Bird News Sunday 31st May

The Red-necked Phalarope, Belfast Lough RSPB was still showing well this morning (Stuart McKee)

A Little Ringed Plover was at Kinnegar Pool / Shore (Wilton Farrelly)

A pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen in Portadown this morning (Alastair Prentice)

A 1st summer Little Gull was on the shore at Ballyquintin, Co Down. (Keith Bennett)

An Osprey was at Loughhead near Lisnaskea (Ian Cree).

If you have any rare or scarce bird news you can share via  text:07973403146  Twitter @nibirds or Flightline 02891467408.

Red Necked Phalarope, Stuart McKee:

Little Ringed Plover, Stephen Maxwell:

Bird News Saturday 30th May.

At Lough Beg a Pectoral Sandpiper was with 58 Ringed Plover, a Sanderling, Grey Plover, Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel at Paddy's Dub. 5 Shoveler were at the Beg itself (Godfrey McRoberts).

A Common Sandpiper was on the Clanrye river, Newry.(Frank Carroll)

2 Whooper Swan where on Lough Neagh at Cranfield nr Randalstown.(Linda Thompson)
Whooper Swans - Lynda Thompson.
Sedge Warbler - Stephen Maxwell.

Bird News Friday 29th May

The White-rumped Sandpiper was still at Paddy's Dubh, Lough Beg. (David Steele).

Also at Lough Beg a Tundra Bean Goose was with a Pink-foot and 15 Greylag Geese at Mullagh Point. (David Steele).

A Red-necked Phalarope was at Belfast Lough WOW RSPB Reserve. (Ivan Quail / Gerard McGeehan).

Thanks to David Steele for the pictures of the White-rumped Sandpiper and the Tundra Bean Goose and to Christine Cunningham for the pictures of the Swift and the Dunnock.



Copeland Bird Observatory - day trip (Sat 30 May)

Tomorrow is the final day-trip opportunity to experience the island in its full spring glory.

The trip departs from the pier-side at Donaghadee at 10.30 am.

The trip includes an island tour, a look at some of the habitat and bird-ringing activities carried out by the observatory, and some free time to wander, bird-watch, or just loaf around! There is a good chance of seeing Manx Shearwater, Arctic Tern, Black Guillemot and Puffin (there were up to 40 present last week-end). Check out our Facebook page for images of recent trips.

The return boat will leave the island at 4.30 pm with docking at Donaghadee around 5 pm.

Visitors will need to bring a packed lunch, suitable waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear.

Price is £15 adults, £10 under 18s.

There are a few spaces left and BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.


Wesley Smyth
Mobile 07837 44 92 64

Bird News Thursday 28th May

A Red-rumped Swallow was with House Martin and Swallow off the hide at Quoile Pondage this morning (Dan Ballie). The bird was looked for later but not seen.

A White-rumped Sandpiper was at Paddy's Dub, Lough Beg (David Steele).

14 Wheatear and 2 male Whitethroat were at St Jonh's Point. (Tim Murphy).

A Common Crane was reported flying north over Carlingford Lough today so worth looking out for. (Birdguides).

Thanks to Jane McLaughlin for the picture of the Gannet taken just off shore at Waterfoot, to Thom Shannon for the picture of the Spotted Flycatcher taken in his driveway and to Jason Bain for the picture of the Cuckoo from Capanagh.


Bird News Wednesday 27th May

The Little Stint was present this evening at RSPB Belfast Harbour WOW Reserve (Stuart McKee / Stephen Maxwell)

A Cuckoo was calling near Moorfields this afternoon. (Adam McClure)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the record shot of the Little Stint, with a Dunlin, taken at a considerable distance away!

Bird News Tuesday 26th May.

An adult summer Little Stint was at Belfast Harbour RSPB WOW reserve (Stuart McKee)

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker is visiting gardens in Agnaleck, Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson)

A Corncrake was heard calling at the New Lake Dunfanaghy Co Donegal.(Christine Cunningham)

Last night 2 Cuckoo where at Capanagh.(Suzanne Belshaw)

Chiffchaff - Greg McCreedy.

Bird News Monday 25th May

2 Wheatears were at Blackhead in Belfast Lough. (Peter Wedderburn).

Thanks to Peter for the pictures of the Wheatear and the Rock Pipit, also below are pictures of the Reed Warbler at Oxford Island.

Bird News Sunday 24th May

2 Mealy Redpoll, a Pomarine Skua, 6 Great Skua and 6 White Wagtail were at Tory Island in Donegal. There was no sign of the Hooded Mergansers. (Brad Robson)

A Corncrake and Cuckoo have been calling for 3 days now along Isle Road, 3 miles from Bushmills (John Witmanson).

A drake Gadwall was at Kinnegar Lagoon (William Smiton)

A Reed Warbler and Water Rail were at the hide at Kinnegoe Bay, Oxford Island (Frank Carroll)

A drake Garganey was at Portmore Lough RSPB reserve, in meadow drains late afternoon (Birdguides)

Four Cuckoo were seen on Inishowen, Co Donegal today. (Christine Cassidy and Ray Brogan)

You can share rare and scarce bird news and pics via  Many thanks to all contributors.

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for this picture of a Cuckoo:

Bird News Saturday 23rd May

A 1st summer Little Gull was at the Belfast RSPB WOW reserve.(Birdguides)

2 1st summer Little Gulls were at Glynn Station this morning. (Neal Warnock)

An Osprey was at Dunree Fort,Innisowen penisula Co Donegal this afternoon (Lindsay Hodges, Dermot McLaughlin, Christine Cassidy and Andrea Mitchell)

An escaped Golden Eagle was on the moorland east of Shilanavogy road, in the Glenhead area, at 5pm today (James O'Neill)

leucistic Black-headed Gull- Angus Kennedy:

Osprey, Lindsay Hodges:

Common Terns - Stephen Maxwell:

Golden Eagle with jesses, James O'Neill

RSPB Rathlin

The RSPB will be facilitating public access to the bottom viewing platform at the Seabird Centre on Rathlin Island from tomorrow, Saturday 23 May.

The visitor centre isn’t quite finished but this interim arrangement will at least allow visitors to see the seabirds. As there will be no access to the West Light (apart from the toilets) they won’t be charging an entrance fee.

Bird News Friday 22nd May

A Little Tern was at the mouth of Dundrum Inner Bay, also present were two Whimbrel, twenty summer plumaged Sanderling, and 2 Cuckoo. (Stuart McKee).

A Glaucous Gull was at the Roe Estuary NNR on the 21st & 22nd May, 2 Whooper Swan were also present on both days. A Cuckoo was close to Loughermore Forest on 20th May;  another Cuckoo was at Tartnakelly townland nr Limavady on the 20th May, and one was close to Banagher Forest on the 21st. A Spotted Flycatcher was at Banagher Glen NNR on 21st May. (Joe Furphy).

A 1st summer Red-throated Diver was at Farland Bank, Inch, Co. Donegal this morning. (David Hill).

At Lough Beg a Wood Sandpiper was at Paddy's Dub and a male Ruff in the south-west corner (David Steele).

Thanks to James O'Neill for the picture of the Swift, David Hill for the picture of the Red-throated Diver, Stuart McKee for the picture of the Little Tern, Dick Glasgow for the picture of the young Rook from his garden and David Hunter for the picture of the Sandwich Terns.


Bird News Thursday 21st May

TA Great Spotted Woodpecker in was in Ballyholme. (Frederick Hayward)

Three Cuckoo were at Murlough, Co Down (Stephen Maxwell)

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers were at the entrance to Springwell forest along with 12 Crossbill. An Iceland Gull was on the river beside Dunnes store in Coleraine. (John Clarke)

A first-summer Little Gull was at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Stuart McKee)

A family party of 2 adult and 5 juvenile Raven was at Scrabo Hill (Dot Blakely)

Yesterday (as well as the Gannet) 3 Whimbrel, a White Wagtail, 3 Turnstone and 7 Dunlin were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB (Brad Robson)

The pair of Hooded Mergansers are still on Tory Island. The male is definitely not ringed. (Chris Ingram)

Thanks to Noel Austin and Stephen Maxwell for the Cuckoo pics:

Cuckoo, Noel Austin:

Cuckoo, Stephen Maxwell:

Bird News Wednesday 20th May

2 Spotted Flycatcher were beside the car park at Glenarm Forest this afternoon. (Richard Donaghey).

A Gannet was at Lower Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh this morning. Originally seen near Ferny Island it flew down to Devenish and remained close to the public jetty in the afternoon. This is the third county record. The first was picked up injured in a field in Upper Lough Erne in the 1980s then Fionnbarr Cross and Peter Taylor found the second county record also at Devenish Island on 8th October 2013. See pictures below. (Fionnbarr Cross/Brad Robson).

A Yellowhammer was at the beginning of the lane leading to the Giant’s Ring (just off the Ballynahatty road) in Belfast this morning. (Andrew Frazer).

3 Whimbrel were in Killough Harbour this evening (Chris Murphy)
2 Ruff were at Lough Beg (Tim Murphy).

The Curlew Sandpiper was still at Carrickfergus, see picture below. (Cameron Moore).

Thanks to Brad Robson for the pictures of the Gannet, Cameron Moore for the picture of the Curlew Sandpiper, to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Merlin and to Eric Phillips for the picture of the Bullfinch.


Bird News Tuesday 19th May

A late report of a female type Marsh Harrier was seen at Lough Aghery which is located just outside Dromara Co Down. The bird was seen on  the 16th, but could be hopefully be still in the area (Gerard McLaughlin)

A Reed Warbler was at Oxford Island (Fulton Somerville)

Spotted Flycatcher was seen this afternoon in Derrymore Wood Bessbrook. (Frank Carroll)

Two Hooded Merganser were on Tory Island today (Anton Meehan per Chris Ingram)

Thanks to Gerard for the pic of the Marsh Harrier:

Marsh Harrier - Gerard McLaughlin.

Bird News Monday 18th May

A Curlew Sandpiper was opposite Magowan tyres in Carrickfergus.(Cameron Moore) see pic's below

St John’s Point: 20 Arctic Terns, 10 Common Terns and 10 Sandwich Terns feeding offshore; 7 Swallows coming off the sea appeared to be late arriving migrants. 5 Wheatear where on Ardglass golf course this evening. (Chris Murphy)

Curlew Sandpiper - Cameron Moore.

Ravens - Stephen Maxwell.

BTO House Martin Survey 2015

There are still squares available for the BTO House Martin Survey 2015.

A very easy and relaxed survey to complete, the primary aim of this year’s survey is to estimate the current UK population, using a method that is repeatable so that we can measure future changes in population size. We will also be trying to fill the gaps in our current knowledge about House Martin breeding ecology and to find out if it varies geographically. The survey builds on a small-scale study of House Martins carried out between 2009 and 2013.

It is based on randomly selected 1-km squares, which will be used to produce robust population estimates. We anticipate that there will be an additional survey in 2016, which will involve regular observation of nests over the course of the breeding season, recording details of the timing of nest activity and breeding success.

First visits should be made from 1st June and visits can be made at any time of day (apart from the first and last hours of daylight when birds may be roosting).

If you would like to get involved, please visit to request a square or for more information, visit

House Martins taking a break from nest building. Photograph by Doug Welch

Bird News Sunday 17th May

A Garden Warbler was singing at Crom, Co Fermanagh (Keith Bennett)

Male great spotted woodpecker, Craigagh Wood, Glendun (Neal Warnock)

4 Spotted Flycatcher were ringed on Copeland Bird Observatory (Richard Donaghey)

A Spotted Flycatcher was at Rowallabe House yesterday (Stuart McQueen)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the images of the Stonechat and Sandwich Tern and Noel Austin for the Cuckoo pic:

Bird News Saturday 16th May

A Wood Warbler was at Tollymore Forest (Gregory Moorehead) 

3 Cuckoo at Capanagh (Gavin Ferguson)

2 Greenshank at Quoile Pondage (Chris Murphy)

A female Marsh Harrier was at Sheskinmore in Donegal (Brad Robson)

2 Common Tern at Whitehouse Lagoon (Jim McKeown)

3 Tree Sparrows were at Kinnego Marina (Colin Bell) 

Late news from yesterday - Garden 
Warbler between Lagan Towpath and River Lagan; it flew across Towpath into grounds of Malone Golf Club 150 metres towards Belfast from Drum Bridge (Joe Furphy)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the Great Tit image, Gregory for the Wood Warbler and Gavin for the Cuckoo.