Castle Espie Spoonbill

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for these Spoonbill pics taken today (30th November) at Castle Espie. This bird is a juvenile!

Bird News Saturday 30th November

The juvenile Spoonbill was at Castle Espie. See separate blog post with pics.  (Angus Kennedy / James O'Neil)

The two Long tailed Ducks were still on the Quoile River (Tony Donaldson)

4 Goosander (1M, 3F) were at Lough Island Reevy, Co Down (Keith Bennett)

A Red Kite was over Castlewellan road, Banbridge. Two more Red Kites were at the horse shoe bend near Castlewellan. In Tollymore Forest park there was a Great spotted Woodpecker, lots of jays, siskins, a dipper & good views of a red squirrel (Mark Elliott)

The drake American Wigeon was still at Reedy Flats, Co Armagh (Birdguides)

The Portmore Area had 200+ Whoopers. At Derrymacash there were 70+ birds abd at Derrytrasna 100+ birds [also in Trasna 150 Greylag Geese] (Ed O'Hara)

The Pectoral Sandpiper was at Ardmore Point, Lough Neagh (Birdguides)

An adult Mediteranean Gull was at Ballyholme Beach, Co Down (W Farrelly)

Thanks to Tony Donaldson for the pic of the Long tailed Ducks, Dick Glasgow for a female Merlin and Ed O'Hara for the Whooper family:

Bird News Friday 29th November

The adult Spoonbill was seen again of Castle Espie this afternoon. (Birdguides).

Yesterday at Warrenpoint 9 Great Northern Divers were off shore and c400 Pied Wagtails roosted in Main Street. Today a Long-tailed Duck was close inshore. (Stephan Dunstan).

30 Pale-Bellied Brent, 50 Lapwings and 2 Curlew were at Ballyvester Beach, Millisle this afternoon. (David McCormick).

The Ring-billed Gull was still in Portrush today. (David Hill).

An adult Mediterranean Gull (a new bird with a green ring) was at Loughshore on the Antrim side of Belfast Lough (Gerard McGeehan).

Thanks to David Hill for the pictures of the Ring-billed Gull and the Purple Sandpiper.


Bird News Thursday 28th November

Yesterday 75 Purple Sandpiper were at Portandoo in Portrush and the adult Ring-billed Gull was at the East Strand car park (Matthew Tickner)

The drake American Wigeon was still at the mouth of the River Drowse, Co Leitrim. (Irish Birding)

A Richardsons Canada Goose was with the Barnacles at the Lisadell Goose fields outside Sligo (Birdguides)

If you have any rare or scarce bird news, you can share it with others by emailing or on Twitter @nibirds

Thanks to Brad Robson for these pics of a first winter Ring-billed Gull at Nimmos Pier, Galway:

Bird News Wednesday 27th November

Yesterday 2 Long Tailed Ducks were at the Quoile river, at the first car park past the Quoile Visitor Centre. 3 Little Egrets were on the lough side of the causeway to the Quoile Pondage. (Tony Donaldson).

A Water Rail was at Belfast Harbour Lagoon and a Long-tailed Duck at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan)

Myroe Levels had approx 900 Whooper Swans, 1000 Golden Plover and 250 Brent Geese (Charles Stewart)

Thanks to Tony Donaldson for the picture of the Long Tailed Ducks and Charles Stewart for the Whooper.

Bird News Tuesday 26th November.

The Cattle Egret has been seen again on the island within Hillsborough Lake.(Billy Miskelly)

Bird News Monday 25th November

At Lough Foyle 43 Slavonian Grebe, 31 Red-throated Diver, 7 Great Northern Diver and 6 Little Egret were between Longfield and Myroe. A Twite, 2 Long-tailed Duck and 14 Common Scoter were at Longfield and 2 Snow Bunting, a Pink-footed Goose and a Chiffchaff at Donnybrewer (Matthew Tickner, Gareth Bareham)

Up to 3,700 Eider were feeding in Belfast Lough. Usually out in the middle of the Lough they were off the North Foreshore towards Dargan Bay (Stuart McKee, Karl Hamilton). 6 Wigeon, 14 Common Scoter and 107 Red-breasted Merganser were off the North Foreshore and the adult Mediterranean Gull was still at Loughshore (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to Alex Coroliu for these pictures of a Black-headed Gull and a Cormorant.


Bird News Sunday 24th November

A Spoonbill has been seen off Castle Espie, towards Horse Island (Robin Vage)

The male American Wigeon was still at Reedy Flat. A Chiffchaff was in the area and a very late Swallow at Derrytrasna (Jeff Larkin).
3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Sanderling, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Grey Plover were at Ballywalter, Co. Down this am (James Robinson)

On Strangford Lough at Greyabbey Bay a Red-necked Grebe, 21 Slavonian Grebe, a Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver; north of Gransha Point a Slavonian Grebe and 3 Great Northern Diver and at Newtownards Yacht Club 2 Slavonian Grebe. Yesterday the Long-tailed Duck was still at Ballyhalbert (Richard Weyl)

Adult Little Gull at small lake on the left on Comber Greenway between Dundonald playing fields and dog agility centre.(G.Wilkinson).

A Slavonian Grebe was between Ardmore Point and Emerson's Sandpit on the south shore of Lough Neagh. 12 Whooper Swan and 60 Greylag Geese were at Reedy Flats. (Ed O'Hara).

At Belfast Lough a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver and 12 Scaup were at Loughshore. 5 Porpoise were at Macedon Point (Stuart McKee).

Our thanks to Ed O'Hara for this fine picture of  an Eider, also to  Kay Wheeler for the photo of a Buzzard.


Bird News Saturday 23rd November

The drake American Wigeon was still at Reedy Flats this morning. A Pectoral Sandpiper was also seen (Birdguides)

The adult Ring-billed Gull has been present at East Strand car park, Portrush, all week.

Yesterday 24 Grey Plover were at Islandhill, Co Down (Chris Henry)

A drake American Wigeon was at Lagg, Malin Head (Birdguides)

A Barnacle Goose was with 250 Pale-bellied Brent at Larne Lough. 3 Little Egret were at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore).

Portmore RSPB reserve had a Merlin, 200 Lapwing, 500 Golden Plover, 200 Whooper and over 100 Tree Sparrow (Ed O'Hara).

 Thanks to Chris Henry for the picture of some of the Grey Plover, to Ed O'Hara for our two species of Sparrow, to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Fieldfare, Redwing and Stonechat and to Noel Austin for the pictures of the Lapwing and the Linnet. You can see more NI bird pictures at


Bird News Friday 22nd November

The male American Wigeon was still on the Leitrim side of the Drowse river mouth earlier (Brad Robson)

2 Great Northen Diver were off Monaghan Bank, Kircubbin, this morning; a Short-eared Owl was hunting Ballyquintin Point at dusk. (Keith Bennett)

A drake American Wigeon was at Reedy Flats, Lough Neagh this evening. (Birdguides).

2 Long Tailed Ducks were on Portmore Lough this afternoon. (Amy Burns).

3 Jack Snipe were east of Tievenadarragh Wood between Drumaness and Loughinisland. (Richard Weyl).

A first-winter Iceland Gull and a Pink-footed Goose were at Corbally Dam near Portrush (Matthew Tickner).

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus Harbour (Cameron Moore).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Noel Austin for the first Redwing picture and the Fieldfare picture, to Brian Hegarty for the second Redwing picture and to Cameron Moore for the picture of the Ring-billed Gull and the pictures of the Common Gull which has a Norwegian ring.

Bird News Thursday 21st November.

Myroe Levels held up to c1000 Whooper Swans, 86 Grey Lag Geese,1 Little Egret and 150 Golden Plover. A further c 4500 Golden Plovers on mudflat off Roe Estuary. ( Hill Dick / Peter Robinson )
Our thanks to Christine Cunningham for this pic. of a Redwing which is visiting her garden.

Bird News Wednesday 20th November

A Green Sandpiper was in meadows adjacent to the Newry Canal north of Madden Bridge Tandragee Co. Armagh. (Joe Devlin).

Unfortunately the Spoonbill has been found dead to the right of the Brent Hide at Castle Espie (Dot Blakely).

A Little Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne. (Neal Warnock).

Thanks to Anne Guichard for this pic of a Water Rail at RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve:

Bird News Tuesday 19th November.

The Spoonbill still on show at Castle Espie.(Birdguides)

Yesterday 53 Snipe, a Peregrine and 2 Little Egret were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

Our kind thanks to Mark Speers for this photo of a Kingfisher.

Bird News Monday 18th November

A Crossbill was seen flying over RSPB NI headquarters in Belvoir Park Forest, Belfast (James Robinson).

The juvenile Spoonbill was still at Strangford Lough today. (Birdguides)

A Black throated Diver was at Murvagh, Co Donegal this afternoon (Brad  Robson)

Thanks to today's photographers, to Craig Nash for the picture of a Merlin from Killard this morning, to Martina Boyle for the pictures of the Coal Tit and the Great Tit and to Christine Cunningham for the pictures of the Rooks gathering to go to roost. You can see more NI bird pictures at 


Bird News Sunday 17th November

A Red-necked Grebe was at Greyabbey Strangford Lough, with ca 10 Slavonian Grebe. (Keith Bennett)

A female Brambling was at feeders this morning at Priory Park Finaghy (Clive Mellon)

The Spoonbill is still at Castle Espie, Co Down (Richard Weyl)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this shot of a Long-tailed Tit and Lilian Cummings for the Little Egret at Castle Espie. You can see more bird pics at

Bird News Saturday 16th November

The Golden Oriole was well looked for but was not seen throughout the day.
This is the twelfth record , most of the records were in the late 19th and early 20th century the last being in 1957.

The Spoonbill was still off Castle Espie (Keith Bennett / Gerard McGeehan)

10 Red Grouse and a Peregrine were at Agnew's Hill.(S. Greif)

100 Tree Sparrows in a garden at Richhill (Andrew Poots)

A Long-tailed Duck was at Ballyhalbert. (R.Weyl)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was still at Loughshore. Up to 1,000 Golden Plover were in flight high over Islandhill (Stuart McKee).

A Merlin was also in the Islandhill area.(Eric Randall \ Rian Foley)

An adult Little Gull was at Kinnegar Pool and a Carrion Crow perched nearby outside B&Q (Norman Milligan).

Rea's Wood, Lough shore, Antrim, Saturday morning. 24 Whooper Swans,16 Tufted Duck,3 Goldcrests, 50+ Goldfinches,16+ Long- tailed Tits,30+ Chaffinches. (John Loughlin and Irene Miller)

Thanks for feedback on the 'yellow capped' Redpoll pictured by Lindsay Hodges. Chris Murphy says that from his experience with large flocks at Belvoir Park Forest over a 20 year period, the 'yellowpoll' is an uncommon colour variant of 1st winter and females, and not the result of pollen staining.  Also according to Neville McKee, such birds are not unusual at this time of year on Copeland. 

Our thanks to Una McCarney for to-days pic off the SpoonbillAlso to Dick Glasgow for his wonderful shot of the Buzzard and Jay.

Turtle Dove - Philip Mchaffie

A Turtle Dove has been visiting a garden in Mossley Dam area of Newtownabbey from 10th - 14th November, see pictures below.

Golden Oriole!

A Golden Oriole was today at around 15:00 hr, near Island Hill at 54.55377, - 005.71541, Comber, County Down. Found by Stefan Greif and  Tessa Cappelle!!

Bird News Friday 15th November

An immature Golden Oriole was at the north side of the Comber Estuary at Island Hill this afternoon (Stefan Greif and Tessa Cappelle)

The Spoonbill was still at the mud flats at Castle Espie this afternoon (Paul Scott/Brian Murphy?Chris Henry/Joe Lamont)

An immature White Tailed Eagle with blue and white tags was at the west end of Lower Lough Erne Co. Fermanagh today, also present were 2 Great Northern Diver. (Fionnbarr Cross).

A female Blackcap was in a garden in Brunswick Road in Bangor this morning. (Derek Polley).

3 Kingfishers, a pair of Bullfinch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, 6 Jay and a flock of Long-tailed Tits were along the River Bann at Portglenone. (John Loughlin).

2 Crossbill and 25 Golden Plover were at Clabby Mountain, Co. Fermanagh this morning. (Colin Bell).

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus harbour. At Larne Lough a Carrion Crow was at Mill Bay (Cameron Moore).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Chris Henry for the first three Spoonbill pictures, to Joe Lamont for the fourth and fifth pictures of the Spoonbill, to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of the Redpoll with the 'yellow cap' and to David Hill for the pictures of the Stonechat and the Grey Heron. You can see more NI bird pictures at