Bird News Thursday 18th December.

A Barn Owl was seen on  the Donaghendry Rd, Stewartstown Co. Tyrone.(Tony McCormick)

A first winter Iceland Gull was flying around Larne around 2pm mainly over the lagoons beside the by-pass.(Dermot Hudges)

The Scottish Birdfair will be held on the week-end of the 23rd - 24th May at it's new venue of Levenhall Links, Musselburgh 

Tree Sparrow - Tony Donaldson.

Great Tit - Noeni Bryars.

Bird News Wednesday 17th December

The first winter Iceland Gull was seen in Larne Lough near Ballylumford this morning and also at Sandy Bay. (Michael Thompson / Gerard McGeehan)

A Peregrine and 2 Whooper Swan were also seen at Sandy Bay, Larne (Gerard McGeehan).

A Little Auk was just off Newcastle Harbour, Co. Down (Daniel Newton)

Two Ruddy Ducks were at an undisclosed location (Denis Chambers)

You can share sightings of rare or scarce birds by email twitter @nibirds , text 07973-403146 or Flightline 02891467408.

Thanks to Joe Lamont for this picture of the Larne Iceland Gull and Denis Chambers for the Ruddy Ducks:

Bird News Tuesday 16th December

The Newry Canal from Poyntzpass to Scarva produced 1 Raven, 10 Mistle Thrush, 70+ Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 12 Tree Sparrow, 13 Lont-tailed Tit, 1 sighting and 3 calling Water Rail. Also a partial leucistic Blackbird. (Fulton Somerville).

The first-winter Iceland Gull was at Sandy Bay in Larne and 7 Little Egret and 3 Greenshank at 40 Acre Bay (Joe Lamont).   

In south Down a juvenile Great Northern Diver, adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Red-breasted Merganser were at Killough Harbour. Yesterday 380 Lapwing, a Stonechat, 5 Greenshank, a Great Northern Diver, Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Egret and a Water Rail were at Killough/Strand Lough (Tim Murphy).

Thanks to Fulton for the pictures of the partial leucistic Blackbird.


Bird News Monday 15th December

The first winter Iceland Gull was at Ballylumford, Larne Lough (Cameron Moore)

A Peregrine flushed circ 3000 + Golden Plover from the shore  at the floodgates at Newtownards this afternoon (Denis Chambers)

A walk south from Newcastle Harbour this morning had 2 Bottlenose Dolphin, a Black-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 200+ Scoter and 13 Purple sandpiper. (Daniel Newton)

4 Purple Sandpiper and a Peregrine were at Portmuck at Island Magee and 3 Red-throated Diver at Brown's Bay (Cameron Moore)

Four Brambling were seen in a field today near Armoy, Co Antrim (Dick Glasgow)

You can view further bird pics at

Thanks to Cameron Moore for this pic of the Iceland Gull and Dick Glasgow for the two Brambling pics:

Bird News Sunday 14th December

The Ring-necked Duck remains at Kinnegar sewage pools. (Bird guides)

The 1st winter Iceland Gull was still around Larne Harbour. (Neal Warnock)

This morning 1 Red Grouse and 10 Golden Plover at Lendrum wind farm, Fivemiletown, co Tyrone.(Colin Bell)

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

Killough Harbour: 94 Brent Geese(of which 14 were juveniles), 72 Great Black-backed Gulls,1 juv Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Shelduck, 270 Dunlin.

Yesterday a juvenile Great Northern Diver, 2 Little Egret, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, a Kingfisher, 20 Snipe, a Stonechat, 3 Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, 4 Mediterranean Gull and 80 Fieldfare were at Killough/Strand Lough and the brickworks (Tim Murphy).


Bird News Saturday 13th December

A Green Sandpiper flew north this am near Newry Canal at Drumbanagher Co. Armagh (Joe Devlin)

An Iceland Gull was roaming around Larne Harbour this afternoon - the 128th species on this patch, this year (Neal Warnock)

That adult Glaucous Gull was still at Enniskillen Dump (Wilton Farrelly)

The Spoonbill was at Castle Espie (Stephen Maxwell)

Murlough Beach today had 40+ Sanderling, 25+ Linnet & 2 Stonechat on the beach. (Daniel Newton)

A Water Rail was seen again at Lurgan Golf Course (Al Donohoe)

You can share bird news via , Twitter @nibirds or Flightline 028 91467408.

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of a Jay at Breen Wood:

Glaucous Gull, Wilton Farrelly:

Spoonbill (with little Egret), Stephen Maxwell:

Bird News Friday 12th December

A Kingfisher and a male Merlin were along the main path to the hide at Portmore Lough RSPB reserve. The kingfisher was probably forced out into the open with the drains being frozen over. (Simon Gray).

The Black Redstart was still at Portmuck on Island Magee (Gerard McGeehan).

A juvenile Great Northern Diver, Carrion Crow, Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Red-breasted Merganser were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

A Kingfisher was at Lester's Dam, Lagan Meadows, Belfast, this morning, perching on the Reedmace. (Philip McErlean)

Thanks to Philip McErlean for the picture of the Kingfisher, Stephen Maxwell for the pictures of the Lapwing and the Pied Wagtail and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Robin.

Bird News Thursday 11th December

The Spoonbill was showing this morning at Castle Espie (WWT Castle Espie)

The Ring-necked Duck was at the sewage sludge tank at Kinnegar Water Works this morning (Brian Murphy)

At Brigg's Rocks today there were 3 Snow Buntings and an adult Mediterranean Gull,12 Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Divers flew past (Colin Guy)

A Black Redstart was at Portmuck (Cameron Moore / Joe Lamont)

Thanks to Noeni Bryars for this pic of a Carrion Crow with a Hooded Crow (showing some Carrion characteristics) at Crawfordsburn, Colin Guy for the Med Gull and Cameron Moore for the Black Redstart:

Bird News Wednesday 10th December

The Spoonbill was back at Castle Espie today.

Killough Harbour had 1 juvenile Great Northern Diver, 1 adult Peregrine chased a redshank unsuccessfully, 1 Sparrowhawk caught a Turnstone. (Tim Murphy).

Bird News Tuesday 9th December.

2 Great Northern Diver , 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 46 Ringed Plover where at Killough Harbour.(Tim Murphy)

The Black Swan was at Dundrum Inner Bay South close to the mouth of the Carrowreagh River (Gilly Irwin).

Bird News Monday 8th December

The drake Ring-necked Duck was still at the sludge tank at Kinnegar (Stuart McKee).

A Little Egret was at Kinnegar Pool. (Stephen Maxwell).

c.280 Whooper Swans either side of Ballydrain Rd, Comber. A high proportion of the birds are juveniles. (Chris Murphy).

 The Great Northern Diver is still in Killough Harbour. (Tim Murphy).

Many thanks to Stuart McKee for the picture of the Ring-necked Duck and to Stephen Maxwell for the picture of the Little Egret:


Bird News Sunday 7th December

An adult Glaucous Gull was at Enniskillen dump.(Brad Robson)

4 fem Goosander a Slavonian Grebe a 2nd winter Med Gull and a Sandwich Tern where around Larne Lough.(Neal Warnock)

A male Goosander was seen at Glynn Co. Antrim (Linda Thompson)see photo below.

Around Larne Lough 10 Red-throated Diver were at Brown's Bay (Cameron Moore)

A Peregrine was seen over the River Lagan/Ormeau Rd this morning.(Robert&Jeanette Scott)

Our thanks to Linda for the picture of the Goosander (left bird) with male and female Red-breasted Merganser,nice having the two birds beside each other for comparison.The second photo again kindly sent in by Linda shows male and two female Pintail. Also to Dick Glasgow for the Goldfinch. Karl Martin for the Dipper.

Bird News Saturday 6th December

Two Dipper were feeding in the stream at Moat Park, Dundonald (Jonny Clark)

Four female Goosander, a Slavonian Grebe, a 2nd Winter Med Gull, 3 Pintail, a Peregrine and a Sandwich Tern were around Larne Lough today (Neal Warnock)

The first winter drake Ring-necked Duck was still at Kinnegar (BirdGuides)

40 Tree Sparrows were visiting feeders at Aghnaleck (Garry Wilkinson)

A Whimbrel flew past Groomsport Harbour (George Gordon)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of Tree Sparrows in his garden and Karl Martin for the Dundonald Dipper:

Glynn Birdwatching Event

We are running another Glynn Birdwatching Event which seems to have become an annual Christmas event in Larne. The event will be on the platform at Glynn Train station on Saturday 20th December between 11.00am and 1.00pm. If you are free, pop along at any time, there will be binoculars, spotting scopes and ID guides you can use. As it’s so close to Christmas we are going to have some Christmas treats and hot chocolate to keep us warm. We have confirmation from Translink to use the station, and the tides look favourable for the day. Please pass on the word to anyone you think would be interested, and I hope to see you there. Any queries, please feel free to contact me.

Maurice Turley,
Biodiversity Officer (Ballymena, Carrickfergus & Larne),
Larne Borough Council Smiley Buildings,
Victoria Road,
Co. Antrim,
BT40 1RU.
Tel 028 28272313

Bird News Friday 5th December

Yesterday 2 Slavonian Grebe were off the seawall at Myroe. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson).

3 Waxwing were in trees beside Groomsport Church of Ireland (Billy Miskelly). 

A Buzzard and Shelduck were at Killough Harbour. Yesterday 6 Little Egret, a Sparrowhawk, 220 Dunlin, 140 Curlew, 500 Lapwing and 70 Pale-bellied Brent were there (Tim Murphy).

2 female Goosanders were off Glynn station in Larne Lough. (Neal Warnock).

The Spoonbill was seen briefly on the saltmarsh beside Castle Espie this morning. (Angus Kennedy).

95 Bar-tailed Godwit were at Whitehouse Lagoon this morning (Adam McClure)

A drake Ring-necked Duck was at Durnesh Lough, Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal this afternoon (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Neil Cartmill for the picture of the Dipper, to Angus Kennedy for the picture of the Shoveler and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of Greenfinch's and Goldfinch's at his feeder.