Waxwing flock were still at the bottom of Oriel road in Antrim (Richard Hunter)

The Spoonbill was spotted again today at Castle Espie, roosting at the pier, at high tide. (Toni Costello)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Bangor Marina (Stuart McQueen)

A White-fronted Goose was with the Whooper Swan flock at Cullyhanna, Co Armagh (Joe Devlin)

A Common Sandpiper and 4 Little Egrets were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Stuart McQueen for this pic of the Med Gull: