Bird News Tuesday 30th September

A drake American Wigeon was at Inch Island Lake in Donegal, seen from Traady Point Hide. (Birdguides).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Raven, Goldcrest and Kestrel.

BTO Birdwatchers Conference 2014, Oxford Island

If you are interested in attending, you can get further information about the event from Shane Wolsey:

Bird News Monday 29th September.

The Marsh Harrier still present at the Quoile Pondage, view able from the Castle Island hide.(Stephen Maxwell)

Marsh Harrier - Stephen Maxwell.
Long -tailed Tit - Ginny McKee.

Bird News Sunday 28th September

The female Marsh Marrier is still showing at the Quoile this morning (Garry Armstrong)

Three Red Kites soaring together at 3 pm between Dromara and Castewellan today (Tim Ryan)

7 Little Egrets were at Ardilea (John Moore)

RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve had a Curlew Sandpiper, three Ruff and two Foxes.

4 Twite were at Ramore Head (Simon Morton).

At Larne Lough a Ruff, 7 Greenshank, 13 Little Egret, 3 Wheatear, a Whooper Swan and 3 Buzzard were at Ballycarry Bridge and at Lough Foyle 3,000 Golden Plover and 2 Buzzard at Myroe Levels (Gerard McGeehan).
4 Twite were at Ramore Head (Simon Morton)

At Larne Lough a Ruff, 13 Little Egret, 3 Wheatear, a Whooper Swan and 3 Buzzard were at Ballycarry Bridge and at Lough Foyle 3,000 Golden Plover and 2 Buzzard at Myroe Levels (Gerard McGeehan)

9 Ruff, 3 Wheatear and 2 Whimbrel were at Reedy Flats, Lough Neagh (Irish Birding)

Thanks to Dessie Loughrey for this pic of a Buzzard up close:

Bird News Saturday 27th September

An adult Med Gull was at Cloughey, Outer Ards, Down. (Keith Bennett)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling in Annagarriff forest, Peatlands Park, this morning (James O'Neill)

A Curlew Sandpiper and three Ruff were at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve (Wilton Farrelly)

On Rathlin Island today were Arctic Skua, 2 Arctic Tern & 4 Pink-feet. Also 12 Twite. and 2 Med Gulls were in Ballycastle (Neal Warnock)

The adult female Marsh Harrier was still at Quoile Pondage (Billie Hamilton / Alan Welsh)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Kilhone Bay near Annalong (Richard Gray)

An American Golden Plover was on Tory Island (Chris Ingram et al)

You can report rare and scarce bird news at

Thanks to Jane McLaughlin for these Little Egret pics and Alan Welsh for the female Marsh Harrier:

Bird News Friday 26th September

A Yellow Wagtail was along Martin's Lane, Newry near the A1. (Frank Carroll).

An adult Mediterranean Gull (with a white ring and black letters E742) was at Tyrella beach. Yesterday a second-winter Mediterranean Gull was at Rossglass near St John's Point and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Dargan Bay in Belfast (Chris Murphy, Tim Murphy).

The Ring-billed Gull was in the East Strand car park in Portrush, see picture below. (John Clarke).

The Marsh Harrier was showing well in front of the hide at the Quoile this afternoon, see picture below. Please be aware that due to cut backs there is not enough staff to open and close the hide at the weekends so if anyone is going there they would need to check in centre for a key. (Tony Donaldson).


RSPB Members Day

RSPB Northern Ireland Members’ Day 2014

Limited spaces are still available for RSPB Northern Ireland’s Members’ Day on Saturday, 18 October at Greenmount Agricultural College.

The event will be an opportunity to meet like-minded people and to hear what the RSPB team has been working on over the past 12 months, as well as the charity’s plans for the future.

This will include updates on the refurbishment works at Belfast Harbour and the Seabird Centre on Rathlin Island.

A representative from Birdwatch Ireland will also be in attendance to provide an update on what’s happening right across the island of Ireland.

As well as hearing updates about conservation work for specific bird species, you will be able to enjoy getting close to nature during an afternoon field trip. You can choose either a guided walk around the walled garden at Greenmount, or a tour of the RSPB’s Portmore Lough reserve.

To book a place, contact RSPB NI on 028 9049 1547 before Friday, 3 October 2014. Tickets for Members’ Day are £20, which includes lunch and refreshments. You do not have to be an RSPB member in order to attend and everyone is welcome.

*Please note speakers are subject to change.


Amy Ryan 
Media and Events Officer 

Barred Warbler on Copeland Islands a 5th Northern Irish record.

On the 13th September a juv Barred Warbler was trapped and ringed on Copeland Island Bird Observatory, this represents only the 5th record of the species in Northern Ireland, all but one have come from the Copelands, that being a bird seen in a quarry between Portstewart and Coleraine back in 1971, which incidentally was the first for the province. Our kind thanks to Chris Acheson and  Ian McKee (who provided the pics.)

Bird News Thursday 25th September

A Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Ruff where at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate.(G. McGeehan)

On Wed 24th the Cattle Egret was still at Hillsborough, feeding among the cattle at the Agricultural Research Institute. (Dougie Gamble)

At Blanketnook were a Ruff, 7 Curlew Sands and 49 Greenshank (Chris Ingram)

This Merlin was seen in Co Sligo by Christine Cassidy today:

Bird News Wednesday 24th September

A female Marsh Harrier was at the Quoile Pondage this morning (Danny Ballie). The bird was still present at 2pm (David Nixon)

A fist-winter Mediterranean Gull was at the Waterworks Park, Belfast. (David Knight)

This morning Ramore Head and the east side of the peninsula had 1 Great Skua, 1 first winter Mediterranean Gull (different bird than yesterday), 250 Brent Geese in small groups, 60 Manx Shearwaters, 40 Wigeon, 12 Tufted Ducks and 8 Teal.
Despite numerous checks through the day – unfortunately no sign of the Yellow Browed Warbler. (Colin Guy)

A Curlew Sandpiper was at Sandy Bay, Larne (Neal Warnock)

Thanks to Fulton Sommerville for this pic of a Grasshopper Warbler and David Knight for the Med Gull:

Bird News Tuesday 23rd September

A Yellow Browed Warbler is feeding in the Gardens opposite the Countryside Centre, Portrush, Bath Terrace (Colin Guy).

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen and one heard along the Granite Trail near Newcastle harbour (Richard Gray).  

A Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Ruff were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Stuart McKee).

A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was at the bottom of Ramore Head in Portrush. (Colin Guy).

You can share rare and scarce bird news via, twitter: @nibirds or text 07973403146.

Many thanks to Colin Guy for the first Yellow Browed Warbler picture, to Jeff Larkin for the next two Yellow Browed Warbler pictures, to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Grey Heron, to Ginny McKee for the pictures of the Red-breasted Mergansers and the Little Egret and to Stephen McMillan for the picture of the Curlew:





Bird News Monday 22nd September.

The long staying Spoonbill was seen once again of the hide at Castle Espie.

25 Greenshank a Whimbrel and a Knot where at Glynn and an ad Med. Gull was at Loughshore on the Antrim side of Belfast Lough.(Stuart McKee)

Late news from yesterday..A Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint,5 Ruff and 3 Greenshank where at Lough Beg. (Tim Murphy)

Tory Island today had 2 Blackcaps, 2 rRbins and a Blackbird. An adult Long-tailed Skua was seen from the boat. Anton still had a Barred Warbler in his east garden (Chris Ingram)

A Spotted Redshank was at Blanketnook (Derek Brennan)

Thanks to Ginny McKee for this pic of a Ringed Plover. You can see more pics at

Bird News Sunday 21st September

A juvenile Sabine’s Gull was amongst a flock of feeding Kittiwakes between Rue Point and  Church Bay, Rathlin (seen from ferry) On Rathlin there were 3 Chough, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat,1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Golden Plover (Colin Guy)

The White-rumped Sandpiper at Lady's Bay was seen prior to 3pm, but not subsequently.

A Common Sandpiper was seen along the Newry Estuary this morning. (Frank Carroll)

A juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was at Blanketnook (Chris Ingram)

A Pied Flycatcher was at Fanad Head (Wilton Farrelly)

Kilkeel this morning had a Sand Martin with a mixed group of 50 Swallow and House Martin (Ian Enlander)

A male Hen Harrier was seen yesterday evening crossing the A37 near Coleraine. (Simon Pickett)

Thanks to Sher Marshall for the Black Guillemot (at Carrickfegus Harbour) pic, Karl Martin for the Raven and Dessie Loghrey for the Buzzard. You can see more bird pics at

Bird News Saturday 20th September

A second-winter Franklin's Gull was at St John's Point at 11am. It sat on the water with other gulls 600ms south-west of the lighthouse before flying off (flycatching) towards Minerstown at 11.30am. Also seen were 2 Mediterranean Gull (adult and first-winter), 2 Goldcrest and a Wheatear (Tim Murphy). 

The adult White-rumped Sandpiper was still at Lady Bay, Lough Neagh. (Garry Armstrong)

Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve had a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Ruff (Wilton Farrelly)

A Merlin was seen off the Castle Island hide.(Chris Shaw).

Bloody Foreland in Donegal had 31 Great Skua, 3 Pomarine Skua, 2Arctic Skua, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Sabine's Gull, a large unidentified Shearwater and a Peregrine in off the sea. (Chris Ingram).

The RSPB Harbour reserve late afternoon  had a little stint, adult curlew sandpiper, jack snipe & 5 snipe. (Bangor RSPB Outing)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Kestrel, to Zach McCreery for the first picture of the White-rumped Sandpiper and Tom McCreery for the second White-rumped Sandpiper picture and to Adam Middleton for the picture of the Kingfisher.

White-rumped Sandpiper - Zach McCreery
White-rumped Sandpiper - Tom McCreery

 White-rumped Sandpiper - Garry Armstrong
 White-rumped Sandpiper - Garry Armstrong

White-rumped Sandpiper - Garry Armstrong
Buzzard - Dick Glasgow
                                                                Kestrel - Dick Glasgow

Goldcrest - Garry Armstrong
Kingfisher - Adam Middleton

Bird News Friday 19th September

The White-rumped Sandpiper is still at Lady's Bay, Lough Neagh up to 1.00p.m. at least. (Fulton Somerville/Thom Shannon/Ruth Maybin).

Tory Island today had a Barred Warbler, Wryneck & Redstart at the east end. Also circa 50 Wheatear, 5 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest. (JIm Dowdall).

A Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Ruff and a Water Rail were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Stuart McKee, Gerard McGeehan).

The Lesser Yellowlegs was seen again at Blanketnook, Co Donegal.

Approximately 3000 Brent Geese, a Kingfisher, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk and 3 Buzzard were seen at Strangford Lough. 12 Brent Geese and a Wheatear were on Belfast Lough. ( Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the Snipe picture and Christine Xassidy for the Wheatear. You can see more pics at


Bird News Thursday 18th September

A Red-breasted Flycatcher was at the east end of Tory Island. Elsewhere the Island had 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, Mistle Thrush, Dunnock 5 Robins, 200 Meadow Pipits, Collared Dove, 2 Kestrels and a Buzzard (Chris Ingram). A second Red-breasted Flycatcher was found dead in West Town.

The adult White-rumped Sandpiper is still present at Lady Bay, Lough Neagh this morning. (Stuart McKee)

A Great White Egret was with Little Egrets at Dundrum Inner Bay, probably the same seen just over a week ago at the Quoile Pondage (John Lyons)

The adult Fosters Tern is still showing at Soldiers Point, Dundalk (Paul Kelly)

Thanks to Stuart McKee for these pics of the White-rumped Sandpiper:

Bird News Wednesday 17th September

A White-rumped Sandpiper was at Lady Bay, Lough Neagh (BirdGuides/James O'Neill)

A Crane was reported from Florencecourt House in the last few days. (Irish Birding). It was looked for this morning without success although a Great-spotted Woodpecker was seen (Brad Robson)

There were good numbers of waders at Dargan at lunchtime today, inc 3 Spotted Redshank, a Ruff & 2 Whimbrel (Adam McClure)

The Fosters Tern is again frequenting Soldiers Point, Dundalk.

Tory Islabd today had a Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, 3 Willow Warblers and a Mistle Thrush. Also a Cuckoo was seen by Anton Meenhan (Chris Ingram).
A Curlew Sandpiper was feeding at Kinnegar Lagoon this afternoon. (Gilly Irwin).

 A Green Sandpiper was at Upperlands Dam, Co Londonderry (David Morrow). 

19 Snipe and a Curlew Sandpiper were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Joe Lamont).  

A second-winter Little Gull and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull were at the boat compound at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

 The Bann estuary had 1 Little Stint and 131 Teal ; Ballykelly, 215 Pale-bellied Brent, 8 Greylag Geese,1 Whooper Swan, 2 Little Egret ; Myroe, 400 Golden Plover. (Hill Dick / Peter Robinson).
Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the picture of a Kestrel in the Antrim Hills and to James O'Neill for the pictures of the White-rumped Sandpiper:



Bird News Tuesday 16th September

3 Manx Shearwaters were over Lough Neagh, viewed from Reedy Flat. (James O'Neill)

A single Swift was over Portmore lough reserve today (Amy Burns)

A Little Gull and Mediteranean Gull were seen in Belfast Lough. 

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of a flock of Snipe:

Bird News Monday 15th September.

Lough Foyle had 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Med Gull. At Ballykelly were 7 Wheatear, 8 Little Egret and a Ruff (Brad Robson, Matthew Tickner, Gareth Bareham, Anne Guichard and Laura Smith)

Yesterday a flock of Crossbill where at Crocknagrally Forest nr Fivemiletown.(Colin Bell).

Thanks to today's photographers  Ginny McKee, Dick Glasgow and Christine Cassidy

Willow Warbler - Ginny McKee.
Stonechat - Ginny McKee.

 Red Grouse - Dick Glasgow

Red Grouse - Dick Glasgow

Wheatear - Christine Cassidy

Wheatear - Christine Cassidy