Bird News Saturday 29th December

The Buff-bellied Pipit was seen again first thing this morning near Ringsallin, Tyrella, 2 Twite and 300 Sanderling were also present. A Whimbrel was at Castle Island at the Quoile and 300 Teal outside the hide. (Kerry Leonard).

Late news from Boxing Day is of a male Merlin at Bishopscourt airfield, perched on a straw bale, a female Merlin has also been seen nearby during December. (Karl Partridge).

Around thr outer Ards 5 Purple Sandpipers were at Millisle, a Knot at Drumfad Bay south of Millisle and 2 Great Northern Diver at Burr Point at Ballyhalbert. (Keith Bennett).

A Long Eared Owl was at the Dromore Road just outside Ballynahinch this afternoon. (Anna Starbuck).

The Little Gull continues it stay at the south Balancing Lake, Craigavon, and 50+ Tree Sparrows were at Portmore Lough, see pictures below. (Ed O'Hara).

A single Waxwing was feeding in a garden in Ardarawood in Comber this morning, later 2 Siskin and a male Blackcap were feeding in the garden. At least six Waxwings were sitting on top of of the tall Poplars opposite Comber Health Centre on the road to Newtownards. At least four Waxwings were present at the top of the Donaghadee Road in Newtownards, opposite the bank of tall berry bushes near the petrol station, there may have been more birds present as there are good numbers of berries still on the bushes. 2 Buzzards were in the field beside Donaghadee Garden Centre. (Chris Shaw).

A Short Eared Owl was at Inch Lake, at the carpark on the Inch Island side, in Donegal. (Boyd Bryce).

Two Short Eared Owls were at Ballyquintin Point on the outer Ards. (Richard Weyl).

3 Great Northern Divers were close inshore at Glenarm this morning, viewed from the river mouth, there was no sign of the Bonaparte's Gull. (Ian Enlander).

3 Red Kite, 5 Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were all in the Leitrim area of Co Down. (Bill Guiller).

A flock of 30 Twite were at Tyrella, see picture below. (Tom & Zach McCreery).

The Cattle Egret is still at St Johnston, see pictures below. (Christine Cassidy).

The adult Bonaparte's Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were at Larne Harbour (Jeff Larkin).  

A pair of Goosander were at Portmore Lough (Paul Toner).  

16 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing were along Steeple Road between Antrim Hospital and Kells (Dot Blakely).   

A Black-throated Diver was giving close views at Groomsport (at one point coming into the harbour), Also noted were 3 Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 3 Carrion Crow and the adult Ring-billed Gull (Francis Duffin, George Gordon, Jim Whitla and Fulton Somerville). Along the Outer Ards a Red-throated Diver was off the car park on the east side of Orlock Point and 2 Black-throated Diver at Ballywalter. 20 Siskin were at Glastry clay pits and 50 Redwing on the road to Kircubbin (Jim Whitla, Fulton Somerville).

7 Common Scoter, 3 Great Northern Diver and 4 or 5 Red Throated Diver were in Carnlough Bay. (Pauline Majury).

A large mixed flock of Redpoll, Siskin, Goldfinch and Chaffinch were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve and a Razorbill was just off Kinnegar shore. (Chris Henry). 

Thanks to today's photographers, to Ed O'Hara for these pictures of the Craigavon Little Gull and the Tree Sparrow at Portmore, to Christine Cassidy for the Cattle Egret and Redwing, to Zach McCreery for the Twite, to Tom Mccreery for the Stonechat and Noel Austin for the Whooper Swans. You can see more NI bird photographs at


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