Bird News Sunday 19th October

A Glaucous Gull flew south at Kirkiston on the Outer Ards, 420 Golden Plover and 2 Swallow were also present. (Richard Weyl).

4 Barnacle Geese and 2 Whoopers flew past Ramore Head at dusk. (Colin Guy).

60+ Whoopers Swans were at Island Hill on Strangford Lough this evening. (Chris Henry).

2 Raven and 5 Swallow were at the Gobbins on Island Magee (Billy Hamilton, Cameron Moore). 

12 Swallow and 8 Twite were at Whitehead (Gerard McGeehan).  

16 Whooper Swan (12 adult and 6 juvenile) were at Strand Lough and a Merlin, 12 Linnet, 4 Little Egret, 15 Grey Heron and 3 Carrion Crow at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).   

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head and the adult Ring-billed Gull at Portrush East Strand (Brian Halligan).  

Yesterday amongst other birds a Wheatear, 4 Little Egret, Kestrel and several hundred Golden Plover were at the Floodgates in Strangford Lough (Andy Elliott).

An Arctic Tern in Rathlin Harbour this morning Sunday 19th October 2014 at 11:15am. (Patrick Barton)
Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Sanderling, Turnstone and Ringed Plover and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Goldfinch.

Bird News Saturday 18th October

A drake American Wigeon is at Tullaghan on the Sligo/Leitrim border. (Fionnbarr Cross).

A Long-eared Owl was along the M1 east of Ballygawley at 4.10 this morning. An adult Mediterranean Gull and a Great Skua were between Rossnowlagh and Murvagh in Donegal. (Brad Robson).

Yesterday approximately 50 Whooper Swans and a Kestrel were at Runkerry near Bushmills. (Dick Glasgow).

An Arctic Tern was at Orlock Point. (Richard Weyl).

A Little Egret was at the Floodgates at Newtownards. (David McCormick).

A Kingfisher was at Glynn in Larne Lough (Brian Halligan).  

250 Golden Plover, 50 Lapwing and 3 Skylark were at Flatfield along the River Lagan (David Clarke).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Whoopers and the Stonechat and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Kingfisher.


Bird News Friday 17th October

A Tree Pipit, 30 Redwing, 47 Whooper Swan, 3 Barnacle Geese, a Merlin, Arctic Tern, 5 Chough and 20 Twite were on Rathlin. (Neal Warnock).

A Carrion Crow was on Castlerock beach and a juvenile Little Stint at the Barmouth (Theo Campbell).

3 Red-throated Divers flew past Briggs Rocks this morning. Yesterday Briggs had 4 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver,1 adult Mediterranean Gull,4 Wheatears and a Canada Goose of unknown origin. (Colin Guy).

Bird News Thursday 16th September

A Honey Buzzard was seen today on the Straid Road, east of Bushmills and south of Whitepark Bay. It was last seen heading south after being harassed by a Rook (Dick Glasgow).

A Brambling was at Monea in Co. Fermanagh and a flock of 300 Redwing flew over. (Brad Robson).

The Snow Bunting, a Wheatear and a flock of Twite were at Ramore Head, Portrush. (Christine Cassidy/Ray Brogan).

The Ring-billed Gull was still at the East Strand car-park in Portrush. (Birdguides).

At Larne Lough 21 Little Egret, 3 Greenshank, 2 Dipper and a Kingfisher were at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan).
A Goldcrest was in a garden in Coleraine (W Hiles).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Snow Bunting, Wheatear and Twite, to David Hill for the picture of the Curlew and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Wren.


Bird News Wednesday 15th October

Portrush, Ramore Head had 1 Snow Bunting and 1 Wheatear. The East Strand Car Park had the "resident" Ring-billed Gull.  Bushmills had 38 Whooper Swans in stubble fields; Larrybane had 2 Buzzards and 3 Ravens. (Hill Dick / Peter Robinson)

Rough Island, Strangford Lough had over 1100 Golden Plover (Dot Blakely)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pics of a Stonechat and Buzzard and Robin Cunningham for the Whooper:

Bird News Tuesday 14th October

Two small flocks of Redwing flew west over Divis Mountain, Belfast this morning. Also present were 8 Ravens, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard (Larry Toal).

The American Wigeon was still at the Culdaff Estuary, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. Also present were 53 Chough, 2 Raven and a Buzzard. (Christine Cassidy & Diana Stevenson).

Late news from the 9th was of a probable Littoralis Rock Pipit at Ballywalter Pier, a Mediterranean Gull was at Ballyholme. (Norman Milligan).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the American Wigeon and the Stonechat, to Norman Milligan for the pictures of the probable Littoralis Rock Pipit and the Mediterranean Gull and to Christine Cunningham for the pictures of the Whooper Swans.



Bird News Monday 13th October.

A Slavonian Grebe was at Sandy Bay, Lough Neagh.(Nigel Ireland)

A Barn Owl was over Riverdale Primary School at Legarcurry.(Garry Wilkinson)

In Donegal an American Wigeon was at Culdaff estuary.(Michael McLaughlin)

Yesterday a Barn Owl was 2 miles south of Portrush.(Matthew Tickner)

Our thanks to (from the top) Dessie Loughrey for the Sanderling. Martin Lamb for the Reed Bunting. Margaret Adamson for the Black Guillemot in winter plumage.


Bird News Sunday 12th October

A Lapland Bunting was at Castlerock in the dunes beyond the 2nd lifeguard marker (Birdguides)

A female Hen Harrier was hunting adjacent to the M1 yesterday near the Dungannon off slip. (Fergal O'Connor)

110 Pale-bellied Brent, several Wigeon, 200 Golden Plover, 14 Twite, a Buzzard, and 10 Greenshank were at the Roe Estuary. 10 Whooper Swan flew past (C Stewart)

There was no sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler at Kearney but several Tree Sparrow were present (Warren Fowles)

Tory Island had a Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Short-eared Owl, a Yellow-Browed Warbler, 10 Snow Buming and 30 Brambling (Victor Caschera et al)

Thanks to Mark Elliott for the picture below of a male Stonechat:

Bird News Saturday 11th October

A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Kearney (Richard Weyl). The bird was showing and calling in the dense scrub next to the car park at 1pm.

A Pomarine Skua was seen at Ramore Head,9 Tufted Duck flew overhead. 18 Twite and 3 Wheatear where also present.14 Whooper Swan flew over Portrush Golf Club and another 8 flew east nr Ballycastle, a 1st winter Med Gull was at Ballycastle seafront 39 Golden Plover were at Portballintrae, a Great Northern Diver flew south at Torr Head.(Colin Guy)

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head, Portrush.(Matthew Tickner)

21 Buzzards were seen around the Myroe area, 2 Kestrels also seen.(Christine Cassidy, Dermot McLaughlin,George McDermot,Lindsay Hodges.)

A Whooper and a Merlin where at Ladys Bay Lough Neagh.(James O'Neil)

Tory Island had a Garden Warbler, 12 Brambling, 4 Snow Bunting, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff and Blackcap, 100+ Barnacle & 27 Whoopers (Neal Warnock)

Our thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pic of a Wheatear.

Bird News Friday 10th October

Tory Island today had 50 Barnacles, 5 Greylags, a Merlin, a Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrushes, 20 Redwings, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Bramblings, 5 Robins (Chris Ingram) also a Yellow-Browed Warbler (around the beach) and a Snow Bunting (Neal Warnock).

30 Whooper Swans just flew over Prehen Park, Derry heading in the direction of Inch Wildfowl Reserve, Inishowen, County Donegal. (Christine Cassidy).

15 Whooper Swans flew west past Magilligan Point. (Colin Guy).

A Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, a Water Rail, Ruff and 2 Golden Plover were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Joe Lamont).  

A Kingfisher was at Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough (Billie Hamilton).  

Yesterday Church Island at Lough Beg had 8 Ruff, a Greenshank, 4 Dunlin, a Jack Snipe, 2 Little Egret and a Peregrine. Also present were 1,000's of mainly Mallard and Teal but with some Wigeon and small numbers of Shoveler and Gadwall (Godfrey McRoberts).

Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of a Brent Goose and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Twite, Rock Pipit and Meadow Pipit.



Bird News Thursday 9th October

31 Pink-footed Geese and a first-winter Little Gull flew east in calm conditions at Ramore Head in the morning. 7 Twite and a White Wagtail were on the headland and 49 Purple Sandpiper at Portandoo. The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park (Matthew Tickner)

8 Whooper Swan flew west over Derry towards Inch (Brian Hegarty)

Portmuck Islandmagee this morning  had 800+ kittiwake feeding with 300+ gannet offshore. 2 Red-throated Diver + 1 Black-throated Diver flew south close inshore as did 2 Common Scoter (Ian Enlander)

The Snowbunting was at Castlerock beach, (Christine Cassidy & Lindsay Hodges)

3 Redwings were this morning in Portadown (James O'Neill)

A flock of 10 Redwings flew over Dunmurry this morning at 9.00am, a couple of them calling.  (Chris Acheson)

Two Great Northern Divers flew high near Ramore Head this afternoon.  A single Arctic Skua was chasing Kittiwakes near Dunseverick Harbour (Colin Guy)

Circa 45 Twite were at Ballintoy Harbour this morning including at least 2 colour ringed individuals + 34 Greylag and 8 Whooper Swan in off the sea.  There were also 10 Crossbill in Davagh Forest yesterday (Richard Donaghey)

A second-winter male Hen Harrier, 13 Ruff, 20 Swallow, a White Wagtail and Redwing were at Lough Beg (David Steele)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Ballyholme and a Manx Shearwater at Groomsport (Norman Milligan)

St John's Point, 8am-9am, migrating south were: 115 skylarks, 150 linnet, 60 meadow pipit and 25 'alba' wagtails. Seawatching produced 4 manx shearwater,100 razorbill, 20 common guillemot, 1 black guillemot,1 juv artic tern, 4 red-throated divers, 1 scoter, 5 sandwich tern and 200 kittiwake
Killough Harbour in the last few days had 2 Med Gulls and 7 Little Egret (Murphy, Chris Murphy)

Today, Tory Island had 1 chiffchaff,1 blackcap 3+ Yello-Browed Warblers, 2 goldcrest, 40 redwing, 1 song thrush 1 blackbird  and10 brambling (Chris Ingram)

RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve: As construction work progresses at pace, the roadside hide will be closed from the middle of next week until further notice. The RSPB thanks everyone for their ongoing patience.

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the Snow Bunting pics and Stephen McMillan for the feeding Black-tailed Godwit:

Mediterranean Gull 32LU Green

Below are details of sightings of the adult Mediterranean Gull with the green leg ring 32LU seen last Sunday at Loughshore Park, showing that the bird was ringed as nestling in Belgium in 2011, then making it's way to the Canary Islands in early 2012 before its first sighting in Northern Ireland in June 2012. A well travelled bird.

Green 32LU right Bruxelles E928184 pullus 13/06/2011 De brakke kreek, Doelpolder Noord, Doel, Antwerpen, BELGIUM 51,2N De Smet, Geert.
Sightings for individual: 31705

12/01/2012 Playa de Las Canteras, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canarias Island, SPAIN 28,08N read as ?5LU del Campo, Francisco 15,26W

04/02/2012 Las Canteras harbour, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canarias Island, SPAIN 28,09N 15,25W del Campo, Francisco

25/06/2012 Belfast, Northen Ireland, GB 54,38N 5,53W Robson, Brad J.

20/07/2013 Whitehead, Antrim, Northern Ireland, GB 54,45N 5,42W Enlander, Ian

24/07/2013 Whitehead, Antrim, Northern Ireland, GB 54,45N 5,42W Moore, Cameron

02/11/2013 Whitehead, Antrim, Northern Ireland, GB 54,45N 5,42W Moore, Cameron

16/12/2013 Sandybay, Larne, Northen Ireland, GB 54,51N 5,47W Moore, Cameron

05/10/2014 Loughshore Park, Antrim side of Belfast Lough, Northen Ireland, GB 54,4N 5,54W McKee, Stuart
Total number of sightings : 8

Bird News Wednesday 8th October

A single Snow Bunting was on the beach at Castlerock. (John Clarke/Christine Cassidy).

A fall of thrushes in South Belfast included lots of Blackbirds, quite a few Song Thrushes and a single Redwing. (Dermot Hughes).

Three Whooper Swans were at the Quoile this evening. (Tony Donaldson).

Thanks to today's photographers, to John Clarke for the first two Snow Bunting pictures, to Christine Cassidy for the second two Snow Bunting pictures, to Ginny McKee for the Wheatear and Purple Sandpiper pictures, to Stephen McMillan for the Grey Heron and Cormorant pictures and to Tony Donaldson for the Whooper Swan picture.



Bird News Tuesday 7th October

A blue morph Snow Goose (of unknown origin) was with the Greylag at the Quoile Pondage (Danny Baillie)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was along the road to Lisburn 5 mins walk from the car park at Drumbeg (Vernon Carter)

A Jack Snipe was at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB reserve, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson).

 This morning at St John's Point between8am - 11am were 1 Arctic Skua, 1Common Tern, 6 Sandwich Terns, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 2,000 Razorbill (between 8.30 and 9.30), a few Black Guillemots and Common Guillemots, 20 Scoter, 1 Eider, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Gadwall, 60 Brent Geese, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Red-throated Divers (all flying south), 7 Great Northern Divers (all in summer plumage, flying north), an adult Mediterranean Gull, c. 500 Kittiwakes (flying north), c. 100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (flying south), 300 Common Gulls (flying south), 200 Golden Plover. S outherly visible migration over the point included 1350 Skylark, 60 Swallow, 8 House Martins, 1 Carrion Crow, 200 Meadow Pipits, 500 Linnets, 1Redpoll, 9 Tree Sparrows, 40 Goldfinches, 20 alba wagtails. Also present: 1-2 juvenile Peregrines, 1-2 Kestrels, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 5 Ravens, 6 Magpies, 10 Rock Pipits, 1 Blackbird, 3 Robins, 1Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 3 Wrens. (Chris and Tim Murphy).

Around 150 Whooper Swans were on Inch Lake in Donegal. (Robin Cunningham)

A Garden Warbler was on Rathlin Island (Neal Warnock).

The female Marsh Harrier was at Quoile Pondage and an Iceland Gull at Dundrum Inner Bay South (Leonard Charles).

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of a Kestrel and to David Hill for the pictures of the Grey Plover.



Bird News Monday 6th October

There was an unconfirmed report of an adult Marsh Sandpiper at the Quoile, at 12.45 today. A number of people have looked for this bird without success.

A Ruff and Water Rail were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Joe Lamont)

Two Med Gull were in Church Bay, Rathlin. (Neal Warnock)

Many thanks to David Hill for this pic of a Snipe and Ginny McKee for the female Wigeon: