Happy New Year

Wilton, Ian, Garry and George would like to thank everyone who has visited and contributed to the blog over the last year.

We wish you all a happy and bird filled 2015.

Bird News Wednesday 31st December

The Siberian Chiffchaff was still at Oxford Island this morning. (Birdguides).

Yesterday 5 Twite were at Glenarm car park. (Joe Lamont).

A 1st winter Little Gull was at Glenarm. (Birdguides).

Thanks to Joe Lamont for the picture of the Twite to Jeff Silvers for the picture of the Grey Heron and to Mark Killops for the picture of a Mink which was on the breakwater behind the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island yesterday.


Patchwork Challenge

For anyone interested in working a local patch in 2015 here is a taster from Tim Murphy of his patch in Killough in 2014.

Summary of my 3km squared Killough patch:

A pair of Gadwall turned up in Killough Harbour this morning, perhaps the final addition to the patch year list which now stands at 138, and 117 without the use of a car. The two rarest birds that have appeared on patch were Fea's Petrel and Franklin's Gull, both seen from St John's Point. However, in terms of patch rarity, the clear highlight arrived in late spring and stayed for a few months on Strand Lough, a Coot! Pure patch gold. The target for next year is 150 Species and a male Subalpine warbler! Please take a look at the Patchwork Challenge website and join in next year.

You can find details of the 2015 patchwork challenge at: patchworkchallenge.blogspot.co.uk

Bird News Tuesday 30th December

The Siberian Chiffchaff was seen twice, briefly, at Oxford Island this morning. (Neil Cartmill/Mark Killops).

A Snow Bunting was with 90 Skylark in a stubble field at Orlock. (Richard Weyl).

This morning at Ecos, Ballymena there was a f lock of 40+ Linnet, a f lock of Long-tailed Tits, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, Goldfinches, 12+ Teal, 4 Goldeneye and 2 Raven overhead flying toward Slemish ( John Loughlin and Irene Miller).

The possible Great White Egret reported from Macedon Point yesterday has turned out to be a Little Egret. (Billy Macauley).

A Kestrel was at Pattons Marsh near the Floodgates in Newtownards. (Karl Martin).

29/12/14; Killough Harbour: 5 little Egret, 13 Grey Heron, 6 Greenshank, 120 Teal, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Raven. 30/12/14; Killough Harbour: A pair of Gadwall, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Buzzard (Tim Murphy).

A Greenshank was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast and a Little Egret at Macedon Point. 5 Long-tailed Duck were at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan).

The Green-winged Teal was still at Ballycarry Bridge today. A Long-tailed Duck was found at extreme range off Glynn - best seen from Mill Bay. (Neal Warnock).
Thanks to today's photographers, to Neil Cartmill for the first Siberian Chiffchaff picture, to Mark Killops for the next two Siberian Chiffchaff pictures, to Karl Martin for the Kestrel and Wren photographs and to Robert Scott for the Moorhen picture.

Bird News Monday 29th December.

A possible Great White Egret has been reported been seen to-day between Macedon Point and Whitehouse Lagoon, it was with Oystercatchers and Gulls and the observer could see it was much bigger bird even with no optical aid, he has also experience with Little and Cattle Egret,observer also noted that the bird flew and had the posture of a Grey Heron, so if anyone is in the area, well worth checking out,

A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Oxford Island ..(Birdguides)

A 1st winter male Black Redstart was at Newcastle Harbour this morning.(James O'Neill) see photo below
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen on the Lagan towpath, it was about 200m from the Blaris Rd entrance.(Eric Randall)

 Ballyquintin Point had a White Wagtail, 10 Twite and a Jack Snipe.  Knockinelder Bay had 4 Sandwich Tern.(Richard Weyl)

A Green-winged Teal was at Ballycarry bridge Co.Antrim.(Birdguides)

A Med.Gull was at Whiteabbey Co.Antrim.(Birdguides)

A flock of 100 Whooper Swan and 2 Redwing were in a field at Gransha Close above Millbrook Riding Lodge near Comber. 60 Fieldfare/Mistle Thrush/Lapwing and a Redwing were near Purdysburn Roundabout (David Clarke)

Our thanks to Tony Donaldson for the pics. of the Long-tailed Tit(pic.1) and the Tree Sparrow.(2) Lindsay Hodges for the Little Egret(3) and Kestrel(4) Denis Chambers for the Kestrel(5) James O'Neill for the Black Redstart.

Bird News Sunday 28th December

Between Greyabbey Bay and Kircubbin there were 8 Slavonian Grebe‎. At Portavogie there was a Jack Snipe with 60 Snipe. Yesterday a Jack Snipe was at Horse Island. (Richard Weyl).

A mixed flock of 50+ Redwing and Fieldfares plus a Buzzard and a Goldcrest were in fields near Gracehill, Ballymena this morning. (John Loughlin & Irene Miller).

A Blackcap and a Carrion Crow were visiting a garden in Lisburn. (Peter Casey).

Today at the Newry Canal within 1/2 mile south of Scarva sightings included a Bullfinch, a Kingfisher, Buzzard, 2 Ravens, 20+ Fieldfare, 50+ Redwing, Mistle Thrust, Song Thrush, Snipe and Linnet. (Fulton Somerville).

The juvenile Iceland Gull and a Great Northern Diver were at Larne Harbour, see pictures below. (Cecil Smyth).

A Water Rail was at Broad Water (Gerard McGeehan). 

A Treecreeper was at Princess Gardens in Castlerock (William Hiles).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the first picture of the Starling, to Peter Casey for the pictures of the Blackcap and the Redwing, to Pauline Majury for the picture of the Common Gull, to Jane McLaughlin for the picture of the Wigeon, to Fulton Somerville for the second Starling picture and to Cecil Smyth for the pictures of the Iceland Gull and the Great Northern Diver



Bird News Saturday 27th December

The Iceland Gull was seen again at Larne harbour.(Birdguides)

100 Fieldfare, 6 Redwing and 2 Skylark were at Kinnegoe Embankment. Another 100 Fieldfare and 130 Greylag were at Derrycrow (David Clarke).

Bird News Friday 26th December

A White-rumped Sandpiper was with Ringed Plover along the shore at Jordanstown on the Antrim shore of Belfast Lough. (Raymond Hume).

A Little Egret was by the river in Orangefield Park, East Belfast, about 11.30am today. (Linda McKee).

The Bann Estuary between 1.30 and 3.00pm had 7 Red Breasted Merganser, 1000 Lapwing, 150 Sanderling, 50 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 230 Curlew, 50 Golden Plover 130 Teal, 70 Wigeon, 5 Goldeneye, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Oystercatcher. (James McDowell).

A Jay is coming to a garden in Church Road, Kells. (Rev Ian Magowan).

An adult Mediterranean Gull (with one leg), a Greenshank and 66 Snipe were at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast (Stuart McKee).   

A small flock of 35 Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plover was at Ballyhalbert. A similar number was at Cloghy and a female Kestrel and 100 Linnet at Kircubbin (David Clarke, John Pyper).

Thanks to Fulton Somerville for the pictures of the Dunnock and the Wren.

Bird News Thursday Christmas Day.

Two Sandwich Tern where at Portaferry marina.(John Wilson Foster).
A Chiffchaff was at Oxford Island, it was in the last trees before the discovery centre, Siberian Chiffchaff was not ruled out as a possibility. 2 Ruddy Ducks were in the area. (Keith Bennett).
Yesterday a Jack Snipe and 6 Common Snipe were at Ballyquintin on the outer Ards. (Keith Bennett).
A Snow Bunting was at Slieve Gallion in the Sperrins (John Spratt).
To-day's photo's have been kindly sent in by Stephen Maxwell of a Carrion Crow and the Redshank, Cecil Smyth for the Red-breasted Merganser and Peter Casey for the Kingfisher.


Merry Christmas

All of us would like to thank everyone who contributed to the blog throughout 2014 by whatever form of media network. It is down to you that the blog remains very popular. The year again provided some great birds, notably the well twitched Pacific Diver in January  and the influx of Glossy Ibises, the Barred Warbler on Copeland to name but a few,here's looking forward to 2015 who knows what it will provide.To everyone who follow us CHEERS and have a wonderful Christmas.

Wilton, Garry, Ian, George and Adam.

Photo provided by Dick Glasgow 

Bird News Wednesday Christmas Eve.

A male Ring-necked Duck was at the south end of Lough Beg (Tim Murphy).

An adult Med. Gull was at Groomsport Co Down.(Dougie Gamble) see photo below

A male Merlin was at Portmore Lough (Ralph Walker).
An adult or near adult Glaucous Gull was still at Enniskillen tip today. (Brad Robson).

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Portrush. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and a 1st winter Iceland Gull were at Waterfoot and 6 Twite at Glenarm. (Neal Warnock). 
Our thanks to Dougie for the Med Gull. Second photo from Angus Kennedy of a  Grey Wagtail. Third photo from Karl Martin of a Purple Sandpiper.

Bird News Tuesday 23rd December

20 Waxwing were outside Parkdene Nursing Home, Fortwilliam Park, Belfast, they came to roost around 4pm. (Ian Enlander).

2 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay in Strangford Lough (Joe Lamont).

Yesterday a large raft of Common Scoter was off Newcastle pier; at the Inner Bay near Dundrum there were 500+ Lapwing, 5 Jack Snipe, 2 Peregrine, a Black Swan and 700+ Brent and a single Skylark. At Tyrella were 2 Red Kite and at least 300 Lapwing. At St John's Point were 500+ Golden Plover, 500+ Lapwing, 100+ Linnet.(Fulton Somerville & Aidan Morgan).

Thanks to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Stonechat, to Derek Polley for the pictures of the Tree Sparrow and the Linnets and to Jane McLaughlin for the picture of the Collared Dove.

Bird News Monday 22nd December.

A Little Egret, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and 13 Grey Heron were at Killough Harbour and 140 Fieldfare at Strand Lough (Tim Murphy)

Yellowhammer - Andrew Poots.

Bird News Sunday 21st December

The juvenile Iceland Gull was at Larne harbour, seen from Sandy Bay. (Keith Bennett/Philip West, Ian Graham).

Six Twite were at Glenarm Harbour (Neal Warnock).

A Slavonian Grebe was off Glynn in Larne Lough, a Little Egret and a Kingfisher were also present, three Little Egrets and another Kingfisher were at Ballycarry Bridge. (Philip West, Ian Graham).

A Pink-footed Goose was south of Anne's Point and the hybrid Ring-billed Gull was still at Millisle. (Richard Weyl).

Around Larne today were the 1st winter Iceland Gull, 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull, a Slavonian Grebe, a Carrion Crow, 2 Pintail, 2 Sanderling, 38 Greylag, a Kingfisher and a Dipper. (Neal Warnock).

A Sandwich Tern and 2 Sanderling were at Sandy Bay in Larne (Gerard McGeehan). A Red-throated Diver, 2 Sanderling and 3 Purple Sandpiper were at Brown's Bay (Cameron Moore).

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this picture of a Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit, also below is a picture of the juvenile Iceland Gull from Larne, two Sanderling pictures from Cameron Moore, the picture of the pair of Eider from Cecil Smyth, the picture of the leucistic Jackdaw at Glenarm from Pauline Majury and the pictures of the Rock Pipit and the Robin from William Hamilton:




Bird News Saturday 20th December.

The Iceland Gull was seen again in Larne.(Cecil Smyth) see pic below

A large count of around 150 Tree Sparrow are visiting a house in Richill Co. Armagh.(Andrew Poots)

The photo's to-day have been kindly sent in by Cecil Smyth of the Iceland Gull. The second photo by Dick Glasgow of a Chaffinch(left hand bird) and a Brambling. Third pic. is of a Jay sent in by Noeni Bryars.  

Bird News Friday 19th December

The juvenile Iceland Gull was still at Larne harbour. (Birdguides).

Thanks to Robert McDowell for the pictures of the Greenfinch and Goldfinch from his garden and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Stonechats.