Bird News for Saturday 30th June

Two Reed Warbler were at Kinnego Bay, Oxford Island, Lough Neagh (Ed O'Hara).

Thanks to Ed for the pic below of one of the Reed Warblers. You can see further pictures from local birders at:

White-tailed Eagle Update

Thanks to Allan Mee, Project Manager for the White-tailed Eagle reintroduction project for providing information about the bird we featured recently at Inishowen (photographed by Christine Cassidy). The bird is a 2011 hatched female, tag  K released in Killarney Nat Park, Co Kerry, on 9 Aug 2011. As you can see from the pics she is carrying a GPS satellite transmitter. You can learn more about the reintroduction project at

Bird News for Friday 29th June.

A Quail was calling at Ora More near Boho in Fermanagh (David Steele).
A 2nd summer Med Gull was at RSPB Belfast harbour estate. (Keith Bennett)

Our thanks to Robin Harper for this picture of a Spotted Flycatcher, a bird that numbers are unfortunately sharply declining. 

Bird News Wednesday 27th June

At the Montiaghs today the Red Footed Falcon was seen briefly this afternoon but not subsequently, there was no sign of the Hobby.

A Roseate Tern was at Copeland Bird Observatory. (Kerry Leonard).

Red Footed Falcon - The Montiaghs

The Red Footed Falcon at the Montiaghs has been present from at least Sunday, being seen by a local photographer on Sunday evening as he was looking for the Hobby that has been present at the site. Based on plumage this appears to be a different bird from the one present at Slemish just over a week ago. Below are some further shots of the bird.

Bird News for Tues.26th June.

A Red footed Falcon  been seen at the Montaighs, the same site were the Hobby has been seen recently.(I.Dickey). The photograph of the bird below was kindly sent in by Mark Killops.
The Hobby has  also been present this evening from the above location.(G.Armstrong.)

The colour-ringed 1st summer Med Gull at Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve yesterday had a light green ring on the Right leg code 32LU. It was ringed as a pullus near Antwerp in Belgium on 13th June last year then was seen at Las Palmas Grand Canaries in January and February this year. If anyone sees this bird again please report it to or via the website at 

 Our thanks to Alex Coroliu for this wonderful image of a pair of Swallows.

Bird News Monday 25th June

The 1st summer Hobby was still at Montaigh's Moss this afternoon. (Keith Bennett)

A colour ringed 1st summer Med Gull and a 1st summer Little Gull were at Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Tom McCreery for this picture of a Great-crested Grebe family. You can see more excellent pictures at

Bird News Sunday 24th June

The Hobby was back at the Montaighs this afternoon seen hunting dragonflies.(T.Ennis)

A Short-eared Owl was hunting over fields at Kearney. Unusually a Puffin was in Strangford narrows, N of Portaferry ferry slip.A dark Arctic Skua was off Burr Point, Ballyhalbert. (Keith Bennett)
As well as the SE Owl 2 Arctic Skua (light and dark phase) were at Kearney Point (Keith Bennett)

 In Donegal a second or third-year Glaucous Gull was at Glashedy Island off Doagh before flying into Trawbrega Bay (Brad Robson). The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport. Staying on the theme of gulls the Little Gull remains at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate.(P.West) 

Thanks to Chris Murphy of these images of young Little Egrets in the nest, evidence of the first confirmed breeding record for this species in Northern Ireland and also of the White Wagtail which recently breed in Northern Ireland, also to Christine Cassidy for this picture of a pair of Great-crested Grebes and to Andrew Poots for the Yellowhammer shot. You can see more pictures at

Bird News Saturday 23rd June

An Osprey was fishing at Portmore Lough RSPB reserve, a juvenile Peregrine was also present. (Ed O'Hara).

A White-tailed Eagle was at Inishowen, Co Donegal. Picture below. (Christine Cassidy).

A Whooper Swan was at Knockninny at Upper Lough Erne. (Brad Robson).

3 Gadwall and 3 summer Black-tailed Godwits (perhaps failed Iceland breeders) were at Belfast harbour lagoon. (Stuart McKee).

Osprey - Ed O'Hara
White-tailed Eagle - Christine Cassidy

Bird News Friday 22nd June

Not surprisingly with the poor weather, no bird news today.

Three White Wagtails (an adult female and two juveniles) at the Mullagh, Lough Beg are possibly the first breeding record for Ireland. They have bred in the north of Scotland and at least once in England (Norfolk, mid-90s) (James Orr / Chris Murphy)

Thanks to Tom McCreery for this superb picture of a Swallow. You can see more pictures at

Bird News Thursday 21st June

A Hobby has been reported from the Montiaghs near Aghalee, the same area as the bird seen last summer, although unlike last years bird this bird does not have a damaged foot. This could be the bird seen at Rams Island nearby yesterday.

The Glossy Ibis was present at Colebrook River close to its exit at Lough ( ie at end of lane on RHS). It flew off north at 8.20pm and didnt return by 9.15pm. (Colin Bell)

A Little Gull was at Kinnegar Shore.(P.Scott)

There has been quite a few Rose-coloured Starlings reported from around the UK so well worth checking any Starling flocks.
Our thanks to Alistair Prentice for the photo of a pair of Swallows

Bird News Wednesday 20th June

A Hobby was at the north end of Rams Island, Lough Neagh this afternoon, Rams Island is approx 1 mile offshore from Sandy Bay on the east shore of the lough. (Bird Guides).
A first-summer Little Gull was in the southwest corner of Lough Beg. 2 Cuckoo were at Church Island (Jeff Larkin).
2 Garden Warblers were singing today at Blayney, Co. Fermanagh. (Stephen Scarlett/Sarah Mcaffrey).
Yesterday evening a Grasshopper Warbler was singing and giving excellent views at Round Lake, Fivemiletown, Co. Fermanagh. (Colin Bell)

The Glossy Ibis @ the Colebrooke River

During a visit to the Colebrook River to look for the Glossy Ibis, the landowner of the land on the Windmill Restaurant side of the river, informed a birder that a 'bird watcher' had recently left a gate open resulting in 29 cattle getting out of his land and into the adjacent restaurant/accomadation complex, causing considerable damage.

He was very disappointed as he has always been very supportive of bird watchers on his land and feels very let down. He says that all he wants is visitors to respect his property and to close any gates they may have opened.

We are passing this on due to remind everyone of the need to respect private landowners wishes. Everyone's co-operation is appreciated and to the benefit of all birders.

Bird News for Tuesday 19th June.

The Glossy Ibis was seen again on the Colebrooke River Co.Fermanagh, from the end of the lane past the Windmill Restaurant (Dermot Hughes)

A Little Tern was at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate.also the two Little Gulls were present. (Chris Sturgeon/R.Sturgenor)
The photo below shows the Little Tern just right of the Shelduck in the middle of the picture,you can see how small it looks to the other terns.Our thanks to Ronald for making the effort to send us the image. 

Our thanks to Alistair Prentice for this image of a Sedge Warbler

Red-footed Falcon Update

Yesterday evening (Monday) Bill Guiller and Gavin Ferguson seen the falcon pretty much near the foot of Slemish. Over the first style and straight down to your right over the bullrushes is where it was perched on a fence post. We then watched it leave the fence post, pluck something out of the air and then eat it in flight. Thanks to Gavin for the pics below:

Bird News Monday 18th June

No news today on either the Red Footed Falcon in Co. Antrim or the Glossy Ibis in Co. Fermanagh.
The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport, Co. Down. (George Gordon).

Check out the latest NI bird pictures at

Bird News for Sunday 17th June

The Red-footed Falcon is still at Slemish (Garry Armstrong) for directions see below.
A Cuckoo was on posts at the Slemish visitors centre car park, allowing very good views.See the picture blog for images of the bird.

The Glossy Ibis was still at Colebrooke River mouth this morning. Distant on earth bank. Also a probable dead Barn Owl on M1 W J9, Moira. (Keith Bennett)

Our thanks to Stuart McKee for the pic. of the Glossy Ibis

A Greater Spotted Woodpecker was at Crom, Co Fermanagh. It was just north o the visitor centre. (Keith Bennett)
.At Lough Beg a Little Egret was at Paddy's Dub (David Steele).

 Along the Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh 3 Reed Warbler were at Blackers Rock - the first he had noted there (Godfrey McRoberts).

 In Fermanagh as well as the Glossy Ibis a Whimbrel was at the Colbrooke (Stuart McKee). 3 Garden Warbler were at Crom Estate (Brad Robson)

A drake Common Scoter in Killough harbour and a Peregrine over the village.(C.Murphy)

 Yesterday a high count of 24 Turnstone was at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Stuart McKee).

Bird News for Saturday 16th June

The Glossy Ibis was seen again this morning at the mouth of the Colebrooke River, Co Fermanagh (Irish Birding).

The Garden Warbler was seen again this morning at Annadale Embankment, Belfast (Paul Scott).

The male Garganey, 1st summer Little Gull and 2 Kittiwake were at Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve this morning.

The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport. (George Gordon).

Bird News for Friday 15th June

The drake Garganey was still at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve although elusive. A 1st summer Little Gull was also present. (RSPB staff)

A male and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker have been visiting a garden in Co. Armagh for the last few days. (Joe Devlin).

The immature Glossy Ibis was still at the mouth of the Colebrooke river in Co. Fermanagh. (Brad Robson).

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this excellent study of a Kingfisher. You can check out more pictures from NI bird photographers at

New Hides at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve

The RSPB are having an open forum for photographers and birdwatchers at the reserve on Monday 18th June at 7.30pm, to discuss the designs of the new outdoor hides. We are hoping to create areas that are specifically for birders and photographers, so we would like to hear your ideas about what would be the best design to facilitate you all.
Chris Sturgeon, Warden.

Bird News for Thursday 14th June.

A Red-footed Falcon was seen to-day at Slemish.(see below for details)

The male Garganey and 2 first-summer Little Gull were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).
 A Curlew Sandpiper and a 1st summer Little Gull were at the Bann Estuary.

The Osprey at Dundrum recently was ringed in Scotland 2 years ago (Roy Dennis, Graham McElwaine)

Red-footed Falcon!!

An immature male Red-footed Falcon is hunting and perched on fence posts near slemish this morning. View from ulster way only. Do not enter private farmland. Bird between slemish and shillanavogy (Neal Warnock)

Further info from Neal:
Park at the visitor centre at Slemish and follow the Ulster/Antrim Hills Way around the base of the mountain and downhill towards Shillanavogy. Once on open moorland, follow the white marker posts for around another 1km, the bird seems to be favouring a stretch of ground close to a small burn and heather patches, where the track reaches a long stretch of fence (circled in map below). Bird seen hunting in the area and perching on the described fence and even the white topped marker posts in this area.

PLEASE stick to the marked track and DO NOT trespass onto neighbouring farmland or laneways. The bird is best viewed from the Ulster Way (shown in red on the map).

Bird News Wednesday 13th June

A Glossy Ibis, was at the mouth of the Colebrooke River Upper Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

The drake Garganey was still at RSPB Belfast harbour lagoon this morning, with one 1st summer little gull. (Keith Bennett)

An Osprey was seen again at Dundrum (Simon Morton).

A first-summer Little Gull was at Bann Estuary (Hill Dick, Peter Robinson)

Thanks to Ronald Surgenor for these pics of the Little Gull and the Garganey. You can see more bird pics at

Bird News Tuesday 12th June

10 Crossbill were seen flying at Camlough Mountain Co. Amagh this morning. On the 9th &10th a Cuckoo was calling at Silverbridge Co Armagh. (Frank Carroll).

A drake Garganey and a first-summer Little Gull were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. (Stuart McKee / Stephen Maxwell)

Thanks to Stephen for the picture of the Garganey below:

Bird News Monday 11th June

The singing male Garden Warbler was still holding territory at Annadale this morning (Dermot Hughes)

A Rough-legged Buzzard has been reported perched beside the M1 between Moira and Lisburn (Warren Fowles)

A first-summer Little Gull and a Greenshank were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Stuart McKee)

Two Roseate Terns were on Big Copeland today and another on Mew Island. (Kerry Leonard)

Thanks to John Clarke for this picture of a Tree Sparrow ringed at Corbally Reservoir, Portrush. You can see more bird pictures at

Bird News Sunday 10th June

In south Down an Osprey was followed fishing between Dundrum Harbour and the Blackstaff at Dundrum Inner Bay North before flying off towards Seaforde (Walter Veale, Davy Brooks).

A Cuckoo was at Belfast Harbour Estate and the 2 first-summer Little Gull were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. A first-summer Little Gull was at the Lagoon at Ballymacormick Point near Groomsport (Jeff Larkin).

A Curlew Sandpiper and an Iceland Gull were at Bann Estuary (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).

Yesterday evening a Barn Owl was seen along Church Road at Holywood (Aaron Devlin)
Also yesterday evening, 2 Storm Petrels and 2 Porpoises were at St Johns Point, Co Down (Chris Murphy)

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for the picture below of a pair of Black Guillemots. You can see further pictures from Alistair and other local photographers at

Bird News Saturday 9th June

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport, Co Down (Wilton Farrelly)
A Storm Petrel flew past Kearney Point, Co Down this afternoon.

Many thanks to Tom McCreery for these pictures of Common Tern and Sedge Warbler. You can see more pictures from local bird photographers at:

Bird News Friday 8th June

A Little Tern and one 1st summer Little Gull are at RSPB Harbour Reserve, Belfast. Also an adult Kittiwake is present. (Keith Bennett).

A male Garganey, female Ruff and a 1st summer Little Gull were in the south west corner of Lough Beg. (David Steele).

Thanks to Mark Killops for these shots of a couple of birds that may actually be enjoying our current weather. Check out more NI bird pictures at

Pochard - Mark killops

Great Crested Grebe - Mark Killops

Bird News Thursday 7th June

No news so far today, something to do with the weather perhaps!

Here are some pictures from Stephen Maxwell, John Clarke and David & James Gillespie. You can see more NI bird pictures at

Lesser Redpoll - Stephen Maxwell

Whitethroat - John Clarke

Lesser Black Backed Gull - David & James Gillespie

Lough Beg - Help protect this special environment

Gordon D'Arcy, wildlife artist and author of 'Birds at Lough Beg' will be running a series of bird drawing workshops for children at the Garden Fete at Moyola Park, Castledawson, this Sunday, 10 June, 2-6pm. Admission £6 adult, £2 child. The painting workshop is one of a number of events including 'Its a Knockout' which will be fun as well as informative, the idea being to raise awareness of the wetland jewel that is Lough Beg as well as funds for both Action MS and Lough Beg For Life.
So, if you have a copy of this out of print classic, and would like it signed by Gordon, please bring it along on Sunday and bring lots of children, too! The support of every birdwatcher and conservationist in Britain and Ireland is needed if we are to ensure Lough Beg is fully protected 'in its entirety for eternity'. Despite a multitude of designations and acres of well-meaning words this fabulous wetland continues to suffer from decades of neglect. More people need to know just how special Lough Beg is. Please help spread the word.

Bird News Wednesday 6th June

A Corncrake has been reported near Drumquin Lough, Co Tyrone.

4 Little Egrets were at the nesting site in Co. Down, see picture below. (Chris Murphy).

A Roseate Tern was at Big Copeland. Perhaps the same was one of two birds heard calling at Groomsport Harbour. (Kerry Leonard).

The second summer Ring-billed Gull was also at Groomsport. It appears to have an injured right leg.

Last week a Lesser Black Backed Gull with a yellow wing tag number 71 was seen outside the NIEA office in Belfast. If you can provide any information on this bird please let us know. (Eimear Rooney)/

Little Egrets - Chris Murphy

Bird News Tuesday 5th June

The two first summer Little Gulls were still at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve (Wilton Farrelly)

A Red Kite was in Solitude Park, Banbridge this morning. This bird has been seen frequently in the area over the past few weeks and has become a regular sight flying over Banbridge town centre! (David McCreedy)

The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport Harbour (George Gordon).

Yesterday 9 Stock Dove were at Myroe Levels, Lough Foyle (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to Chris Henry for the picture below of a Long-eared Owl at Saintfield. You can see more pictures at

Little Egret Breeding in NI

Little Egret has been suspected as breeding in NI for the last few years. The pictures below confirm breeding at a site in Co Down this year. The site has no public access but thanks to Chris Murphy for these pictures which were taken at the end of May during survey work at this site.

Bird News Monday 4th June

A Wood Warbler was in Crawfordsburn Country Park (Dot Blakely)

Both 1st summer Little Gulls were still at RSPB Belfast this morning (Keith Bennett / Stephen Maxwell)
An adult Mediterranean Gull was in Enniskillen town centre at 18.30 (Brad Robson)
On the Antrim Plateau 42 Crossbill were at Slieveanorra before they flew off high to the south (David Steele).

A Red-necked Phalarope was in the harbour at Tory Island (Peter Phillips)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the pictures of the Little Gulls. You can see more pictures at:

Bird News for Sunday 3rd June.

A Goshawk circled over the M1  this evening at about 6.00 pm. It was a mile or so past Dunmurry junction close to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixons park.(E.Randal)

 American Eider (race dresseri), Doagh Isle [R] Co.Donegal,  adult drake again present late morning (11:20)

Ring-necked Duck, Blanket Nook, Lough Swilly [R] drake again

Red Kite about 1 mile south of Greyabbey and a  Dipper at Crawfordsburn country park(C.Henry)

Our thanks to Christine Cassidy for this image of a young Pied Wagtail

Bird News Saturday 2nd June

A Reed Warbler was singing at Lough Cowey (Paul Scott)
On Thursday a Red Kite was seen at Craigantlet, Co Down (Eimear Rooney)
Antrim plateau today had a; 1 Whinchat at Glenhead Rd (Skerrywhirry). RSPB Belfast still has two 1st summer little gulls (Keith Bennett)
A Red-throated Diver was south off Sheepland, Co Down (Chris Murphy)
3 Ravens were at Lead Mines in Newtownards, close to the quarry (David McCormick)
The Garden Warbler was still at Annadale in Belfast (Dermot Hughes).
Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for these pictures of the Little Gull at Belfast Harbour RSPB Reserve. You can see further pictures at

Bird News Friday 1st June

There was no sign of the Little Ringed Plover at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. The first-summer Little Gull was present (George Gordon). 
50/60 Swifts were at the Seven Towers roundabout in Ballymena (Andy Elliott).

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this excellent picture of a Red Breasted Merganser. You can check out more pictures of NI birds at

Red Breasted Merganser - Alistair Prentice