Bird News Sunday 31st July

17 Crossbill were at Glennoo Mountain area of Slieve Beagh nr Fivemiletown (Colin Bell)
8 Little Egret and a Kingfisher were at Dundrum Bay (Patrick Healey) 
A Golden Eagle was this mornng in Inishowen. It was a tagged bird (Tyrone Nelson).
Yesterday a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was at Glenarm (Colin Guy)

Report your sightings and send in your photographs to:

Juvenile Lapwing, Myroe - David Hill

Bird News Saturday 30th July

An Osprey, 4 Ruff and 10 Greenshank were at Lough Beg. (David Steele).

12 to 15 Swift were at Portstewart. (Derek Polley).

In south Down a red morph Cuckoo was along Kilnahill Road near Legananny Dolmen. (David Young).

3 Whimbrel were at Whitehead and 80 Shag at White Park Bay. (Ian Enlander).

The Osprey was hunting at the western end of the Quoile pondage this afternoon between 3.00 and 3.15. (Ron Price).

Bird News for Friday 29th July

An Osprey was hunting along the River Quoile close to the main road from Downpatrick to Crossgar from 8.20 to 8.35am (John Pyper).

Bird News Thur 28th July

Things are very quiet at the moment!
A Little Gull and a juvenile Peregrine were at Quoile Pondage (Spencer and Joan Marshall).

A singing Yellowhammer and three Kestrel were at Scrabo Quarry (Dot Blakely).

Yesterday, 3 Whooper Swan were reported from Lough Beg. 

Bird News Wed 27th July

2 Buzzard, 2 Raven and a Wheatear were at Capanagh and a Stonechat, several Spotted Flycatcher, a juvenile Sparrowhawk, a pair of Blackcap and juvenile Willow Warblers at Cranny Falls (Dot Blakely).

A summer plumaged Knot was on Cockle Island in Groomsport (George Gordon).

Bird News for Tues 26th July.

2 Spotted Flycatcher were at Delamont Country Park (Derek Polley).

Ian Mitchell's funeral will be on Friday at St John's Malone in Belfast at 11.30. After the Crematorium at 1pm there will be tea and sandwiches at the Ulster Museum. All are welcome.

Orange Headed ???

Many thanks to David Ledsham for the picture below. It is probably a Blackcap which has been feeding on nectar in Phormium plants, resulting in the very odd look! The photograph was taken at Cairncastle, near Larne.

Ian Mitchell

It is with regret that we have learnt of the death of Ian Mitchell on Saturday. Ian was a longstanding birder and geologist in NI and had recently been recovering from a lengthy illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children.

Mourne & Cooley Nature Activities

Bird News for Sunday 24th July

2 Mediterranean Gulls, an adult and a juvenile, as well as 126 Red Breasted Mergansers and a Siskin were at Glyn, Larne Lough, 2 Peregrines were on the Antrim Plateau. (Jeff Larkin).

A female Kestrel was at Star Bog Road and 2 Buzzards were at Shane's Hill, Larne. (Stephen Maxwell & Stevie Maxwell).

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for these excellent Kestrel pictures.

Kestrel - Stephen Maxwell

Kestrel - Stephen Maxwell

An Osprey(see below) was giving excellent views from the main hide at Collector's Bay, Quoile pondage between 12.30-13.20.(G.Armstrong/P.West)

A moulting ad Mediterranean Gull (centre bird below) was on the beach just south of Kilclief castle.

Bird News Saturday 23rd July

Last night 11 Storm Petrels were ringed at Sheepland near Ardglass (Declan Clarke).
Earlier 2 Minke Whales were seen off Sheepland (Tim & Chris Murphy).

2 Raven, a Kestrel and a Grasshopper Warbler were at Carnfunnock Forest Park in Co. Antrim (Irish Birding)

2 Little Gulls were at Ardmore on the south shore of Lough Neagh.

A second year Mediterranean Gull was at Larne Harbour by the Princess Victoria Memorial (Irish Birding).

Buzzards were widely reported soaring in the good weather including birds at Cappanagh and Carnalbannagh in Co. Antrim, three birds together at Oxford Island Co. Armagh and two birds yesterday evening in Dundonald

Thanks to Bill Guiller for these shots of a Merlin taken in Co. Antrim today.

Merlin - Bill Guiller

Merlin - Bill Guiler

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell and Stevie Stewart for these Buzzard pictures.

Buzzard - Stephen Maxwell

Buzzard - Stevie Stewart

Buzzard - Stephen Maxwell

Bird News Thursday 21st July

Along the north coast 8 Raven and a Kestrel were at Binevenagh. (Theo Campbell).
The Pacific Golden Plovers were looked for to-day without success
Thanks to Mike Pringle for this excellent shot of a Merlin carrying food.

Merlin - Mike Pringle

Thanks to David Hill for these great shots taken at Carrick-a-Rede.

Kittiwake, Carrick-a-Rede - David Hill

Wren, Carrick-a-Rede - David Hill

Bird News for Wed. 20th July

The two Pacific Golden Plover continue to be seen at the Lawn fields at Myroe, amazing how long these birds have remained in the area, they have been joined to-day by a Pectoral Sandpiper.

6 Common Sandpiper, 6 Ringed Plover, 600 Black Tailed Godwits and a few Bar Tailed Godwits were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve, 2 Peregrines were there yesterday. (Dot Blakely).

A Grasshopper Warbler was singing at Carnagat Forest near Fivemiletown. (Colin Bell).

Bird News for Tues. 19th July

An Osprey flew over the RSPB Portmore Lough reserve.(N.Warnock)

A juv Glaucous Gull, a summer plum. Greenshank and 5 Common Sandpiper were at Ardlea, Dundrum Inner Bay North.(S&J Marshall)

A dark morph Arctic Skua was off Groomsport. (G.Gordon)

Our thanks yet again to Craig Nash for his usual high standard photographs from the top, Pied Wagtails ad and juvenile, Sedge Warbler and Linnet.

Bird News Monday 18th July

The 2 Pacific Golden Plovers were still at the turf fields at Myroe. (Irish Birding).

A Great Skua, 2 Storm Petrel and 2 Puffins passed Ramore Head. (Irish Birding).

30 Storm Petrel and several hundred Manx Shearwaters were at Portstewart Point and the Ring Billed Gull was still at Ballycastle. (Colin Guy).

In Donegal a Cory's Shearwater, 22 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Great Skua, a Puffin and 700 Manx Shearwater were at Malin Head between 7.30a.m. and 1.00p.m. 4 Chough were on the headland. (Alan Gillespie & Gerard McGeehan).

Late news from yesterday, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Greenshank, 3 Turnstone and a sizeable flock of Dunlin were at Killough harbour, 40 Common Tern, 11 Sandwich Tern and a Gannet were at Cloghey Rocks and 3 Yellowhammer were at Ballycruttle. (Norma Perceval-Price).

Bird News for Sunday 17th July

5 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Arctic Skua a Storm Petrel and 2 Puffin were at Ramore Head between 05.30- 08.30

2 dark morph Arctic Skua and a Whimbrel were at Ballymacormick Point and a Great Skua between Big Copeland and Donaghadee (Richard Weyl).

A Sparrowhawk and 12 Swallow were at Ballysillan Playing Fields in Belfast (Andy Elliott).

Bird News Saturday 16th July

The 2 Pacific Golden Plovers were still present at the turf fields at Myroe. (Irish Birding).

Thanks to David Steele for these shots of the Pacific Golden Plovers at Myroe and also for the record shot of the Hobby that he found at Capanagh on the 6th.

Pacific Golden Plover, Myroe - David Steele

Pacific Golden Plover, Myroe - David Steele

Hobby - David Steele

Bird News Friday 15th July

The 2 Pacific Golden Plover were present at Myroe until just after 1.00 p.m. when they flew out to Lough Foyle. Also present were the Curlew Sandpiper, a Knot, 10 Sanderling and 100 Dunlin. (David Steele).

A Reed Warbler was calling at Loughinisland. (Richard Weyl).

In Co. Antrim a female Merlin with three young were seen, also seen were a Kestrel and a pair of Spotted Flycatchers. (Jason Starbucks, Stevie Stewart, Scott Young & Drew Middleton).

Thanks to Mark Killops, Drew Middleton and Ian Jackson for todays pictures.

Reed Warbler, Oxford Island - Mark Killops

Merlin - Drew Middleton

Kittiwake, Kilkeel Harbour - Ian Jackson

Kittiwake, Kilkeel Harbour - Ian Jackson

Binoculars for sale

One pair of Zeiss 8 by 32 FL binoculars for sale, asking price £700.00 o.n.o. seldom used, brilliant condition, the current price for a new pair is £1,300.00, if anyone interested contact the blog and we will forward you details to seller.

Bird News for 14th July

The 2 Pacific Golden Plover were still at the lawn turf fields at Myroe Levels, they have now been in the area for getting on for two weeks. (Guy Hamilton).

In Donegal a Corncrake was still calling in the field beside the GAA pitch and a Common
Sandpiper was at the bridge (Vernon Carter).

Bird News for Wednesday 13th July.

The two Pacific Golden Plover are still present on the Lawn fields at Myroe.

A Roseate Tern and 5 Common Sandpiper were at Belfast Harbour RSPB (Gerard McGeehan).

A female Merlin was at Slieve Gullion (Derek Polley).

Bird News for Tues. 12th July

Adult Pacific Golden Plover at Myroe.
Curlew Sandpiper left along side a Dunlin

The 2 Pacific Golden Plover and the sum. plum. Curlew Sandpiper were seen and photographed (see above) at Myroe (N.Moore)

8 Crossbill were seen in Belmore Forest Co.Fermanagh.(B.Robson)

In Armagh 5 Common Sandpiper were at Seagahan Dam (Clifford Sharpe).

A fem. Hen Harrier, 2 Buzzard and 2 Kestrel were at Slieve Beagh nr Fivemiletown, a few nights previous a Pine Marten was seen.(C.Bell)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell who kindly sent us these photographs of a pair of Buzzards he seen to-day on the Dunleady Road in Dundonald.

Bird News Monday 11th July

The Semi-Palmated Sandpiper, 2 Pacific Golden Plovers and summer plummaged Curlew Sandpiper were all still present at the Myroe turf fields. (Irish Birding).

6 Crossbill were at Monea in Co. Fermanagh (Brad Robson).

14 Storm Petrels were caught and ringed at Portstewart (Irish Birding).

A Corncrake was calling in a field at Glencolumbkille in Co. Donegal (Vernon Carter).

Bird News Sunday 10th July

An adult Semi-Palmated Sandpiper was at the Myroe turf fields this evening, the two Pacific Golden Plovers and a Curlew Sandpiper were also present on the turf fields today. (Irish Birding).

A Storm Petrel was at Burial Island and 10 Reed Warbler at Ballyherly Lough including 2 broods of fledged young (Richard Weyl).

A Common Sandpiper was at Kinnegar Pool and 2 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler and a Teal at Belfast Harbour RSPB (George Gordon).

A Dipper was at Omagh (Dot Blakely).

An adult summer plummaged Mediterranean Gull, 7 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpipers were at Killough Harbour and a Common Sandpiper and an Otter were at the Quoile Pondage. (Philip West).

Bird News Saturday 9th June

A light morph Arctic Skua was between Orlock and Copeland. (Richard Weyl)

A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at Carnfunnock, 2 Kestrel were at Cappanagh, a Peregrine was on the Antrim plateau and 2 Buzzard were over Agnews Hill (Irish Birding).

2 Black Throated Divers passed St John's Point and a Reed Warbler was at killough Brick Works,
2 Common Sandpipers were at Strand Lough.

Bird News for 8th July

A Night Heron was seen in flight at Toomebridge flying from Lough Beg this afternoon.

The 2 Pacific Golden Plover remain on the Lawn fields at Myroe, fingers crossed it will remain for the weekend.
Thanks to Dave Hill for this photo of two young Wheatears he took at Myroe to-day

Bird News for Thurs. 7th July.

The two Pacific Golden Plovers remain at Myroe Co.Londonderry, they were joined to-day by a sum. plum. Curlew Sandpiper a Little Stint, 4 Sanderling and 100 Black-tailed Godwits so a superb selection of waders there at the moment.Also several Wheatears and 5 White Wagtails (G.McGeehan/S.Dunlop/C.Sharpe/J.Devlin).

A Grasshopper Warbler was singing mid-way between Millbridge and the Spa, Ballynahinch Co.Down.

23 Black -tailed Godwit were on the lower Lough Erne Islands Co.Ferm.(B.Robson)

A White-tailed Eagle(presumed wing tagged) was seen at Glenshesk Co.Antrim (Laurie Davies)

Bird News Wednesday 6th July

The two Pacific Golden Plovers are still at Myroe (George Gordon \ Gerard McGeehan)
Also 4 Sanderling, 50 Dunlin and 6 Turnstone at Myroe (Gerard McGeehan)

A first summer Hobby was this afternoon just east of Capanagh on the Antrim Plateau. It was seen for half an hour up to 16:30 when it flew south over Agnews Hill (David Steele)
2 Greenshanks, 2 Common Sandpiper were at RSPB Reserve, Belfast (Gerard McGeehan)
A Female Crossbill was at Slieve Beagh nr Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone (Colin Bell)
Sedge Warbler, Longfield Point - David Hill

Bird News Update, Tuesday 5th July

As well as the information in the previous posts (including the continued presence of the Pacific Golden Plovers), the following is the news for today:

A Corncrake has been reported calling from the Broadmills area, Lisburn - about a mile and a half down the Creevy Road (Heather McCune)

A possible Nightjar has been reported calling at night from near Banbridge. This information has been provided by Ivan Mateer who is happy being contacted on 07958040080.

Red Kite Triplets

The BBC are today carrying a story about the Red Kite reintroduction and the first Red Kite 'triplets' in NI.
You can see more at:
Red Kite - Stephen Eachus

Bird News Tuesday 5th July

The two Pacific Golden Plovers are still at Myroe Levels (Dennis Weir).
Pacific Golden Plovers  - Stuart McKee

Pacific Golden Plover - Stuart McKee
Below are a couple of shots from David Steele of the Osprey near Fivemiletown yesterday. It was eating a fish on a roadside pole, giving views down to 50m from the car. The heavy brown streaking on the chest would strongly indicate a female. It then flew to nearby forestry where it stayed for over two hours before flying off high to the south. Note the pale blue ring on left tarsus visible in the top shot.
Osprey - David Steele

Osprey - David Steele

Pacific Golden Plover

The Pacific Golden Plovers at Myroe Levels, Lough Foyle have continued to make this year, one of the best on record for rare birds in Northern Ireland.
This species breeds in northern Siberia and western Alaska and is highly migratory. It is however extremely difficult to distinguish from American Golden Plover. It is also the much rarer vagrant and according to LGR Evans (Rare Birds in Britain), AGP records would seem to outnumber it by about 8 to 1. Most records of Pacific Golden Plover tend to be in mid-summer or winter. Also, according to Evans, few stay longer than five days!
Many thanks to Neal Warnock for the shots below of the PGP and Golden Plover:
adult Pacific Golden Plover (left) - Neal Warnock

adult Pacific Golden Plover (right) - Neal Warnock

Bird News Monday 4th July

Both the adult and the first summer Pacific Golden Plovers were present again today at Myroe levels, they were with Golden Plovers in a stony field.

A pair of Whooper Swans with six cygnets were at Lough Beg. (Clive Mellon).

An Osprey was near Fivemiletown. (David Steele).

A bullfinch was at Copeland Bird Observatory, this is the first record for the observatory for fifty years.
Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this superb shot of a Buzzard, one of two seen at Dundonald yesterday.

Buzzard - Stephen Maxwell

Bird News for Sunday 3rd July

Two Pacific Golden Plovers ( see above ) were on the lawn fields at Myroe Levels, an adult, plus a first summer bird. The two birds were feeding along with 6 Golden Plover, unfortunately they all took off around 17.30 and were not seen again, although they are surely still in the area, it's just a matter of re-locating them .This is the first time that PGP has been seen in Northern Ireland

3 female Garganey and 2 Ruff were in the southwest corner of Lough Beg (David Steele).

A GN Diver was at Drumfad Bay south of Millisle (Richard Weyl).

Yesterday a Reed Warbler and 4 Sedge Warbler were at Strand Lough and 4 Whimbrel flew over (Declan Clarke).

2 pair of SE Owl have been successful on the Antrim Plateau raising 4 and 3 young respectively. Interestingly both nests had pellets of Short-toed Voles.

Bird News for Saturday 2nd July

The 1st sum. Ring-billed Gull was still at Ballycastle Co.Antrim (N.Warnock)

Another 1st sum. Ringed-billed Gull and a singing Reed Warbler were at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate reserve.

4 Common Sandpiper were along the Newry canal, (F.Carroll)

Bird News Friday 1st July

A wing tagged Red Kite and a Whinchat were on the Glen Head Road, Glenwherry, Co Antrim (Jeff Larkin)
An unseasonal Whooper Swan was at Ballycastle \ Benbane Head (Colin Guy)
A female Hen Harrier was seen between Ballymena and Carnlough (David Glassby)
Late news from yesterday, 24 Raven, a Kestrel and a Hen Harrier were near Shilnavogy, Slemish, Co. Antrim. (Adam McClure).
Late news from Wednesday was of a singing Grasshopper Warbler at Slievenacloy, Co. Antrim. (Catherine Kennedy).
Thanks to Craig Nash for these superb pictures.

Puffin - Craig Nash

Razorbill - Craig Nash

Gannet - Craig Nash