Bird News Monday 31st August

An immature Pied Flycatcher was at the lighthouse at St John's Point (Billy Miskelly).

Two juvenile Merlin were on Divis (Belfast Hills) early this morning. A juvenile Peregrine Falcon  was over Wolfe Hill (Larry Toal).

4 Adult and one juvenile Roseate Tern were on the small tern island at RSPB Belfast WOW reserve (Stuart McKee) earlier it had 2 Ruff and 6 Knot. Also 8 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper and a Greenshank were at Kinnegar (Gerard McGeehan)

Whimbrel - David Hunter.

Bird News Sunday 30th August

11 Ruff were at Tullyhill on Strangford Lough today (Chris Henry)

Two Arctic Skua were of Grey Point, Belfast Lough (Richard Woods)

The Ring-billed Gull was still at The Bann Estuary, an adult Mediterranean Gull and 8 Brent Geese were at Myroe and 2 Red-throated Divers and a Swift were at Magilligan Point. (Jeff Larkin)

A Ruff was on the shore at Portballintrae - unusual for that location (Colin Guy)

A Ruff was at Ballyquintin Point (Wilton Farrelly)

You can report rare and scarce bird news at

Thanks to Colin Guy for this pic of a Knot at Ballintoy:

Bird News Saturday 29th August

A Garganey was in front of the hide plus 17 Ruff at Inch lough and 4 Ruff at Blanketnook, Lough Swilly, Co Donegal. (Brad Robson).

2 Roseate Terns, 2 Puffins, a Bonxie and a Common Scoter past St John's Point between 8 and 10 this morning. (Garry Armstrong).

A Ring-billed Gull and 13 Ruff were at the Bann estuary. (Irish Birding).

An adult Little Gull was with Black-headed Gulls on the school roof at East Strand, Portrush. (Colin Guy).

Bird News Friday 28th August.

No fresh news so far to-day.

One of the Red Kites seen yesterday at Leitrim nr. Castlewellan, this photo was  kindly sent in by Paul Allen

Bird News Thursday 27th August

11 Red Kites were around the Leitrim area, Co Down today, with up to 6 in the sky at one time. Also seen were 3 Buzzards (Robert Clarke and Paul Allen) - You can see some video at:

This evening at Ramore Head, Portrush, there were 60 Turnstone , 12 Purple Sandpiper, one Bar- tailed Godwit and 11 Whimbrel flew west. (John Clarke).

Thanks to John for the picture of the Bar-tailed Godwit.


Bird News Wednesday 26th August

RSPB Belfast WOW had a Little Stint, 15 Ruff and 5 Knot (Gerard McGeehan)

Seawatching from 9am to 10.30am at St Johns Point had 100 plus Roseate Terns, 1 Black Tern, 2 Little Gulls, c.500 Common Terns, c100 Sandwich Terns and c.20 Arctic Terns fishing with Razorbills, Gannets and Manx Shearwaters in Dundrum Bay between St John’s Pt and Minerstown (Chris Murphy, Tim Murphy, Doris Noe)

A juvenile Black Tern was at the Quoile Pondage at 1pm. (Tim Murphy)

The Bann EStuary had 2 Little Egret, 8 Ruff, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper; Ballykelly had 3 Little Egret, 10 Ruff, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, Myroe had, 3 Little Egret, 5 Ruff, 1 Peregrine. (Hill Dick/ Peter Robinson)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this pic of a Ruff:

Bird News Tuesday 25th August.

2 juvenile Black Tern and 49+ Roseate Tern were feeding and roosting at Minerstown Beach at 8pm. Many of the same terns had earlier been at St John's Point. Also 1 Wheatear at St John's Point and 1 Wheatear at Killough Pier. (Tim Murphy)

A Whimbrel was at Groomsport. (Rhona Galway)

Bird News Monday 24th August

A Wood Sandpiper and 5 Little Egret  where at Kinnegar lagoon this morning. (Robert Scott)

A Green Sandpiper, Garganey, the Great White Egret and 40 Ruff were in the south-west corner of Lough Beg. Most of the 150 Ruff from last Friday have moved on south (David Steele).

The Little Stint was still at RSPB Belfast WOW this morning (Brian Murphy)

5 Whimbrel were in flight over Ballyholme in Bangor (George Henderson).

A Common Sandpiper and 12 Redshank were at Ballyronan on the Londonderry shore of Lough Neagh (David Morrow).

Melmore Head in 2.5hrs this morning had 1juv Pomarine Skua, 5 Bonxies, 3 Arctic Skua, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 14 Arctic Terns, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Whimbrel (Eric Randall and Oscar Campbell)

15/20 Ravens were feeding on a sheep carcass along the B27 east of Spelga dam. (Derek Polley)

Three Arctic Skua were off Grey Point, Belfast Lough this evening (Wilton Farrelly)

Yesterday a Pacific Golden Plover was reported from Myroe Levels (Birdguides)

Our thanks to Cameron Moore who kindly sent in the pics of an adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Sanderling these birds where at Whitehead yesterday. Also to Stephen Maxwell for the pic of the Ruff and Dunlin

Bird News Sunday 23rd August

Nine Little Egret were at Kinnegar Lagoon, early this morning. A little Stunt was still at RSPB WOW. (Stuart McKee)

This evening the Ruff count at RSPB Belfast WOW was up to 55. 7 Manx Shearwater were off Kinnegar (Wilton Farrelly)

7 Arctic Skua were off Whitehead (Stephen Foster)

At Larne Lough an adult Mediterranean Gull (with a white ring), 8 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper and 14 Sandwich Tern were at Brown's Bay. 5 Mediterranean Gull, 11 Little Egret, 7 Snipe and 14 Black-tailed Godwit were at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore).

38 Roseate Tern were roosting on rocks 200m west of the Lighthouse at St John's Point between 11am-1pm. There were also 58 Common Tern, 13 Sandwich Tern, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Little Gull, 1 Peregrine and flying past 4 Swift, 7 Ruff, 2 wigeon, 11 Common Scoter and 2 Arctic Skua (Tim Murphy)

Keep a look out for Black Terns. Good numbers have been seen along the east coast, down south.

You can share your rare and scarce bird news at  Many thanks to all contributors.

Thanks to Stuart McKee for this pic of juvenile Ruff:

Bird News Saturday 22nd August

The Two Little Stint were at RSPB Belfast WOW reserve and two Little Egret at Kinnegar. About 80 House Martins and six Swift were migrating very high up over the reserve (Stuart McKee)

The maximum count of Ruff today at RSPB Belfast WOW was 37 (Gerard McGeehan)

Today beside the Gate Lodge at Murlough House, Co Down were15 Egrets and 21 Grey Herons (Stuart McQueen)

A Ring-billed Gull, 2 Knot, and a Sanderling were also at RSPB Belfast WOW. (Wilton Farrelly)

A Little Gull, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Snipe, 15 Greenshank, 175 Ringed Plover,  48 Dunlin, 60 Turnstone, 89 Lapwing, 10 Little Egret and 26 Grey Heron were in Killough Harbour. 10 Common Tern were still feeding Chicks on Swan Island, Strangford. (Tim Murphy)

An adult Roseate Tern was feeding a juvenile off Fishermens Row, Killough at 4pm, just before high tide.  c.500 Linnets and a few Goldfinches, House and Tree Sparrows were feeding on thistles along the Point Road, Killough. (Chris Murphy)

9 Little Egret and a Kingfisher were at Kinnegar (Gilly Irwin)

A 2nd Summer Iceland Gull was at Portballintrae today (Colin Guy)

Little Stint with Dunlin, Wilton Farrelly:

Little Egrets, Stuart McQueen:

Bird News Friday 21st August.

33 Roseate Terns were roosting on rocks in Killough Bay between 1pm and 4pm. They were beside Fisherman's Row road, 400m south of the pier. There was also 1 Little Gull, 1 Arctic Tern, 10 Common Tern and 82 Sandwich Tern.(Tim Murphy)

100 Mute Swan and a Kingfisher where seen from the hide at the Quoile pondage. (Derek Polley)

A site record of 150 Ruff was in the south-west corner of Lough Beg in the evening. Almost all were juvenile (only 5 adult). The previous record was 90 in 1974. Also present were 20 Greenshank, a juvenile Turnstone and 6 Garganey (David Steele).

Our thanks to Stephen Maxwell who provided the first two pics of a Kingfisher and Little Egret and also to Clive Mellon of a Long-eared Owl. 

Bird News Thursday 20th August

The Wood Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, Little Stint, 39 Ruff, Sanderling, Greenshank, immature Peregrine and a Buzzard were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Derek Polley).

14 Ruff and 3 Greenshank were at Lough Beg in bays around Coney Island and the Great White Egret was showing well with four Little Egrets in the bay south of Church island today. (Gareth Bareham).

4 Scoter were at the mouth of the Bush at Portballintrae in the evening. 3 of them were showing white secondaries and were possibly Velvet Scoters (Robert Scott).

Thanks to Neil Cartmill for the picture of one of the Belfast Lough Ruff and to Stephen Maxwell for the second Ruff picture..


Bird News Wednesday 19th August

The Wood Sandpiper, 3 juvenile Little Stint, 30 Ruff, 3 Sanderling, a Knot and Common Sandpiper were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (George Gordon, Sandy McWilliams, Ray Bennett and Stuart McQueen).

A young female peregrine falcon was seen several times around Comber (Chris Shaw)

2 Pomarine Skua were at Burial Island along the Outer Ards (Billy Miskelly)

Bird News Tuesday 18th August

A Wheatear and an Arctic Skua were at Portmuck this morning. (Adam McClure)

The Wood Sandpiper was still present at RSPB Belfast Harbour WOW Reserve and two Little Stint were also seen. (Stuart McKee)

26 Ruff and a Little Egret were also present at RSPB Belfast WOW this evening (Gerard McGeehan)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was on Tory Island.

Thanks to Stuart McKee for the pic of the LIttle Stint:

Bird News Monday 17th August

41 Ruff, the Great White Egret & 1 Garganey were at the south west corner of Lough Beg. (Richard Hunter).

2 Common Sandpiper were at Camlough, Lake Co. Armagh this morning. (Frank Carroll).

A flock of 14 Little Egrets flew in 'V' formation past Brigg's Rocks in misty conditions this morning. (Colin Guy).

A juvenile Little Stint was at Belfast Harbour RSPB WOW Reserve (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to Richard Hunter for these pictures of the Lough Beg Great White Egret.


Bird News Sunday 16th August

The Wood Sandpiper (best viewed from main hide) was still at RSPB Belfast WOW Reserve. Also 16 Ruff present. A Sanderling was at Kinnegar Shore (Stuart McKee) see photo below

A Quail was singing in an oat field at The Creagh to the south of Lough Beg at 10am. 2 Garganey and 20 Ruff were in the south-west corner of the Beg (David Steele)

A 1st summer Iceland Gull was in Glenarm Harbour.(Birdguides)

25 Whimbrel flew west over Castlerock (Mervyn Guthrie).

Iceland Gull - Gareth Platt.

Wood Sandpiper - Stuart McKee

Yellowhammer - Stephen Maxwell.

Redshank.- Aidan Donohoe.
Turnstone - Gareth Platt.

Bird News Saturday 15th August

A Wood Sandpiper was  present at the RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve. (Stuart McKee).

10 Ruff where also present at the Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Gerard McGeehan).

A Kingfisher was on the rocks at the base of Ramore Head – an unusual sighting for that location. (Colin Guy).

Curlews - Stephen Maxwell.

Bird News Friday 14th August

A Ring-billed Gull was at the Bann Estuary. (Jeff Larkin).

A juvenile Wood Sandpiper was in the south-west corner of Lough Beg in the evening. A total of 34 Ruff was moving through the Beg and the Great White Egret was still present (David Steele).

Thanks to Jeff for the Ring-billed Gull picture and to Ginny McKee for the picture of the Goldfinch.

Bird News Thursday 13th August

The Spotted Redshank, 8 Ruff and a Common Sandpiper were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Derek Polley).

18 Greylag Geese were on Rathlin (Jim and Bora Flanagan)

Thanks to Suzzane Belshaw for this pic of a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher at Delanont Country Park:

Bird News Wednesday 12th August

The Spotted Redshank was still at RSPB Belfast Lough. Also at least 5 Ruff. (Keith Bennett).

An Osprey was fishing off the hide at Quoile Pondage (Billy Miskelly).

A dark phase Arctic Skua was at West Light on Rathlin Island. Migrant Wheatears and a Whitethroat were also noted (David Morrow, Neill Smith).

11 Roseate Terns were in Killough Harbour (on rocks at high tide off Fishermen's Row), 5 adults and 6 juveniles; all except one of the adults were ringed on both legs. A Minke Whale was off Ardglass Golf Club. (Tim and Chris Murphy)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this picture of a Black-tailed Godwit.

Boat Trip to Jura!

There is a boat trip to Jura this Thursday. The boat leaves Cushendall at 9am and seats cost £65 each. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy some superb wildlife on a unique island.

Please contact Jim Wells on 07856235144 if you are interested.

Bird News Tuesday 11th August

The Spotted Redshank was still at RSPB Blefast Harbour WOW Reserve (Derek Polley)

Yesterday evening 12 Common Scoter were off Loughshore Park (Andy Elliott).

Thanks to Stuart McKee for this pic of the Spotted Redshank and a Ruff:

Bird News Monday 10th August.

A Spotted Redshank was at the RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve.(Stephen Maxwell) see photo below.

Spotted Redshank - Stephen Maxwell.

Bird News Sunday 9th August

A Mediteranean Gull was at Crawfordsburn beach and had almost completed moult into second winter plumage. A Ruff and Common Sandpiper were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Stuart McKee).

A summer plumage Great Northern Diver and a Red-throated Diver coming of summer plumage were off Benone (Richard Gray).

At Larne Lough 8 Little Egret were at Ballycarry Bridge and 3 Whimbrel, a Greenshank and 9 Bar-tailed Godwit at Glynn (Billy Hamilton).

Approximately 20 Twite were feeding adjacent to the path at the Bush River, Portballintrae (Colin Guy)

Some pictures from the weekend, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat.

Bird News Saturday 8th August

A Cuckoo was at Kearney, Outer Ards, Down. (Keith Bennett)

9 Common Sandpiper were along the Newry Estuary and Clanrye River this morning (Frank Carroll)

A Ruff, 175 Black-tailed Godwit and 100 Dunlin were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Dot Blakely)

3 Little Egret were behind the houses at Ardmilian village at the water’s edge. (Margaret Adamson)

Seawatching from St John’s Pt from 2pm to 7.30pm produced 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Pomarine and 4 Arctic Skuas, 20 Puffins and 6 Whimbrel (Chris and Tim Murphy)

Thanks to Ian Wolfe for this pic of a Sparrowhawk. For further pics see 

Sanda Boat Trip

There are three seats available for tomorrow's (Sunday) boat trip to Sanda - the 300 acre island off the Mull of Kintyre.

Contact Jim Wells on 07856235144for details.

Bird News Friday 7th August.

A Little Egret flew across the Ballygowan Road in Comber from the duck pond to a field on the opposite side of the road at 9.20 this morning.(Chris Shaw)

An Arctic Skua, 4 Whitethroat and a Peregrine were at Whitehead (Gerard McGeehan).

Lesser Redpoll - Cameron Moore.

Bird News Thursday 6th August

On Rathlin on Kinramer north walk, east of the seabird centre, there were 4 Great Skua and an immature Golden Eagle.(Derek Polley).

Thanks to Brian Powell for this picture of a Little Egret taken at Cloughey on the Outer Ards.

Bird News Wednesday 5th August

A Great Skua was seen heading south at Ballyquintin Point, Co Down. (Keith Bennett)

4 Arctic Skua, 4 Great Skua, 15 Arctic Terns, 20 Sandwich Terns, 1 Knot, 16 Common Scoter and 285 Puffins (all heading north, biggest flock size was 20) flew past St John's Point, Co Down between 11.30am and 4.30pm. (Tim Murphy) A Storm Petrel, 2 Great Skua and a Pomarine Skua were also at St John's Point (Warren Fowles)

A second-summer Little Gull was at Portrush East Strand (Matthew Tickner)

An adult Pomarine Skua spent 20 minutes pirating Kittiwakes close inshore at St John’s Point between 7.00  and 7.20pm (Chris Murphy)

The Great White Egret was still at Lough Beg yesterday. (David Steele)

Thanks to David Steele for this pic of the Great White Egret:

Bird News Tuesday 4th August.

18 Greenshank, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Ruff(juv), 1 Sanderling, 4 Little Egret, 20 Grey Heron, 25 Sandwich Terns and 1 Arctic Tern were in Killough Harbour.(Tim Murphy).

Along the Outer Ards a juvenile Black Tern and a Great Skua were at Burial Island (Billy Miskelly).

Bird News Monday 3rd August

No news so far today.

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Buzzards from Inishowen, to Ginny McKee for the pictures of the Sanderling and the Fulmar, to Stuart McQueen for the picture of the Black-tailed Godwit, to Tony Donaldson for the picture of the Song Thrush and to Attracta McKinley for the pictures of the Redpolls.



Bird News Sunday 2nd August

Four Arctic Skua were off Whitehead (Gerard McGeehan)

150/200 Dunlin, 2 summer plumage Knot and 9 summer Bar-tailed Godwit were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Tom Ennis)

6 Ruff (including 2 juveniles) were at Mullagh, Lough Beg. The Great White Egret was also present (David Steele)

The Beluga Whale was looked for along the North coast without success.

You can report rare / scarce bird news via  twitter @nibirds  Flightline 02891 467408 or text 07973 403146.

Rathlin Boat Trip

The season is rapidly coming to an end and we are trying to get the last of the boat trips sorted out as soon as possible.

Next week we hope to have the following trip:

Tuesday - Rathlin
The weather and boat problems have caused huge difficulties with the round Rathlin trips this year. We hope to have one last trip leaving Cushendall at 9.30am on Tuesday morning. We will travel close to the shore up to Fair Head and then around all of Rathlin and return via Kenbane Head. We hope to see at least three pairs of Peregrine on this trip. We need eight people for this trip to go ahead.

To reserve a place on the above, text Jim Wells on tel: 07856235144 ASAP. 

Bird News Saturday 1st August

The Beluga Whale was seen this morning, travelling west at Portballintrae, at 11:25am. (Fergal Glynn, per Niall Keogh)

Two Ruff were at RSPB Belfast Harbour WOW Reserve (Wilton Farrelly)

Three Pomarine Skuas and 2000 Manx Shearwater were 10 miles off the mouth of Carlingford Lough (D Weir)

Thanks to John Young for these superb pics of a Long Eared Owl that visited his garden in Brookeborough last night: