Bird News Friday 21st November

The Cattle Egret was on the island at Hillsborough Park Lake (Garry Wilkinson)

A Little Egret has been seen on the reservoir at Carryduff for the last few days.(Kevin O'G) 

Our thanks to Cameron Moore for the Whooper Swans, also to Richard Hunter for the Rock Pipit. 

Bird News Thursday 20th November

A juvenile Lesser Whitethroat was in the scrub of Portstewart Strand dunes this morning. (Richard Donaghey)

At least 22 Twite were seen this morning at Tyrella beach, Co Down. (Brian Murphy)

Spotted Redshank was at Dargan, Belfast Lough this afternoon (Adam McClure)

95 Twite were between Ramore Head and Portandoo in Portrush (Matthew Tickner)

Killough Harbour had a Long-tailed Duck and Carrion Crow; Tyrella had 3 Purple Sandpiper, 1,700 Golden Plover, 20 Ringed Plover, 6 Sanderling, 8 Great Northern Diver, 4 Red-throated Diver, 50 Scoter and 8 Red-breasted Merganser (Tim Murphy)

Thanks to Neil Cartmill for this pic of a Water Rail:

Bird News Wednesday 19th November

A drake Long-tailed Duck was in the bay opposite the York Hotel, Portstewart.  The Barmouth had 8 Red-throated Divers and 4 Great Crested Grebes (Colin Guy)

Humphrey's Island, RSPB Lower Lough Erne Islands Reserve had a single Jack Snipe (Brad Robson)

A White-tailed Eagle (from the Kerry release scheme) seems to have settled in the area of Upper Lough Erne.

A Carrion Crow paired with a Hooded Crow and young were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy)

6 Brambling (2 male/4 female) were feeding on Beech mast with c45 Chaffinch at Lough Fea near Cookstown this afternoon (Richard Donaghey)

Whitehouse Lagoon and Belfast Lough this morning had 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 50+Knot, Little Egret, 6 Sanderling, 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Red-throated Divers and 1000+ Eider at mid-lough.  At Glynn was a Kingfisher, a Little Egret, and a Pintail. At Ballycarry Bridge were 4 Little Egret and a Carrion Crow. (James Whitla, Michael Richardson and Fulton Somerville)

Thanks to David McCormick for the pic of a Little Egret at Newtownards and Christine Cunningham for the Blackbird:

Bird News Tuesday 18th November

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at the East Strand car park, Portrush. (Richard Hunter).

19 Whooper Swan were along Ballyhenry Road outside Comber (Wilby Hawthorne).

Killough Harbour had an adult Mediterranean Gull, male Pintail and 8 Skylark in flight (Tim Murphy).

A large flock of at least 150 Twite were at the Landsdowne side of Ramore Head, Portrush today. (Colin Guy/Iris Miller).

A morning walk from Scarva to Poyntzpass produced 40 species which included: - 11 Bullfinch, 20 Fieldfare, c80 Redwing, Goldcrest, Jay, 12 Linnet, 16 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Raven, 4 Siskin, 6 Skylark and 2 Water Rails. (Fulton Somerville).

Visit for recent bird pics. You can also share you sightings of rare / scarce birds at:

Thanks to Michael Mayes, c/o RSPB, for the picture of the Hoopoe recently fould dead near Castlesawson, to Iris Millar for the pictures of the Twite from Ramore and to Eric Phillips for the picture of the Mistle Thrushs:



Bird News Monday 17th November.

A Long-tailed Duck, Pintail, 5 Little Egret and 10 Snipe were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

19 Red-breasted Merganser were at Kinnegar shore in Belfast and a Raven over Queen's Parade in Bangor (Derek Polley).

As well as the Spotted Redshank an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast yesterday (Stuart McKee).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was today at Waterworks Park, Belfast. (David Knight)

Our thanks to David Hill for the two pics below of the Redshanks and the Purple Sandpiper. Also to Bobby Moffett for the Whooper Swans. The Carrion Crow pic is from Peter Casey. The adult Med Gull is by David Knight:

Bird News Sunday 16th November

A female Brambling and Redwing wee with Chaffinches near Trassey Rd car park, Tollymore (west end), Co Down. A female Great Spotted Woodpecker was also in Tollymore. (Keith Bennett)

Circa 60 Twite were at Tyrella and a Red Kite was also present (Ian Graham / Garry Armstrong)

An adult Med Gull was in Ardglass Harbour (Wilton Farrelly)

On Strangford Lough at Greyabbey Bay were 2 Black-throated Diver and at Marlfield, 5 Great-northern Diver (Richard Weyl)

The Spotted Redshank was in Whitehouse Lagoon today (Stuart McKee)

2 Crossbills were at Capanagh along with 2 Red Grouse (Gerard McGeehan)

A male Hen Harrier was quartering over the flooded fields (with Golden Plover circa 300, Lapwing circa 500+) to the north of Portmore Lough, Co Antrim (Kevin Kirkham-Brown)

3 Pintail, 5 Whooper Swan, 2 Greenshank, 20 Snipe and a Red-throated Diver were at Glynn in Larne Lough (Stuart McKee / Linda Thompson)

A Black Redstart was on the rocks past the Rock Pool in Newcastle (Leonard Charles)

Killough Harbour had a male Pintail, 6 Little Egret, 3 Greenshank, 5 Snipe, 9 Pale-bellied Brent, 50 Wigeon, 36 Teal and 7 Shelduck (in flight) Tim Murphy

Late afternoon, Newry Canal Poyntzpass to Scarva had 40+ Redwing & a Kingfisher. (Fulton Somerville & Janet McKevitt)

The American Wigeon was still at Culdaff Estuary in Donegal (Michael McLoughlin)

Lough Swilly had 2 Little Egret, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 4 Barnacle Geese and a Long Tailed Duck. Durnesh lough, Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal had a hybrid Ring-necked duck x Tufty/Scaup (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the Tree Sparrows on a garden feeder and Stuart McKee for the Spooted Redshank and the first year Med Gull. You can see more pics at :

Dick Glasgow, Tree Sparrows:

Stuart McKee, Spotted Redshank:

Stuart McKee, Mediteranean Gull:

Bird News Saturday 15th November

A Chiffchaff was on the shore at Ballyfrench north off Portavogie. (Richard Weyl)

A group of Crossbills and 15 Raven were at Bessy Belle Mountain, Co Tyrone this morning. (Colin Bell)

A female Snow Bunting was on Ramore Head today (Colin Guy)

A Jack Snipe was with 32 Snipe at Glynn, Larne Lough (Neal Warnock)

66 Purple Sandpiper were on the rocks at Lansdowne Crescent in Portrush (Derek McIntyre)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this close up of a Rook and Margaret Adamson for the Jackdaw:

Bird News Friday 14th November

At least 20 Little Egret and 19 Whooper Swan were around Larne Lough. 3 Pintail, 2 Greenshank and 7 Snipe were at Glynn and a Pink-footed Goose with 23 Greylag at Old Church Bay (Cameron Moore).    

In calm conditions 34 Red-throated Diver, 5 Great Northern and a Sandwich Tern were between Groomsport and Briggs Rocks (Stuart McKee, George Gordon).

Over 30 Whooper Swans were on flooded land between the River Lagan and Blaris Road at Lisburn, several more Whoopers were on fields near by feeding on root crops today. (David Smylie)

Ballyboley Forest, Larne,  this morning had a Kestrel, 2 Raven, 2 Buzzard, 3 Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldcrests, Longtail Tits, Wrens, and Bluetits. (John Loughlin and Irene Miller).

On the Antrim side of Belfast Lough 2 female Long-tailed Duck, a Pochard, 30 Scaup and 6 Red-throated Diver were off Loughshore Park (Stuart McKee).  

This evening at 5pm a Woodcock flew over Tempo Road, Enniskillen, just on outskirts of town. (Colin Bell).  

A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at Marconi’s outlet, Ballycastle. (Colin Guy)

Bird News Thursday 13th November.

Very little news, which is not surprising considering the weather to-day.

Two Red-throated Diver where sheltering in Mill Bay, Larne Lough along with a Carrion Crow.(Cameron Moore) see pics below.

Today at Malin Head, Inishowen was wild but it offered a glimpse of the spectacular, even in the worst off conditions. In driving rain and almost impossible visibility, some 700 Barnacle Geese were captured on film. Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges have, with the music of Mary Black, matched the scenes of the rugged landscape and these incredible migrant birds in this excellent video:

All pics below were kindly supplied by Cameron Moore, from the top, Carrion Crow, Red-throated Diver and Dunlin.

CBO Winter Talk

Tuesday 18th November at 7.30 pm

Land of the Lemurs – Travels in Madagacar  
The challenges facing the animals and plants on the world’s fourth largest island —presented by Prof. Sue Christie

When Sue and Peter Christie decided to plan a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ to  celebrate their retirements — Sue, as Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland  Environment Link, and Peter as a government biologist — they chose one of the world’s most fascinating but least visited islands, Madagascar. Although five weeks is not long to explore the fourth largest island in the world, Sue and Peter still managed to visit 14 nature reserves, saw 31 species of lemurs, dozens of species of frogs and reptiles, all six endemic baobabs and countless other plants and animals. The  challenges facing this  beautiful land are many, and the solutions are not readily apparent. Join us at the Ulster Museum as Sue presents a pictorial tour of some of the most fascinating and unique animals and plants on the planet, and ponders on some thoughts for their future.

Also — Copeland Bird Observatory: Autumn Report

Join us as we review some of the happenings on the observatory during another busy season, including Barred and Yellow-browed Warblers.

Admission to CBO winter meetings at the Ulster Museum is free and open to all. The meetings  commence at 7.30 pm, and finish at 9.45 pm. Please use the Stranmillis Road entrance.

The Copeland Bird Observatory

Bird News Wednesday 12th November

Five Twite were at Kearney, Co Down (Brian Murphy)

At least 13 Little Egret and 30 Whooper Swans were at the Comber Estuary (Michael Scott)

3 Twite were on the harbour wall at Groomsport and a Black-throated Diver and Red-throated Diver just offshore (Dot Blakely)

Thanks to Robert McDowell for this pic of a Great Northern Diver and Noeni Bryars for the Stonechat:

Bird News Tuesday 11th November

A Hoopoe was unfortunately hit and killed by a van near Knockloughrim, Castledawson last Thursday. (Kendrew Colhoun/RSPB).

2 Waxwing were in Dundalk today so well worth looking out for them on any berry bushes. (Irish Birding).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Pied Wagtail, the Sparrowhawk and the Kingfisher.

Bird News Monday 10th November

2 Common Sandpiper were at the mouth of the Ballinderry River (nr Kinturk), Lough Neagh (Ian Enlander)

The Goosander, Whooper Swans and a Little Egret were still at Ballycarry (Cameron Moore)

Elsewhere on Larne lough at Island Road Lower, Ballycarry, there was an impressive count of 11 Little Egret (Linda Thompson) For anyone looking for the Goosander, Ballycarry Bridge, it is at:

A Little Egret was at Ballymacormick lagoon.  Briggs Rocks had 1 adult Mediterranean Gull and 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers, a Merlin and 10 Twite (Colin Guy)

Late news from yesterday, 2 Long-tailed Duck were off Loughshore Park in Belfast Lough (Stuart McKee)

You can report sightings of rare and scarce birds in NI to is at:

Thanks to Fulton Sommerville for this pic of a Water Rail, Cameron Moore for the Goosander and Christine Cassidy for the Brent in autumnal light.
You can see more pics at

Water Rail, Fulton Somerville:

Goosander (drake), Cameron Moore:

Brent Geese in autumnal light, Christine Cassidy:

Bird News Sunday 9th November

The first winter Iceland Gull was still at Ballycastle Harbour (Wilton Farrelly)

The male Goosander was this morning at Ballycarry Bridge (Linda Thompson)

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at East Strand Car Park, Portrush (Wilton Farrelly)

A Slavonian Grebe was at Rostrevor Bay (Joe Devlin)

A Little Egret was at Whitehouse Lagoon (Jim McKeown)

A Great Northern Diver was close in at Greenisland along with 10 Red-breasted Mergansers. Further out were 2 Slaonian Grebe, a Red Throated Diver along with over two hundred Eider. (David Stirling)

100 Twite were at Tyrella beach along with10 Sanderling, at least 10 Common Scoter, a Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver (Dot Blakely).

A Black-throated Diver, a Black Redstart and 2 Porpoise were at Helen's Bay (Jim Whitla)

3 Twite were at Kearney Point, Co Down, this afternoon. (Keith Bennett)

A Pink-footed Goose (also a Bar-headed Goose!) was south of Anne's Point, Outer Ards. A Slavonian Grebe was at Greyabbey Bay, 2 Jack Snipe at Ballyquintin Point and a Long-tailed Duck at Knockinelder Bay (Richard Weyl)

Around Strangford Lough, a Jack Snipe was at Greyabbey, 3 Slavonian Grebes were nearby, a Pink-footed Goose (same bird as above) was west of there (with Canada Geese and the same Bar-headed Goose). 3 Black-throated Divers were north of Kircubbin. (Jeff Larkin/John Loughlin/Irene Miller)

The Pink-footed Goose was with 57 Greylag, 6 Little Egret and a Kingfisher at Glynn in Larne Lough (Gerard McGeehan). 

A count of Larne Lough (as well as the above) produced 12 Greenshank, 285 Wigeon, 180 Teal, 17 Little Egret, a Common Scoter, 52 Pale-bellied Brent, 28 Snipe, 16 Whooper Swan, 8 Little Grebe and a Red-throated Diver (at Brown's Bay). (Cameron Moore)

Carrickfergus Harbour had 90Rringed Plover and a Sanderling (Norman Milligan)

At Silent Valley in the Mournes, there was a female Goldeneye on the reservoir and a Great Spotted Woodpecker to the SE of the car park. (Richard Haydon)

The drake American Wigeon, was still at Tullaghan, Co Leitrim (Dermot Breen)

In Donegal, Magheroarty had 2 Twite, Inishbofin had c.800 barnacles. Tory had a Chiffchaff, Great Tit, 2 Robins, 2 Song Thrush, 8 Blackbird, 30 Redwing, 2 Purple Sands and a Grey Phalarope from the boat (Chris Ingram)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for the Goosander pic, Wilton Farrelly for the Ring-billed Gull, Vivienne Beck for the Whoopers and Karl Martin for the Twite:

Bird News Saturday 8th November

Whitehead this morning had 52 Red- throated Diver + 4 Great Northern Diver fly past into Belfast Lough (Ian Enlander)

The Goosander is still at Ballycarry bridge.There was also around 3,700 Eider between Macedon and Holywood.(Ian Enlander)

Whooper Swans have been heard flying over Belfast and the surrounding areas in the last few nights. Two Whoopers were in flight over Cloughfern, Newtownabbey last night at 11pm. (Jim McKeown)

A Short-eared Owl and a Long-tailed Duck where on Rathlin Island.(Neal Warnock)

Fanad Head had a Lapland Bunting at Ballyhoriskey, the first winter Glaucous Gull and five Twite (Wilton Farrelly)

Two Little Auk were seen off Carrickfergus (BirdGuides)

Our thanks to Dick Glasgow for the picture of a Jay and also to Wilton Farrelly for the Lapland Bunting.