Bird News Monday 20th January

A flock of about 20 Waxwings were on a tree on the street outside Lorag Recreation Centre on the Lagan at lower Ormeau in Belfast at 1.30pm on Monday (Gearóid Ó Muilleoir)

9 Purple Sandpaper were at Portstewart Head (Sean Hickey)

A 2nd Winter Med Gull was at the Crescent Play Area, Portstewart this afternoon (Tom Ennis)

Thanks to Davy Adams for this picture of a leucistic Oystercatcher at Kinnegar Shore:

Black Redstart, Portstewart, Stephen Dunbar:

Bird News Sunday 19th January

A second winter Iceland Gull was on the Back Lough Enniskillen, along with a drake Long-tailed Duck (Brad Robson)

A Waxwing flock was on Carniny Road, Ballymena, garden behind No.44 (Billy Miskelly)

19 Waxwings were back on Parkmore Drive, Ballymena (Jeff Larkin)

Water Pipits were present at Ballyquintin Point and Ballyfrench just north of Portavogie. (Richard Weyl)

On Strangford Lough, there were 20 Slavonian Grebe (14 in Greyabbey Bay and 6 north of Newtownards Sailing Club). Yesterday another Slavonian Grebe and 2 Black-throated Diver were at Horse Island. (Richard Weyl)

The Ring-billed Gull was again at Carrickfergus Harbour with a drake Long-tailed Duck off Rhanbuoy Park. (Jeff Larkin).

Two Red Kites and a ringtail Hen Harrier were in the Antrim hills, good nubers of Crossbills were also seen. (Michael Latham).

Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming at Oxford Island this morning. (Ed O'Hara, Comghal McQuillan).

A Long-eared Owl was roosting on private land near Richhill this morning. (Andrew Poots).

The Black Redstart was again showing at Portstewart Bandstand (Stephen Dunbar / Ronald Surgenor)

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the Waxwing and to Cecil Smyth for the pictures of the Crossbill and the Fieldfare:




Bird News Saturday 18th January

30 + Waxwings are along the A26 road out of Ballymena heading towards Coleraine (Garry Armstrong / Ed O’Hara). A flock were also seen at Agherton Park, Ballymoney (Toby Edwards)

The Black Redstart was still showing at the Bandstand at Portstewart. A first year Glaucous Gull was at Corbally Reservoir (Garry Armstrong / Ed O’Hara)

Two Black Throated Divers and eight Slavonian Grebe off Kircubbin Sailing Club (Billy Miskelly)

An adult Iceland Gull was at Corbally Reservoir this afternoon (John Clarke)

Four Goosander and 13 Whooper Swans were at Corbet Park, Co Down (Mike McLaughlin)

An adult Iceland Gull was at RSPB WoW this afternoon (Daniel Newton)

Crossbills were seen at a number of sites in the Antrim Hills (Michael Latham)

A Red Kite and 3 Brambling were seen in the Antrim Hills (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

A drake Green-winged Teal and a Ring-billed Gull were at Inch, Co Donegal (Matthew Tickner)

Correction: a drake Long-tailed Duck was on the Back Lough, Enniskillen today, seen by Peter Taylor.

Waxwing, Ed O'Hara:

Black Redstart, Ed O'Hara:

Crossbill, Michael Latham:



Bird News Friday 17th January

A Green-winged Teal was at Faughanvale, Lough Foyle this afternoon. (Brad Robson / Matthew Tickner)

A pair of Yellowhammers visited a garden in Newtownards today. (Ian McKee).




Bird News Thursday 16th January

The Waxwing flock were again in Parkmore Drive, Ballymena this afternoon (Jeff Larkin)

Waxwing, Michael McCrum:

Bird News Wednesday 15th January

16 Waxwings were on Parkmore Drive off the Cullybackey Road in Ballymena. (Jeff Larkin).

Whitehead seafront between 8 - 9am had 106 Red-throated Diver and 7 Great Northern Diver - all flying west into Belfast Lough (Ian Enlander).

Myroe had 24 Grey Plovers on the lawn grass fields, also c450 Whooper Swans. 3 Long-eared Owls were roosting in Coleraine. (John Clarke /Hill Dick).

The Black Redstart was still around the bandstand in Portstewart. (David Hill).

A 3rd calendar year Mediterranean Gull was on Rathlin. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson)

Thanks to Hill Dick & John Clarke for the pictures of the Long-eared Owl, Grey Plovers and the Whooper Swans, to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Buzzard to David Hill for the picture of the Black Redstart and to Ric Else for the picture of the Mediterranean Gull:








Bird News Tuesday 14th January

The Golden Eagle and a Brambling were seen in the Antrim Hills (Jeff Larkin)

Two Red Kite where also seen in the Antrim hills.(Gerald McGeehan)

Bird News Sunday 12th January

The drake Ring-necked Duck was still at Portmore RSPB. (Garry Armstrong). Two red head Smew were also seen (Ed O’Hara)

An un-tagged Golden Eagle was present in the Antrim Hills (Michael Latham)

The Black Redstart was still at Portstewart this morning (Daniel Newton)

The Ring-billed gull was still at Carrickfergus Marina. (Kevin Kirkham)

30+ Snow Buntings were in the Antrim Hills (Davy Hunter)

The Great White Egret was still at the south end of Lough Beg today. Also a redhead Goosander was on the River Main at Slaght bear Ballymena (David Steele)

Approximately 50 Twite were on the rocks near Ramore Head in Portrush today (John Clarke)

15 Red-throated Divers, 10 Great Northern Divers and 5 Long-tailed duck were at Newcastle (Gerard McGeehan et al)

24 Scaup, and two female/juvenile Long-tailed duck were off Giants Park Belfast Lough (Stuart McKee)

A flock of 100+ Fieldfares were in a field beside Corbet Lough today. (Mike McLaughlin)

A tagged Red Kite, tagged at a nest in RoI in 2018, was in North Antrim (Dick Glasgow)

Golden Eagle, Michael Latham:

Ring-billed Gull, Kevin Kirkham:

Red Kite, Dick Glasgow:

Bird News Saturday 11th January

A Ring-necked Duck and a redhead Smew were at Portmore. (Ivan Quail & Nicky Lynn).

34 Waxwings were at Institution Place in Belfast.

The Black Redstart was again around the bandstand in Portstewart. (Michael Latham).

Yesterday a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in Seaforde Estate. (Owen Beckett).

A small flock of Waxwings were on a tree in a garden on the right just on the Banbridge Road out of Scarva around 3.30. (Karen Elliott).

3 Barnacle Geese were at Kebble on Rathlin today. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

The Iceland and Glaucous Gulls and the two hybrids were still at Enniskillen dump (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Michael Latham and Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Black Redstart and to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Little Egret:

Michael Latham

Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell



Bird News Friday 10th January

The Black Redstart was still showing around the bandstand area of Portstewart this morning, see pictures below. (Robert Plant).

Around Strangford Lough 30+ Whooper Swans were between Newtownards and Comber,  250+ Bar- tailed Godwits were about a mile south of the Floodgates,  1 male Scaup was with Tufted Duck off Castle Island Hide, 8 Snipe were at Bishops Mill, 3 of them swimming!! 25+ Golden Plover were at Whiterock. (Derek Polley).

Thanks to Robert Plant for the pictures of the Black Redstart and to David Clarke for the picture of the Greenshank:

Robert Plant

Robert Plant


David Clarke

Bird News Thursday 9th January.

An American Herring Gull was seen off Macedon Point, Belfast Lough. (Stuart McKee)

There was a flock of 15-20 Redwings feeding on Cotonester berries at Stranmillis Boat Club car park this afternoon. (Philip McErlean)

The Water Pipit remains at Cushendun.(Dermot Hughes)

1 Jack Snipe 1 Peregrine and 3 Redhead Smew still Portmore Lough RSPB Reserve today(Brad Robson) A probable Lesser Scaup was also at Portmore Lough and a redhead Smew at Reedy Flats.(Clifford Sharp / Joe Devlin)

Belfast WoW reserve had a high count of 350+ Curlew and a high count of Knot. (Derek Polley)

Our thanks to Jonny Andrews for the Fieldfare photo and also to Philip McErlean for the Redwing flock.Also to Dermot Hughes for the pic of the Water Pipit. Bottom pic American Herring Gull sent in by Stuart McKee.








Birding By Boat

With the help of thirty of Northern Ireland's top wildlife photographers and the hard work of Horace Reid who worked through a large number of images I can now announce that the talk based on the boat trips is now available. 'Birding by Boat' (title courtesy of Ginney McKee) is a 69 slide presentation showing the wildlife of Rathlin, Islay, Jura, Rockabill and Innishtrahull. This talk is now being made available to local groups.

Jim Wells.

Bird News Wednesday 8th January

At Portstewart Town the Black Redstart was giving good views near the bandstand and on the adjacent beach. The Water Pipit was at the north end of Cushendun beach. (John Clarke/Hill Dick).

Seacliff Road in Bangor had 2 Purple Sandpiper and a Red-throated Diver offshore and 7 Redwing were in a garden in Bangor West. (Derek Polley).

Yesterday 3 redhead Smew were at Portmore Lough RSPB Reserve. (Comghal McQuillan).

Sightings this morning at Newry Canal - Jerrettspass-Poyntzpass were 3 Raven,c50 Redwing c210 Fieldfare, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher and 6 Grey Wagtail. (Fulton Somerville)

Thanks to Hill Dick and John Clarke for the pictures of the Black Redstart and the Water Pipit, to Comghal McQuillan for the picture of the Smew, to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Reed Bunting and to David Smylie for the picture of the Ring-billed Gull: