Bird News for Thurs 31st May

An adult Little Ringed Plover was at the  RSPB Belfast Harbour estate. It was seen up to 9:30 this evening, the Little Gull remains there also.(J.Mc.Keown/S.McKee)
All pictures Stuart McKee:

Bird News Wednesday 30th May

A Quail was heard north of Ederney, Co Fermanagh at 13.25. It was at Drumgowna East. To hear it, park at the old house at H231692 and walk down the steep field along the forest edge to bog. (Clive Mellon / Brad Robson)
A 1st Summer Little Gull was at Belfast Harbour RSPB Reserve (Wilton Farrelly)
A Garden Warbler was at Castle Caldwell forest County Fermanagh (Brad Robson)
Yesterday 110 Sanderling and 8 Dunlin were at Minerstown Beach (Chris Murphy)

The 'probable' Osprey seen on the Leeke Road, between Portrush and Bushmills on Saturday has been confirmed as one.

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Little Gull (left bird) with Black-headed Gulls - W Farrelly

Bird News Tuesday 29th May

A first year male Collared Flycatcher was found this morning on Tory Island. This is the first Irish record. (Robert Vaughan)
Collared Flycatcher, Tory Island - Peter Phillips
The Garden Warbler was seen and heard at Lagan Lands East opposite Annadale allotments in Belfast (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to Brian Hegarty for the picture below of two Yellowhammer at Sion Mills:

Bird News Monday 28th May

A Whimbrel was at Whitehead seafront. (Ian Enlander).

2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Red Breasted Merganser and about 200 Eider were at Greenisland shore in Belfast Lough. Ringed Plover have bred at Pointure Bay beside Seapoint. (David Stirling).

A pair of Little Egrets are nesting at a private site in Co. Down. (Chris Murphy).

The Garden Warbler is still singing at Annadale in Belfast but so far doesn't seem to have attracted a mate. (Dermot Hughes).

A Cuckoo was near Sallagh Braes outside Ballygally, Co. Antrim. (David Ledsham).

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this shot of a Spotted Flycatcher. You can check out the rest of today's pictures at

Spotted Flycatcher - Stephen Maxwell

Chain Smoking Birds By Brad Robson

I took this picture on Friday at Desie Mackenzie's pub The Linnet Inn at Boho, west Fermanagh. He had called RSPB to tell us about local birds using the cigarette-butt boxes for nesting. He has three of these boxes, this one next to the pub door, one in the outdoor smoking area and one by the shop door. The one in the smoking area was used by Robins and appeared to have fledged some young by last Friday. The boxes had been used by customers until Desie noticed butts being thrown out and when he looked inside found in the case of the Blue Tit that much of the nest was constructed from the filters in the cigarette butts. He then searched on the net and designed the warning signs and provided ashtrays and sand buckets for customers to use instead. Whilst I was there both parent Blue tits were busiliy feeding the chicks and they are likely to fledge soon. I also gave Desie two conventional nest boxes in the hope that the birds will use them next year.

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Bird News Sunday 27th May

A Marsh Harrier was hunting at the east end dunes at White Park Bay county Antrim at 07:45. (Neal Warnock)
The Garden Warbler was again at Annadale Embankment, Belfast (Craig Nash)
2 1st summer Little Gulls were at the RSPB Belfast Reserve. A Cuckoo was also at Peatlands Park (Keith Bennett)
Two Reed Warbler were in song at Lough Cowey (Paul Scott)
The 2 first-summer Little Gulls were still in the southwest corner of Lough Beg (David Steele).

Thanks to Craig Nash for the picture of the Garden Warbler.
Garden Warbler, Annadale Embankment - Craig Nash

Bird News Saturday 26th May

A Barn Owl was seen at Church Road Holywood at 11:25 (John Edwards)

The Garden warbler was still at Annandale Embankment this morning (Craig Nash)
An Osprey was perched on a dead pine at the edge of Baronscourt Estate just west of Newtownstewart in Tyrone (Hazlett Harkness).
A possible Osprey was seen along Leeke Road between Portrush and Bushmills (Mary Davies).
Yesterday a Fieldfare flew over Royal Portrush Golf Course and East Strand (Colin Guy).
At Glenoo Mountain, nr Clogher Co Tyrone this morning were 2 Crossbill and 2 Cuckoo. Yesterday 3 Crossbill flew over Fivemiletown (Colin Bell)

With the strong easterlies, all coastal locations are worth searching. A Red-backed Shrike is in Co Dublin (Irish Birding)

Many thanks to Christine Cassidy for this picture of a Dunlin, taken today at Malin Head, Donegal. You can see more pictures from local photographers at:

Tory Island

Peter Phillips has started an excellent blog on tory Island. It is probably the best place in Ireland to see Corncrake and rarities are always a possibility -especially in weather like this! You can see Peters blog at:

Lesser Whitehroat, May 2012, Peter Phillips - More often seen on Tory as an Autumn migrant!

Bird News Friday 25th May

2 first-summer Little Gulls were in the southwest corner of Lough Beg (Jeff Larkin).

A Little Tern and a Little Gull were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Gerard McGeehan).

A Barn Owl, Wheatear, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler were at Kearney Point (Mike Coffey).

11 Goldeneye and a Spotted Flycatcher were at Rea's Wood on the Antrim shore of Lough Neagh. (Ed O'Hara).
The Garden Warbler was still at Annandale Embankment, Belfast. (Keith Bennett)

A male Hen Harrier (picture below) was in Co Antrim along with a Cuckoo (Bill Guilier).

Bird News Thursday 24th May

The male Garden Warbler was still singing at Annadale Embankment this morning (Dermot Hughes)
A Little Egret was at Anne's Point and a singing Reed Warbler at Lough Cowey (Paul Scott)
A pair of Ringed Plovers with chicks were on the beach at Seapoint, Greenisland. Also around 8 Dunlin in summer plumage, 2 Sandwich Terns and 20-30 male Eider. (David Stirling)
Another Garden Warbler was at Lisnaskea Forest in Co Ferm.(Irish Birding)
4 Sandwich Tern, a Buzzard and Sedge Warblers were at Quoile Pondage. Last night at 10.30pm a Long-eared Owl was just off the Comber Road in Killyleagh (Spencer and Joan Marshall).

 Thanks to Tom McCreery for the picture below of a Pied Wagtail and also Craig Nash for his image of a House Martin in flight.You can see more great pictures from local photographers at:

Bird News Wednesday 23rd May

A Garden Warbler was seen and heard singing this morning at Lagan Lands East - opposite Annadale allotments - competing with about 15 blackcaps. About 100m down the path, through the trees on left at edge of open ground. (DermotHughes).                                                                                                                                                    
A Cuckoo, Red Kite, Whitethroat and 2 Raven were at Drumkeeragh Forest near Dromara. (Dot Blakely).

The Ring-billed Gull was reported back in Groomsport. 10 Black Guillemot were displaying on the harbour wall. (Francis Duffin).

Thanks to Stuart McKee for this picture of a Roseate Tern that was at the Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. You can check out more pictures of NI birds at

BTO Nest Record Scheme

Below are photos taken by Stephen Hewitt, in the past week of a Grey Wagtail nest at the Spinkwee River in the Mournes and a Willow Warbler nest at Lurgan.

Volunteers are required for the BTO's Nest Record Scheme in Northern Ireland. It's enjoyable and easier than you might think. For more details please contact Stephen Hewitt at

Bird News for Tuesday 22nd May.

2 Spotted Flycatcher, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Knot and 2 Treecreeper were at Glynn (Shirley Dunlop, Gerard McGeehan).

A Roseate Tern, first-summer Pale-bellied Brent and a Knot were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Andy Elliott, Stuart McKee).

A Red-throated Diver was at Dargan Bay (Stuart McKee).

6 Black Guillemot and a Merlin were at the Lagan Weir (Andy Elliott).

Our thanks to Craig Nash for his wonderful image of  Sedge Warbler, never an easy bird to photograph.

Bird News Monday 21st May

The 2 Pectoral Sandpipers are still in the south west corner of Lough Beg. (Bird Guides).

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker was coming to a feeder in a garden in Ballynahinch (Malcolm Hynes).
2 Jays were seen along the dual carriageway from Newtownards to Dundonald - one at the roundabout at Newtownards and the other at Quarry Corner (Micky McCoy).

The Bluethroat continues its stay on Tory Island, Co. Donegal. (Irish Birding).

Thanks to Tom McCreery for this shot a female Red-breasted Merganser, his favourite bird. You can check out the rest of todays bird pictures at
Red-breasted Merganser - Tom McCreery

Bird News Sunday 20th May

A Quail was singing at Paddy's Dub and a Pectoral Sandpiper was at Lough Beg, in the sw corner. 2 female Pectoral Sandpipers were also together at Paddy's Dub on mud with Dunlin and Ringed Ploverss. (David Steele)

A Bluethroat was on Tory Island this morning (Irish Birding)

The Crane was still present beside the road today at Kiltorish Lough, Rossbeg, Co Donegal. A White Wagtail and an Eastern Jackdaw were also present. (Chris Ingram)

A Short-eared Owl was at Killard this evening (Craig Nash)
3 'Northern' Wheatear - 2 males + 1 female were at Whitehead 'Jubilee wood' - a new extensive planted area with public access north of Bentra golf club (Ian Enlander)
A Whitethroat was on Carnmoney Hill Jim McKeown)
Yesterday 7 Crossbill were at Fardross Glen nr Clogher Co Tyrone (Colin Bell)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for this picture of two Chough on Rathlin Island. You can see more pictures at

Bird News Saturday 19th May

The imm male King Eider is still present at Roaninish Island, Donegal around the west end of the island (Brad Robson)
An immature Crane was at Rossbeg, Co Donegal (Irish Birding)
A Cuckoo was at Peatlands Park (Keith Bennett).
6 Sedge Warbler were at Kinnegar and a Buzzard at Knocknagoney (Ricky McQuillan).
2 Whimbrel were at mile from Portaferry (Jim Whitla).

Thanks to Richard Donaghy for this picture of a Razorbill at Portrush Strand. You can see more pictures at

Bird News Friday 18th May

An imm male King Eider was at Roaninish Donegal with Eider off the south end of the island this evening Also a 1st w Glaucous Gull from the boat on the way over, 1 Whimbrel, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Barnacle Goose (Chris Sturgeon, Matthew Tickner, Brad Robson and NI RSPB reserves team)

Yesterday a Cuckoo, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Swift and 3/4 Willow Warbler were at the Twelve Arches at Dundrum Inner Bay South (Andy Elliott).

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this superb shot of a Willow Warbler. Check out the rest of today's pictures at
Willow Warbler - Alistair Prentice

Bird News for Thursday 17th May.

 At Strangford Lough an adult Iceland Gull was at the Strand in Killyleagh (Spencer and Joan Marshall). 

Bird News Wednesday 16th May

In Fermanagh a first-summer Little Gull, 12 Whimbrel, 2 Turnstone, a White Wagtail and a different Garden Warbler to the 3 seen last week were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve (Brad Robson). A Marsh Harrier (Giles Knight) and an inland Arctic Skua (Brad Robson) were also at Lower Lough Erne.
Yesterday evening a Short-eared Owl was hunting over the gorse at Black Mountain above Belfast at 9pm (Stephen Corr).

The Short-eared Owl was seen again at Ballymacormick Point at 7.00p.m. sitting on a Whin bush to the west of the lagoon. (Gilly Irwin).

8 Crossbill were on Burnish mountain near Newry this morning. (Frank Carroll).
Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this shot of a Sedge Warbler, you can see the rest of today's pictures at

Sedge Warbler - Alistair Prentice

Bird News for Tuesday 15th May

Two Garganey were at Dundonald at the lake at the Billy Neil Playing Fields (S.Maxwell)
male Garganey-Stephen Maxwell 

Bird News Monday 14th May

The Short-eared Owl was still at the Groomsport end of Ballymacormick Point - best looked for to the west of the lagoon. This last few days it has been seen in the evening and it roosts in the gorse. (George Gordon)
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen along the River Walk, Ballynahinch this afternoon (Ian Jackson)
Spotted Flycatcher - Alistair Prentice
Arctic Tern, Strangford

NI Bird Pics Blog

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Bird News Sunday 13th May

A Little Ringed Plover is as Paddy's Dub, Lough Beg (David Steel)
The female Dotterel was still at Myroe Levels (Birdguides)
In County Down today the Dark-bellied Brent was on Cloughey beach with 15 pale-bellied. 2 Spotted Flycatchers were at Glastry pits. (Keith Bennett)
Singing Reed Warblers were at Ballyherly Lough and Lough Cowey. Over 200 Arctic Tern were at Strangford narrows (Ian Graham)

Copeland Bird Observatory had a good run of migrants with ringing totals of a Redstart, Whinchat, Cuckoo, Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 6 Sedge Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 7 Whitethroat, a Swallow, 9 Greenland Wheatear, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and a Pied Wagtail. A Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine were also seen (Chris Acheson).
Swifts continue to return in large numbers and eg 20 were at Sion Mills today (Brian Hegarty)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the picture below of a Knot and Dunlin together. You can see further pictures on our bird pics blog at

Bird News Saturday 12th May

A dark-bellied Brent Goose was at Ganaway Bay north of Ballywalter. A Short-eared Owl still at Ballyquintin Point with 7 Wheatear (including at least 3 Greenland) and 20 Whimbrel (Richard Weyl)
At least 2 Reed Warbler and 1 Sedge Warbler singing at Ballyherly (Down) this morning. (Keith Bennett)
The Short-eared Owl as at Ballymacormick Point again (Ian Williamson)
An adult Med Gull was at Whiteabbey (Irish Birding)

In Co Donegal a drake Ring-necked Duck was at Blanketnook (Derek Brennan)

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for the Coal Tit picture below. You can see many more pictures from local photographers on our new picture Blog:

Bird News Friday 11th May

3 Garden Warblers were in song on the Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB reserve, this morning, see pictures below. (Brad Robson).

An Osprey was at Rea's Wood, Antrim this afternoon, it flew north towards Antrim. (Clive Mellon).

On the Antrim side of Belfast Lough a Whitethroat, Blackcap and 20 Gannet were at Whitehead. 13 very late Pale-bellied Brent were still at Downshire. (Gerard McGeehan).

A walk from Scarva to Lough Shark produced 5 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 5 Sedge Warbler, 29 Willow Warbler, 3 Reed Bunting, 5 Swift and 70 Hirundines. (Fulton Somerville)

Thanks to Brad Robson for the Garden Warbler pictures and Craig Nash for the picture of a Whitethroat. You can see many more pictures from local photographers on our new picture Blog at

Garden Warbler - Brad Robson 

Garden Warbler - Brad Robson

Whitethroat - Craig Nash

Bird News for Thursday 10th May

Along the Outer Ards a Puffin, Great Northern Diver and a Red-throated Diver were at Kearney. A Purple Sandpiper and several Turnstone and Whimbrel were along the shore (Keith Bennett)
A Little Egret was on the Comber Estuary (Paul Scott)

Thanks to Stuart McKee for this pic of Whimbrel at RSPB reserve Belfast. You can see more pictures on our new pics blog:

Bird News for Wednesday 9th May.

An Osprey was at the Quoile pondage this afternoon,a Whitethroat,2 Common Sandpipers and 17 Wheatear where at Killard.(C.Nash)

A singing Reed Warbler and three singing Sedge Warblers at Ballyherly Lough, Co Down, this morning.( Ron Price)
On the Antrim Plateau a Cuckoo and Grasshopper Warbler were at Altnahinch. A Grasshopper Warbler and 2 pair of Stonechat were at Altarichard (David Steele).

 In Fermanagh a Spotted Flycatcher, 74 Whimbrel and a White Wagtail were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve (Brad Robson).
 Yesterday 50/60 Whimbrel were at Rossglass in south Down (Graham McElwaine).
Our thanks to Comghal for to-days photograph.
Grasshopper Warbler-Comghal McQuillan.

Bird News Tuesday 8th May

3 Common Tern, 2 Swallow and a Great Crested Grebe were at Malone Golf Club this morning. (Stephanie Hanna).

11 Whimbrel were at Killard this morning, 17 Brent Geese were in Mill Quarter Bay. (Ron Price).

Yesterday in Donegal a Corncrake, Merlin and summer plumage Sanderling were on Tory. A Great Skua and 10 summer plumage Great Northern Divers were seen from the ferry on the way over (Garry Wilkinson).

2 Swift were at the Loughan, Coleraine this evening at 9.00p.m. (Richard Donaghey).

A Purple Sandpiper, a Red Throated Diver and 6 Sandwich Tern were at the Barmouth today. (Robert Scott).

Thanks to Tom McCreery for this beautiful picture of a Swallow taken at Oxford Island. Check out the rest of today's NI bird pictures at

Swallow - Tom McCreery

New blog for NI bird pictures

We have recently been receiving an increasing number of bird pictures, many of outstanding quality. The reality however is that we do not have the room to publish all as our primary aim is to share \ report bird news and related items.
We have therefore decided to run a second Blog, this time dedicated to the work of local photographers. The new Blog is at:    

We will continue with selected pictures on this 'NI Birds blog' but the majoity of those received will be put on our 'ni bird pics blog'
We hope that you find this to be of interest and please continue to send your pictures to us at

Bird News Monday 7th May

Late news for yesterday, 2 Red Grouse were at Altikeeragh NR and a Whitethroat at Downhill Demesne (Richard Donaghey)

At Ballyquintin Point a Short-eared Owl, a Great-northern Diver, 10 Common Scoter, a Wheatear and 30+ Whimbrel (Richard Weyl)
A Curlew Sandpiper and 150 Whimbrel were along the west shore of Lough Beg. A Pale-bellied Brent and 6 Greenland Wheatear were at Mullagh (David Steele).

In south Down a second-winter Iceland Gull, 2 Black-throated Diver, a Grey Plover, 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Blackcap and 3 Whitethroat were at St John's Point. A Blackcap and a Willow Warbler were in Kelly's Wood (Tim Murphy).
A Barn Owl was along the Lisburn to Moira Road at 12.30am (Garry Wilkinson).
A White Wagtail and 3 Common Sandpiper were at Sionmills, Co Tyrone (Brian Hegarty)
Yesterday 20 Whimbrel were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Stuart McKee).
A Merlin and a Willow Warbler were at St John's Point (Tim Murphy).
Thanks to Robin Cunningham for the shots below of a Northern Wheatear and a Shelduck, Horn Head, Co Donegal.

Bird News Sunday 6th May

A female Dotterel was at Myroe Levels, it was present until at least 6.30p.m. when it was at the south west end of Myroe with 200 Golden Plover. (Bird Guides)

Dotterel (centre bird, with Golden Plover) - Myroe
Oxford Island between 6.00 and 8.30a.m. had 5 White Wagtail, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Grasshopper Warrbler, 7 Whimbrel and 6 Sedge Warbler. (Ed O'Hara).

3 Swifts were at Cloughfern. (Jim McKeown).

2 Cuckoo and a Grasshopper Warbler were at Armaghbrague Fews Forest, Co. Armagh. (Joe Devlin).

A singing Reed Warbler was at Tullyratty Dam. A Whooper Swan and a Little Egret were at Strand Lough and a Scaup was at the Quoile. (Richard Wyle).

At Ballyquintin Point were 2 Short Eared Owl, 35 Tree Sparrow, 30+ Shelduck, 40+ Swallow, a House Martin, a Yellowhammer, 2 Common Tern and 2 Cormorant. (David McCormick).

3 Common Sandpiper and a Buzzard were at Corbet Lough outside Bannbridge. (David McCready).

A Cuckoo, 3 Wheatear, a Kestrel and a Jay were at Llendrum Wind Farm near Fivemiletown this afternoon. (Colin Bell).

A Short-eared Owl was at the Groomsport end of Ballymacormick Point (Dot Blakely).

On the Antrim side of Belfast Lough 5 Long-tailed Duck were at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan).

A first-year Iceland Gull was at Corbally Dam near Portrush (Colin Guy).

Yesterday a second-year Iceland Gull was in flight between the harbour and the castle at Dunseverick and 25 Whimbrel were at Ballintoy (Colin Guy).

In south Down 30 Pale-bellied Brent were still at Newcastle (David Gillespie).

In Donegal an Osprey was at the lake at Glenveagh before flying off west. (Brad Robson).

3 Grasshopper Warbler, a Redpoll and a Stonechat were at Slievenacloy Nature Reserve. (Mark Elliott).

Thanks to Mark Elliott, Mark Killops, Alistair Prentice, Ed O'Hara, Christine Cassidy and David McCormick for today's pictures.

Redpoll - Mark Elliott

Stonechat - Mark Elliott

Common Tern - Mark Killops

Willow Warbler - Alistair Prentice

Common Tern - Alistair Prentice

White Wagtail - Ed O'Hara

Common Sandpipers - Ed O'Hara

Grey Wagtail - Christine Cassidy

Dipper - Christine Cassidy

Cormorant - David McCormick

Willow Warbler - Christine Cassidy

Bird News for Saturday 5th May

Two singing Reed Warbler at Lough Cowey and another 2 at the south end of Ballyherly Lough. At Ballyquintin Point 2 Short-eared Owls, 8 Wheatear, 55 Whimbrel and 17 Red-throated Diver. At Portavogie 3 Wheatear and 20 Whimbrel. At Burial Island a Great-northern Diver and 2 Red-throated Diver.(R.Weyl)

At least 3 Cuckoos at Murlough, (2 males 1 female), 4 Whitethroats and 4 Wheatear and a Sparrowhawk(J.Starbuck)

4 Sedge Warbler at the Bann Estuary and a further 1 along the Ballywoolen Road, Castlerock (Richard Donaghey)

Two Red Kite at Corbet Lough, Banbridge this afternoon.(D.McCready)
Juv Iceland Gull at Ardglass (Birdguides)
.A Whinchat was on the Antrim Plateau (Iris Millar)

Our thanks to Ed,Mark,Tom,Alistair and Stephen for to-days photographs. 

Sedge Warbler-E.Ohara

Cuckoo-Mark Killops

Sandwich Tern-Stephen Maxwell
juv. Long-tailed Tit-Tom McCreery.
Young Stonechat-Alistair Prentice