Bird News Wednesday 30th April

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

25 Whimbrel flew into Kinnegar shore at 7.50pm (Joe Lamont)

If you have any rare or scarce bird news, you can share it at

Thanks to Tom McCreery for this pic of a Willow Warbler:

RSPB forthcoming events:

The following may be of interest. If so, please contact direct:


Please book by calling RSPB NI on 028 9049 1547or emailing


Dawn Chorus

Location – Castle Archdale

Date – Saturday, 3 May

The early bird catches the worm! Head to Castle Archdale for 5am to join our local group and RSPB Fermanagh staff to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice. Expert guidance will help you identify which birds you can hear – from migrants like willow warbler, blackcap and chiff chaff and as well as resident breeding birds like robin, wren anddunnock.

The event will finish with a delicious breakfast at Mahon’s Hotel in Irvinestown.

Time – 5am to 8am

Price - £10 for non-members, £6 for RSPB members , £2 for children. Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £22. All prices include breakfast.


Dawn Chorus

Location – Castleroe Woodland (Meet at Coleraine Marina,Portstewart Road)

Date – Sunday, 4 May 2014

Join Ken Perry from the RSPB Coleraine local group to explore the early morning sights and sounds of the universitycampus’ established woodland.

The songs and calls of blackcap, mistle thrush, chiff chaff, robin, blackbird and many more wonderful species will be certain to make up a quality chorus at first light and, after such an early start, the event will finish with a delicious barbeque breakfast!

Time – 5.30am or 6.15am. The event will last approximately two hours.

Price - £10 for non-members, £6 for RSPB members, £2 for children. Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £22. All prices include breakfast.


Dawn Chorus

Location – Portmore Lough nature reserve

Date – 10 May

Experience the early morning magic at Portmore Lough and hear tree sparrows, spotted flycatchers, song thrush, sedge warbler and much more before enjoying a delicious breakfastand kids’ crafts in the community room.

Time – 6am to 9am

Price - £10 for non-members, £6 for RSPB members , £2 for children. Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £22. All prices include continental breakfast at the reserve.


Roonivoolin Ramble

Location  Rathlin Island

Dates - 10 May and 24 May

You're invited to don your walking boots and put your best foot forward to experience one of Northern Ireland's most special places.

Located at the southern arm of the island, the Roonivoolinreserve is home to lots of wonderful wildlife – including Northern Ireland's only family of chough - and offers stunning views as far as the eye can see.

Time – Noon to 3.30pm

Price - £5 for adults/£3 for RSPB members. Children U14 go free! Price excludes ferry fare – to book your sailing.


Bluebell Walk

Location – Castle Caldwell

Date – 17 May

Join expert RSPB staff to explore Castle Caldwell and see the stunning display of bluebells below the fresh green leaves in the beech woodland. Spring will be in full swing with all the migrant birds back from Africa, including willow warbler, blackcap, chiff chaff and spotted flycatcher. You will also be able to see or hear some resident breeding birds like robin, wren, dunnock, chaffinch, greenfinch and song thrush which call the forest home.

Time – 10am to noon

Price - £5 for adults/£3 for RSPB members. Children U14 go free.

Bird News Tuesday 29th April.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming again in Peatlands Park. (Paul Gilmore).

A Spotted Redshank (probably the Kinnegar bird) was at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Tom Ennis).

The area around Fardross/Slieve Beagh near Fivemiletown had a Wheatear, calling Red Grouse, Cuckoo and Snipe. (Colin Bell).

Thanks to today's photographers, Tom McCreery, Dick Glasgow, Christine Cassidy, Noel Austin and Kay Wheeler.

  Cuckoo - Tom McCreery

Dipper - Dick Glasgow.

Wheatear - Christine Cassidy

Reed Warbler - Noel Austin

Sand Martin - Kay Wheeler

Bird News Monday 28th April

The drake Garganey was still at Reedy Flats, Lough Neagh (Brian Murphy)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Castlewellan Forest and the Spotted Redshank still at Kinnegar Pool (Stuart McKee)

The Spoonbill was at Island Reagh, Strangford Lough this morning, along with a single Fieldfare. (Thom Shannon)

Thanks to Bill Guiller for this pic of a Grey Heron, Zach McCreery for the Cuckoo:

Bird News Sunday 27th April

A drake Garganey was at Reedy Flats along with 25 Whimbrel. Two Reed Warbler were showing from the Kinnego Hide, Oxford Island (James O'Neill)

A Whinchat and Stonechat were seen at Alt Britain Forest in the Sperrins. A Cuckoo was also heard. (Ciarán Burns)

A Light-bellied Brent Goose was at Tiraroe, Upper Lough Erne this morning - a rare Fermanagh record (Kerry Leonard/Michael Stinson)

The pair of Ring-necked Ducks and the Green-winged Teal were still at The Mullagh, Lough Beg.140 Whimbrel were also in the fields at Mullagh (David Steele)

Tory Island today had 1 Iceland Gull, 28 Whimbrel, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 16 White Wagtail, 51 Wheatear, 4 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff a Blackcap, a Corncrake and a Fieldfare. There was no sign of the Green-winged Teal but 2 Basking Sharks were close inshore (Brad Robson)

The summer plumaged Spotted Redshank was still at Kinnegar Pool (Wilton Farrelly)

Belvoir Forest Park beside The River Lagan, had a high count of 12 Jays were squabbling and calling in one tree (Ronnie Milligan)

A Cuckoo and a Grasshopper Warbler were calling at Slievegarran near Castlewellan this morning (Adam McClure and Eimear Rooney)

Along the west shore of Lough Neagh a male Garganey, 2 Scaup and 4 Whimbrel were at Blackers Rock (Godfrey McRoberts)

At Larne Lough at least 46 Whimbrel and 7 Black-tailed Godwit were at Ballycarry Bridge (Stephen Foster).

Summer migrants continue with plenty of reports of eg Swifts and Sedge Warblers.

Thanks to James O'Neill for this pic of Black-tailed Godwits and Whimbrel at Reedy Flats and the Reed Warbler:

Black-tailed Godwits, James O'Neill:

Whimbrel, James O'Neill:

Reed Warbler, James O'Neill:

Bird News Saturday 26th April

The summer plumaged Spotted Redshank and three first summer Mediterranean Gulls were at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve. Up to five different first summer Med Gulls have been present in the last month (Stuart McKee)

Two singing reed warbler at Ballyherly Lough, Co Down (Richard Weyl)

A Reed Warbler was off the Kinnego Hide at Oxford Island (Noel Austin)

A Crossbill was this morning near Lough Natroey, Mullaphad Forest, Co Tyrone. (Colin Bell)

24 Black Guillemots and 12 Turnstone were between Rostrevor and Warrenpoint this morning. A male cuckoo was at Carrickatuke Viewpoint, Newtownhamilton (Matthew Scott)

A drake Green-winged Teal was on Tory Island (Chris Ingram)

2 Common Sandpiper  and a Yellowhammer were in Ssion mills, Co Tyrone (Brian Hegarty)

Tory Island today had a Green-winged Teal at the east lake, also 1st w/s Iceland Gull a Snow Bunting, a Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 63 Wheatear a Corncrake, 8 White wagtails, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Chiffchaff, 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap a Merlin and Peregrine. (Brad Robson)

3 Mediterranean Gulls were at Groomsport today - 2 adults and a first summer, all around  Cockle Island (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Stuart McKee for the pics of the Spotted Redshank and the first summer Med Gull, Helen Kerr for the Black-tailed Godwit, Noel Austin for the Reed Warbler and Matthew Scott for the Cuckoo. You can see more bird pics at 

Bird News Friday 25th April

A Marsh Harrier was at Portmore Lough today. (Ciaran Burns/Anne Guichard).

The Spotted Redshank was still at Kinnegar Pool and 5 Whimbrel, a Mediterranean Gull and a White Wagtail were on Kinnegar shore, a Buzzard was overhead. (Karl Martin/David Nixon)

Swifts have been arriving in Gracehill, Ballymena this morning and a Cuckoo was at Achil Road in Rasharkin this evening. (John Loughlin and Irene Miller).

A Woodpecker was drumming at Peatlands Park. (James O'Neill).
The pair of Ring-necked Duck was still at Mullagh and 13 Ruff, 50 Whimbrel and 20 White Wagtail along the western shore of Lough Beg, a Spotted Redshank was also present. (David Steele).  

A cuckoo was calling at Crockandun viewpoint, Slieve Gallion, Cookstown (Phil Higginson).

A Long-eared Owl flew over the A8 near Loughside Quarry at 9.15pm this evening (Adam McClure).

The first-year Little Gull was at Quoile Pondage and a Carrion Crow at Killyleagh harbour (Warren Fowles).  

At Larne Lough 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 42 Dunlin, 18 Whimbrel and 14 Ringed Plover were at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore).  

Yesterday 2 Sandwich Tern were at Portballintrae and 2 Common Sandpiper along the River Bush (John Wilkinson).

Thanks to Karl Martin and Anne Guichard for today's pictures.

Spotted Redshank - Karl Martin
Whimbrel - Karl Martin

Marsh Harrier - Anne Guichard
Redshank - Anne Guichard

Malta - Massacre on Migration

It is not easy watching but if you enjoy seeing our summer migrants, you must watch and support Chris Packham's eye witness experience in Malta. Please contribute:

Bird News Thursday 24th April

The Spotted Redshank was still at Kinnegar Lagoon, Sandwich and Common terns on rocky outcrop at Kinnegar Shore alongside a small flock of Golden Plover. A Sparrowhawk was hunting in area (Gilly Irwin)

A morning walk from Poyntzpass to Scarva produced 5 Chiffchaff, 30 Willow Warbler, 16 Blackcap, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Swallow, 3 Swift, 4 Bullfinch and 2 Lapwing (Fulton Sommerville)

Portmuck, Co Antrim had 2 White Wagtail and 2 Whimbrel (Joe Furphy)

A very late Pintail was at RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve (Philip Carson)

Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB reserve Co Fermanagh had a Common Tern, 2 White Wagtails, 3 Wheatear, 2 Whimbrel and a Sedge Warbler (Brad Robson)

The 2 Little Gull (adult and first-year) and 75 Common Tern were at Quoile Pondage (David Nixon)

The hybrid Snow Goose was with 20 Greylag at Larne Lough (Brian Halligan)

3 Cuckoos were at Peatlands today, 2 males and a female. (James O'Neill)

A Common Sandpiper was at Sion Mills Co Tyrone (Brian Hegarty)

46 Whimbrel were at Lower Lough Erne in the evening (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Anne Guichard for this digi scope pic of the Pintail, Noel Austin for the Chiffchaff at Oxford Island and James O'Neill for the Cuckoo:

Bird News Wednesday 23rd April

A Peregrine was over Tempo this afternoon and a Red Grouse was at Clabby Mountain in Co. Fermanagh on Sunday. (Colin Bell).

There are now 3 Little Gulls at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Irish Birding / Anne Guichard)

A Corncrake was calling in a ploughed field at Redburn in Holywood (Dot Blakely, Karl Hamilton).

A drake Garganey was at Reedy Flats this evening (BirdGuides)

A Grey-bellied Brent was in Dundrum bay this afternoon (Birdguides)

Thanks to Anne Guichard, Tom McCreery and Lilian Cummings  for today's pictures.

 Little Gull - Anne Guichard
Lapwing - Anne Guichard

Yellow Wagtail - Tom McCreery
Willow Warbler - Tom McCreery
Red Grouse - Lilian Cummings
Red Grouse - Lilian Cummings

Bird News Tuesday 22nd April

Dargan Bay this morning had 950 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Knot and 80 Dunlin. The Belfast Harbour area - (D3) had 260 Golden Plover. RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve had 200 Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper and 2 White Wagtail (Ian Enlander)

Two Black-throated Divers were at Greyabbey Bay South and two Great Northern Divers were north of Ballyhenry Bay, Portaferry (David Taylor)

Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve had this afternoon two Little Gull. Nearby a Mediterranean Gull was at Kinnegar shore (Wilton Farrelly)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard near Peatlands Park (Mark Killops)

This morning between Portstewart and Portrush, there was a flock of 150 Golden Plovers, 14 Black Guillemots and 3  Wheatear (Anne Guichard)

There was no sign of the Yellow Wagtail today.

Thanks to Karl Martin for the pics of the leucistic Jackdaw and the Black-tailed Godwit, Mark Killops for the Yellow Wagtail from yesterday and Anne Guichard for the Wheatear in flight:

Bird News Monday 21st April

The Yellow Wagtail is still at Oxford Island, around the Discovery Centre this morning, along with 13 White Wagtail. (Irishbirding / Danny Gibson)

The Spotted Redshank and a Common Sandpiper were at Kinnegar pool and the first year Little Gull was at the Belfasft Lough RSPB reserve. (Garry Armstrong).

The Spoonbill was still showing at Castle Espie, Co Down. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown)

A pair of Ring-necked Ducks were at the Mullagh, Lough Beg. A drake Green Winged Teal was at the south end and over 150 White Wagtail were seen. A Brent Goose was also present (David Steele)

4 Whimbrel were in Dundrum Bay (Jason Starbuck)

A Cuckoo was heard at Drumack Road Rasharkin (Celine Boyle)

Over 20 Swallows and House Martins returned to Crossgar over the weekend (Spencer Marshall)

Four Sanderlings, two Whimbrels, 18 Ringed Plovers and 10 Sandwich Terns were at Ballywalter this morning (James Robinson)

Thanks to Mark Elliott for this pic of a Pichard from Oxford Island, Christine Cassidy for the Black Guillemots and the Sabd Martin and Danny Gibson for the Yellow Wagtail:

Bird News Sunday 20th April

A Yellow Wagtail was with 23 White Wagtail on the roof of the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara).

3 Ring-necked Duck (2 male and a female) were with Tufted Duck at the south end of Lough Beg. Also present were a female Ferruginous Duck, 2 male Scaup, 2 Common Tern, a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, 80 Black-tailed Godwit and 500 Golden Plover (Tim Murphy).

A first-summer Mediterranean Gull (with a yellow ring) and the first-year Little Gull were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. The near summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was at Kinnegar Pool and a first-year Iceland Gull at Whitehouse Lagoon (Stuart McKee, George Gordon)

Cushendall, Agnew's Field  had 2 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Northern Diver. Cushendall beach had 2 Great Northern Diver and a Twite.(John McKillop).

7 Swift where at Oxford Island.(William Smiton)

Yesterday 2 Grey-bellied Brent Geese were on the beach at the stream outfall just north of Killard. (Garry Armstrong).

Black Guillemot - Liam McCafferty
White Wagtail - Garry Armstrong
Grey-bellied Brent Goose - Garry Armstrong
Grey-bellied Brent Goose - Garry Armstrong
Yellow Wagtail - James O'Neill
Yellow Wagtail - Zach McCreery
Yellow Wagtail - Tom McCreery
Yellow Wagtail - Tom McCreery
Robin - Mark Elliott


Bird News Saturday 19th April

Late news from yesterday evening, a male summer plumage Long-tailed Duck was at Reedy Flat, Lough Neagh before flying east with a small flock of Tufted ducks. Also at Reedy Flat were 2 Wheatear, 2 Ringed Plover and drumming Snipe. (James O'Neill)

A male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen in Mount Stewart estate today. (R Graham).

The Green-winged Teal and the adult and juvenile Little Gulls were still off the hide at the Quoile Pondage, 2 White Wagtail and 3 Common Tern were also present. (Garry Armstrong). 

A Common Sandpiper was at Newry Estuary/River this morning. (Frank Carroll).

A Peregrine and 2 Raven were at Carrickarede together with Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Razorbills and Guillemots. An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Ballycastle harbour.(Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

A male Cuckoo and a male Crossbill were at Lough Braden, County Tyrone this morning (Richard Donaghey).

3 Glossy Ibis were at Oxford Island today. (Birdguides).

A Cuckoo was at Belleek (Fionbarr Cross).  

5 Wheatear were at Colebrooke River at Upper Lough Erne (Brad Robson).

The Spotted Redshank was still at Kinnegar Pool. (Stuart McKee/Tom Ennis).

Oxford Island today had 2 Swift and 2 Common Terns. (James O'Neill).

The Spoonbill was still at Castle Espie today. (Tom Ennis).

An adult Iceland Gull was at Fanad Head in Donegal. (Wilton Farrelly).

Thanks to today's photographers, James O'Neill, Lindsay Hodges, Richard Donaghey, Christine Cassidy, Stuart McKee and Karl Martin. You can see more NI bird pictures at

 Dipper - James O'Neill
Sandwich Tern - Lindsay Hodges
Ring Ousel, Copeland Bird Observatory - Richard Donaghey
Sand Martins - Christine Cassidy
 Spotted Redshank - Stuart McKee
Spotted Redshank - Stuart McKee
Kestrel - Karl Martin
Raven Carrying a Mouse - Karl Martin