Bird News Wednesday 30th September

An adult American Golden Plover was in Killough Harbour, along with 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 141 Curlew and 9 Little Egret. (Tim Murphy)

This morning 3 Crossbills were at Pine trees, Main Street, Tempo, Co Fermanagh (Colin Bell)

Thanks to David Hunter for this picture of a Wheatear:

Bird News Tuesday 29th September

A Red Kite was over Antrim Boat Club in Shanes Castle Estate this afternoon. No tags were seen. (John Loughlin)

A high count of 9 Buzzards were at Myroe (Christine Cassidy and Ray Brogan)

Late news for Sunday was of a very high count of 25 Little Egret at Ballycarry (Gerard McGeehan)

A Snow Bunting was at Myroe (David Hill)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was along the Lagan near Gilcrist Bridge upriver of Mary Peters track (Vernon Carter)

Thanks to Bruce Ashton for this pic of the Red Kite, Christine Cassidy for the Buzzard and David Hill for the Snow Bunting:

Jura Boat Trip

Good weather conditions are due to last until Saturday. Thursday's boat trip to Jura could be the last for this year but there are still seats left on the boat which leaves Cushendall at 9am. For this trip and also anyone interested in future winter trips to Islay please contact Jim Wells on 07856 235144

White-tailed Eagle and Red Deer, Jura Byron Davey Jones:

Bird News Monday 28th September.

Over the coarse of  the week-end Orlock Point Co.Down had a Whimbrel and 2 Great Northern Diver a Chiffchaff was at Kearney and the hybrid Ring-billled Gull remains at Millisle,  Portavogie had 2 White Wagtail.(Richard Weyl)

Bird News Sunday 27th September

3 Little Gull were off Magilligan Point (Jeff Larkin).

A Red Kite was at Killymuck on the west side of Lough Neagh (green marker on right wing and green and yellow on left (Patrick Devlin).

8 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Purple Sandpiper were at Ballywalter (Warren Fowles).

Yesterday a juvenile Stock Dove was between Moneymore and Magherafelt - the first seen there in many years. 3 Yellowhammer were also noted (Godfrey McRoberts).

The American Golden Plover was still at Inch Lake in Donegal this morning. (Birdguides).

A Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 9 Knot, 40 Curlew, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel and 1 Merlin were at St John's Point. 5 Wigeon and 15 Skylark flew south. 7 Little Egret, 16 Grey Heron, 2 Ruff, 13 Greenshank, 70 Lapwing, 1 Snipe, 6 Wigeon, 18 Brent Geese and 2 Carrion Crow were at Killough Harbour.(Tim Murphy).

Thanks to Alex McCooke for the picture of the Jay taken in Slieveanorra Forest, to Gareth Platt for the picture of the Common Gull which was ringed as a nestling on Big Copeland in 2011 and to David Hunter for the pictures of the Wheatear and the Kestrel.



Bird News Saturday 26th September

The Goosander was in Forty Acre Bay north of Ballycarry Bridge this morning. (Cameron Moore)

A Little Gull was on the beach at Ballycastle this morning.(Birdguides)

.A Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 8 Grey Heron, 5 Stonechat, 1 Kestrel and 1 Sparrowhawk were at St John's Point. 25 Skylark flew south.(Tim Murphy)

Our thanks to Cecil Smyth who kindly sent in these pics of a Redpoll and Kingfisher.

Bird News Friday 25th September

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at the East Strand car park in Portrush  a 2nd-winter Little Gull and a 1st-winter Mediterranean Gull were also present. (Birdguides).

Three Sooty Shearwaters and two Great Skua past Ramore Head this morning. (Birdguides).

A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was in fields behind the Buhmill Inn in Bushmills. (Birdguides).

A 2nd winter Iceland Gull was at Portballintrae. (Birdguides).

Ballycarry Bridge at Larne Lough had the Goosander, 5 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 28 Pale-bellied Brent, 38 Teal and 25 Little Egret (Cameron Moore).

An American Golden Plover was off the Tready Hide at Inch Lake in Donegal. (Ralph Sheppard).

Thanks to Jeff Silvers for this picture of a Sparrowhawk.

Bird News Thursday 24th September

A short sea watch this evening at Ramore Head produced a close Great Shearwater flying west. Also seen were 3 Bonxies, 1 Red-throated Diver, 4 Arctic Terns (Colin Guy)

The Ring-billed Gull and a Little Gull were at East Strand Car Park, Portrush.

Thanks to Adam Middleton for this pic of a Wheatear:

Tory Island Accommodation

If you are considering staying on Tory Island over the next month, the Hostel may be available for birders (it normally closes in October). If you want to stay, phone: 00 353 (87) 298 7407 to make arrangements. 

Bird News Wednesday 23rd September

A Spotted Redshank, a Black Tern and 2 Ruff were at Inch Lake, Co Donegal (Chris Ingram).

An adult Ring-billed was at the East Strand in Portrush. (Birdguides).

A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at Whiteabbey. (David Knight).

St John's Point from 8am to 8.30am had 1 adult dark phase Arctic Skua, 2 Little Gulls (ad and 2nd winter), 4 Red-throated Divers and the first obvious movement of Razorbills and Guillemots of the autumn. A Brent Goose and 100 Ringed Plovers were in Killough Harbour (Chris Murphy).

Thanks to David for the picture of the Mediterranean Gull and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Jay.

Bird News Tuesday 22nd September

A female/juvenile Ruddy Duck was at a site in Co Derry (Jeff Larkin / David Steele)

A Green Sandpiper was at Mullagh (David Steele)

You can see more local bird pics at

Thanks to Mark Smyth for this pic of Ravens in Antrim:

Bird News Monday 21st September.

Lough Beg Co. L'derry  had a Pectoral Sandpiper in the south west corner, there was also 2 Garganey present.(David Steele)

The visitors centre at the RSPB Belfast WOW reserve will be CLOSED this Saturday (26th September) however the roadside hide and the lane hide will remain open.

Chough - Noel Austin.

Wheatears - Christine Cassidy.

Bird News Sunday 20th September

The Goosander was still at Ballycarry in Larne Lough, a Kingfisher, 12 Little Egret and a Greenshank were also seen. (Cameron Moore/Gerard McGeehan).

17 White Wagtails were at Kirkiston on the outer Ards. (Richard Weyl).

70 Red-throated Diver flew south past Killough between 10.15am-11.15am. Also a juvenile Merlin was at the old Coastguard building in Killough. (Tim Murphy).

Thanks to Cameron for these pictures of the Goosander and Kingfisher.


Boat Trip to Jura

There are three seats available on the boat trip to Jura which leaves Cushendall at 9am this Saturday (26th September).

Excellent views of Sea Eagles were had on the previous trip to this island.

Contact Jim Wells on -

07856235144 for more details.

Bird News Saturday 19th September

A juv American Golden Plover was at Myroe (Neal Warnock)

Also 3 Med Gulls (2ad & 2ndW) & a Carrion Crow also at Myroe. 2 Ruff & 2 Pink-footed Geese at Bann Estuary (Neal Warnock)

2 Common Sandpiper were along the Clanrye River Newry this morning (Frank Carroll)

A Slavonian grebe at Greyabbey Bay and 131 red -throated diver flying south at Ballyquintin Point between 9.45 and 11.45. (Richard Weyl)

A Goosander and 13 Little Egret were at Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough (Stephen Foster)

A Kingfisher was at the mouth if the Glenarm River and for those interested 20 Bottle-nosed Dolphin south of there (Dot Blakely)

6 Whooper Swans flew in from the sea at Portballintrae (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Neal Warnock for this pic of the AGP and Jason Bain for the Jay:

Bird News Friday 18th September.

Lough Beg to-day had the Great White Egret, a Ring-necked Duck, 10 White Wagtail a Yellow Wagtail and 25 Ruff.(David Steele)

Larne Lough had 18 Greenshank, 22 Little Egret, a Kingfisher and Carrion Crow. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull and 300 Razorbill/ Guillemot were off Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

5 Purple Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover and 6 Turnstone at the rocks at the Long Hole in Bangor.(David McCormick)

Our thanks to Andrew Poots for the picture of a Chiffchaff(pic 1). Also to Cameron Moore who kindly sent in the next three pics, pic 2 is of a Med Gull taken at Whitehead,pic 3 is a Greenshank and pic 4 is a Kingfisher. 

Bird News Thursday 17th September

No local news today.

The Hudsonian Godwit was still on Inishmore, Co Galway today.

You can report bird news to us at

Bird News Wednesday 16th September

322 Brent Geese, 3 Little Egret and a Buzzard were at Ballykelly, a further 4 Buzzard were at Maydown, Derry. (Christine Cassidy).

The adult Mediterranean Gull was still at Newcastle and another adult was at Brigg's Rocks this morning (Colin Guy).

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the picture of an unfortunate Greylag Goose with a Coke can stuck on it's bill, taken at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve and to Averil McCarty for the picture of the Sparrowhawk in her garden.

Bird News Tuesday 15th September

St John’s Point, between 0700 and 08.30: 2 Tree Pipits (calling, high, 15 minutes apart), 100 Meadow Pipits, 6 Rock Pipits, 100 Linnets, 15 Goldfinches, 7 Tree Sparrows, 20 Skylarks, 1 White Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtails, 7 Stonechats, 3 Wheatears, 4 Snipe, 1 Golden Plover,  and 1 Little Egret; Kelly’s Wood: 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2-3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrests (Chris Murphy)

The adult winter Med Gull was still at Whitehouse Lagoon it has only one leg - left leg missing (Stuart McKee)

Bird News Monday 14th September.

5 Purple Sandpiper where feeding of the rocks at the Long Hole which is just past Bangor pier, in winter anywhere along this coast is usually a good place to catch up with this wader.(Margaret Adamson)

A Green Sandpiper, 3 Garganey and 7 Ruff were at the south end of Lough Beg (Matthew Tickner).

An adult Little Gull was feeding off Minerstown beach. 2 Garganey (1 adult male and 1 female/ juvenile), 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Lapwing and 1 Snipe were on the river Quoile opposite Inch Abbey. (Tim Murphy)

Late news from yesterday was 13 Greenshank and 9 Little Egret at Dundrum Inner Bay North (Ivor McDonald).

Purple Sandpiper - Margaret Adamson.

Bird News Sunday 13th September

An Arctic Skua and 15 Red-throated Diver were at Burial Island on the Outer Ards. (Richard Weyl).

2 Purple Sandpipers were with a flock of 60 Ringed Plover, 24 Turnstone and 2 Dunlin along Seacliffe Road in Bangor. (Margaret Adamson).

Whitehouse Lagoon had 5 Greenshank and an adult Med Gull (Gerard McGeehan)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was along the seafront at Newcastle near the Slieve Donard Hotel (Leonard Charles).

Thanks to Margaret for these pictures of the Purple Sandpipers and Ringed Plover and to Jason Bain for the picture of the Little Egret, one of sixteen that were at Ballycarry Bridge yesterday.


Bird News Friday 11th September

A Red Kite was over fields between Moira railway station and Moira this morning (Brad Robson)

Here is a pic of the White-tailed Eagle from Rathlin, as taken by James O'Neill:

Bird News Thursday 10th September

A juvenile White-tailed Eagle is this morning on Rathlin. Originally found last night (James O'Neil per Mark Smyth)

A Manx Shearwater was at Oxford Island this morning (David Nixon)

RSPB Belfast WOW had 1 knot, 1 ruff, 400 curlew, 110 teal, 14 wigeon and 1 sparrowhawk (Derek Polley)

At Ballykelly 96 Brent geese, also 5 Little Egrets; Bann estuary had 3 Ruffs. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

Our thanks to everyone who has reported Brent Geese this week, good numbers of birds have now arrived... which is an indication that autumn is here.

Sparrowhawk with lunch (Collared Dove) - Jason Bain.

Bird News Wednesday 9th September

An adult Med Gull was feeding with Black-headed Gulls & Kittiwakes off Blackhead this morning (Adam McClure)

An adult Little Gull was in Ardglass Harbour; 1 Whimbrel, 29 Grey Herons and 10 Brent Geese were in Killough Harbour (Chris Murphy)

Brent Geese continue to turn up at regular wintering sites and a flock were at Drains Bay this morning (David Ledsham)

Two Arctic Skua and a Manx Shearwater were off Kinnegar shore (Wilton Farrelly)

A Spotted Redshank was at Inch, Co Donegal (Chris Ingram)

A probable White-tailed Eagle was seen at Ballymagory, 3mile north of Strabane along the River Foyle (Ken McNamee)

The south west corner of Lough Beg had 2 Garganey, a Wood Sandpiper, 15 Ruff and 2 White Wagtail (David Steele)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this pic of Curlew in flight:

Birds News Tuesday 8th September

Yesterday Killough Harbour had 1 Kingfisher and 1 Whimbrel, Lough Beg had the Great White Egret (Church Island), 3 Garganey (eclipse drake, female and female/imm), 70 Curlew, 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 24 Ruff, 2 broods of Whooper Swan (1,3), 1 White Wagtail, c. 30 Reed Buntings, c. 1,000 Mallard, c. 1,000 Coot, Myroe had 468 Golden Plover, 84 Ringed Plover, 180 Dunlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzards, an adult Ring-billed Gull, Little Egret and an Irish Hare, Lough Foyle/Magilligan Point had 200 Red-breasted Mergansers, 100 Eider, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Kestrel, 3 Buzzards, 1 Porpoise (Chris Murphy),

Today Dundrum Inner Bay South had 5 Ruff; Dundrum Inner Bay North had 10 Greenshank (Chris and Tim Murphy).

Thanks to Neil Cartmill for the picture of the Kestrel and to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Knot and the Grey Heron.

Bird News Monday 7th September

The Great White Egret was in the south west corner of Lough Beg (Brian Murphy)

A Raven was between Portavoe and Donaghadee (Derek Polley)

There were 32 Ruff and a Whimbrel at Reedy Flat today. (James O'Neill)

Thanks to Suzanne Belshaw for this pic of a Red Kite:

Bird News Sunday 6th September

An adult Little Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were at Whitehead. Yesterday the White-tailed Eagle at Copeland was also seen in flight by a local farmer between Whitehead and the saltmines heading towards Ballycarry, so may still be in the area (Cameron Moore).

Inch, Co Donegal had 12 Ruff (Garry Armstrong) and a Merlin (Geoff Larkin)

Blanketnook had 2 Ruff (Wilton Farrelly) and an Iceland Gull (Jeff Larkin)

An adult American Golden Plover was at Myroe Levels along with 2 Little Stints (Garry Armstrong)

St John’s Pt: 42 Scoter (41 drakes, 1 duck), Red-throated Diver, 2  White Wagtails and 1 Wheatear; Coney Island and Killough Hbr: c.1,100 waders  incl. 3 Snipe, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 230 Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 180 Lapwing, 95 Ringed Plover, 140 Curlew, 120 Golden Plover, 48 Turnstone and 115 Oycs, also 1 Merlin, 2 White Wagtails, 27 Grey Heron and 7 Little Egrets. Strand Lough: Otter, Kingfisher and juv Spotted Redshank; Sheepland, Ardglass: 1 Merlin (Chris Murphy)

Over 1000 Brent Geese were at Islandhill, Strangford Lough (Gerard McGeehan) with smaller numbers been seen at a number of other locations.

Bird News Saturday 5th September

A juvenile White-tailed Eagle was seen over Copeland Bird Observatory this morning. (CBO).

An adult Roseate Tern was at Belfast WOW today. (Eric Randall).

At Lough Beg a female or immature Blue-winged Teal was in the bay south of Church Island today.

15 Little Egrets and 35 Grey Herons were roosting in a field at Murlough NNR. (Angus Kennedy).

A phalarope sp flew north off Whitehead (Stephen Foster).

A Little Gull and 10 Ruff were at Inch Lake in Donegal (Matthew Tickner).

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for these pictures of Little Egrets and Grey Herons and a Hooded Crow chasing an Oystercatcher.


Bird News Friday 4th September

An adult Little Gull was in front of the main hide at RSPB Belfast WOW (Gerard McGeehan)

4 juvenile and 4 adult Roseate Tern were on the small island at RSPB WOW reserve this evening (Stuart McKee)

Ramore Head this evening had 1000+ Manx Shearwaters, a flock of 23 Knots,3 Tufted Duck all passing offshore (Colin Guy)

At Lough Foyle 5 Mediterranean Gull (3 second-winter and 2 adult) were at Donnybrewer (Matthew Tickner, Gareth Bareham)

Yesterday 5 Arctic Skua and 3 Great Skua were at Ramore Head (Matthew Tickner)

You can share rare and scarce bird news at and Twitter @nibirds

Bird News Thursday 3rd September

Belfast RSPB WOW his morning had:
5 Ruff, an imm Peregrine, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 200+ Curlew, 3 Wigeon, 150+ Teal and 5 Shoveler (Derek Polley). This evening, at least 2 Roseate Terns were present.

8 Ruff and an adult Med Gull were at Dundrum South Inner Bay today. (David Nixon)

Bird News Wednesday 2nd September

2 adult and 1 juvenile Roseate Terns were at RSPB Belfast WOW reserve (Stuart McKee)

A Pectoral Sandpiper was seen at Ramore Head, Portrush.

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was at Slaght near Ballymena (David Steele).

As well as the Roseate Terns 45 Bar-tailed Godwit (5 in summer plumage) and an eclipse Wigeon were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. Yesterday an adult Little Gull was present (Tom Ennis).

In Co. Donegal  Five Finger Strand had up to 30 Chough, Malin Town area had 4 Little Egret, Inch Lake had 4 Whooper Swans, 5 Black Swans, 1 Ruff, 1 Little Gull (winter plumage}, and 1 Carrion Crow. (Ken Perry, Peter Robinson, Hill Dick).

Below is a picture of one of the Ruff at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve and thanks to Stuart McKee for the picture of the juvenile Roseate Tern.


Bird News Tuesday 1st September

At least 3 Roseate Terns were at RSPB WOW this morning (Brian Murphy)

A Raven flew over a garden in Bangor (Derek Polley)

Thanks to Warren Fowles for this pic of a Storm Petrel taken off Loop Head: