Bird News Sunday 31st January

On Strangford Lough between Gransha Point and Marlfield there were 22 Great-Northern Diver and 2 Black-throated Diver south of Gransha Point.  An adult Little Gull was at Marlfield. (Richard Weyl)

A flock of 30+Twite were giving excellent views in the car park at Whitehead the flock seem to be staying around the boat yard. (Garry Armstrong/Phillip West)

A Great Skua was on the water between Donaghadee lighthouse and the marina. Also in the area were 4 Red-throated Diver and 37 Pale-bellied Brent (Terry Paton).

Up to 5 Little Egret have been at fields at Killowen, Rostrevor (Sylvia Blue)

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for this pic of a Dipper:

Martin Garner

Unfortunately we are saddened to learn of the passing of Martin Garner. A short tribute to Martin is at:

Bird News Saturday 30th January

The Spoonbill was at Anne's Point near Mount Stewart and the hybrid Ring-billed Gull at Millisle (Wilton Farrelly)

An adult Med Gull was at Kinnegar shore (Stuart McKee)

The Black Redstart was seen again today at Newcastle harbour (Wallis Jefferson)

The 2nd winter Iceland Gull was still at Whitehouse this morning (Brian Murphy)

A Ruff was in Groomsport Harbour. (Wilton Farrelly)

The Ring-billed Gull is still at the East Strand car park in Portrush. (Gareth D.A. Platt)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in a garden in Bleary (Stephen Foster)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for this pic of a Tree Sparrow from Inishowen, Donegal and to Gareth Platt for the Ring-billed Gull:

Bird News Friday 29th January

A Brambling was visiting a garden in Spa, Co Down. (David Nixon).

A Carrion Crow and the Ring-billed Gull were at Carrickfergus harbour. (Paul McCullough).

A second year Mediterranean Gull was at Sandy Bay in Larne and a Herring Gull with a yellow ring, 3T:W, was at Whitehead. (Cameron Moore).

5 Little Egret were at Castle Espie and 500 Knot, 100 Dunlin, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 500 Oystercatcher and 250 Shelduck off the Brent hide (Toni Costello).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Cove Bay in Groomsport (George Gordon).

Yesterday a Sandwich Tern was at Sandeel Bay, Groomsport. (Geoff Jones).

Thanks to David Nixon for the picture of the Brambling and to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Mediterranean Gull and the ringed Herring Gull:



Bird News Thursday 28th January.

A Brambling is still visiting a garden in Gilnahirk, Belfast.(Ron Price)

A male Merlin was hunting 200 Lapwing and 40 Dunlin at Cockle Island in Groomsport (George Gordon).

A single Whooper Swan was 500 yards down the towpath from the Island Centre Lisburn towards Belfast. (Garry Wilkinson)

The Great White Egret was looked for at Caledon. It was not seen but a Little Egret was in the area (Adam McClure)

Bird News Wednesday 27th January

The Great White Egret was still in flooded fields by the Blackwater bridge near Caledon, Co. Armagh. (Clifford Sharpe).

Yesterday the 1st winter Kumlien's Gull was at Sandy Bay in Larne. (Gavin Ferguson).

A leucistic Black-tailed Godwit was at RSPB Belfast WOW reserve (Gerard McGeehan).

A Great Skua was at Ballymacormick Point this afternoon, see pictures below. (Lesley Crawshaw) 

Two female Bramblings were in a garden in Antrim (Mark Smyth)

Thanks to Gavin Ferguson for the pictures of the Kumlien's Gull and to Lesley Crawshaw for the pictures of the Great Skua .



Bird News Tuesday 26th January

Yesterday an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Donaghadee, a first-winter Little Gull at Copeland Sound, 3 Whimbrel between Groomsport and Orlock and 2,000 Kittiwake at Copeland (Stephen Foster).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Kinnegar shore and a Peregrine at the Harbour Lagoon (Anthony Dodds).

Bird News Monday 25th January

A Great White Egret was in flooded fields below the bridge at Caledon, Co Tyrone (Irish Birding)

A Barn Owl was on the Moy to Portadown Road, near Scotch Street at 11pm last night (Dennis Lavery)

Yesterday 24 Pintail were at Portmore Lough and 2 Red Kites are seen regularly now round Moria, commonly from the M1. (Deb and Ralph Wooderson)

Also reported yesterday was the female Smew still present on Drumgay lough, Co Ferm. (Mark Stewart)

Bird News Sunday 24th January

Ardglass harbour, Down still had a 1st winter Iceland Gull (Keith Bennett)

The Glossy Ibis was still at Toome, just to the west of the bridge. (Seamus Burns)

The Black Redstart was still at Newcastle Harbour (Christine Cassidy & Lindsay Hodges)

Ballycarry had a juvenile Greenland Whitefront and a Pink-footed Goose. The Iceland Gull was still at Whitehouse (Wilton Farrelly)

A Black Redstart was at Belfast Harbour estate this afternoon - on Heron Road inside the storage tank compound almost opposite the brick pumping house (no. 28). 100+ Goldfinch also present in that area. (Ian Enlander)

16 Sandwich Terns were at the Portaferry marina. This I suspect is the entirety of the wintering population in the area and equals my highest tally in winter. (John Wilson Foster)

A 2nd winter Little Gull was at Quintin Bay and 2 Stock Dove on the shore at Ballyquintin Point (Richard Weyl)

An Iceland Gull was at Dargan at 4pm and 4 Grey Plover were seen at Castle Espie (Gerard McGeehan)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming at Malone Golf Course in Belfast (Sam Thomas)

2 Great Northern Diver were at Ballyholme Bay (George Henderson)

The male and female Bramblings were still coming to a garden in Antrim and there were aloso over 200 Goldfinch (Mark Smyth)

A garden in Carnalea, Bangor had a pair of Brambling and 4 Tree Sparrows (Derek Polley)

Iceland Gull, Whitehouse:

Glossy Ibis, Toome, Wilton Farrelly:

Purple Sandpiper, Newcastle, Christine Cassidy:

Bird News Saturday 23rd January

The Iceland Gull was again today at Whiteabbey, Belfast Lough (Paul McCullough)

On the east shore of  Strangford Lough the Spoonbill was at Anne’s Point, an adult Little Gull at Marlfield, a Jack Snipe at Ballyhenry Island and 11 Sandwich Tern at Portaferry. (Richard Weyl)

A single Greenshank was this morning in the pool at the end of the Connswater river (Julian Greenwood)

The redhead Smew was at Drumgay Lough, Enniskillen (Brad Robson)

The drake Smew was at Inch Lake, Co Donegal (Chris Ingram)

11 Ruff were in a flooded field at the Creagh near Toome (David Steele)

Thanks to Paul McCullough for this pic of the Iceland Gull and Annette Elkin for the Purple Sandpiper:

Bird News Friday 22nd January

A male and female Brambling were in a garden in Antrim (Mark Smyth).

There were 6 Ruff and a Pink-footed Goose at Ardmore on the south shore of Lough Neagh, today.(James O'Neill).

A ring-tailed Hen Harrier was over the national nature reserve at Lough beg this afternoon. (Gareth Bareham).

Thanks to Paul McCullough for this picture of a Kestrel.

Bird News Thursday 21st January

A fem/imm Black Redstart has been at Belfast Zoo/Cave Hill for the past week now (Robin Vage)

Yesterday, an adult Little Gull was at Kinnegar flying in the direction of the RSPB WOW centre. A Peregrine was over Holywood (Garry Wilkinson)

Whooper Swan - Angus Kennedy. 

Bird News Wednesday 20th January

The Black Redstart was still at Newcastle Harbour (Neil Cartmill / Suzzane Belshaw / David Nixon / Ian Jackson)

An adult Med Gull was at Kinnegar shore before flying in to the sewage works (Stuart McKee)

There were 2 female/imm Goosanders at Lough Islandreavy this afternoon (no sign of the drake) (Ian Jackson / David Nixon)

A third year Iceland Gull was at Loughshore Park, Belfast Lough (Stuart McKee)

42 Greenland Whitefronts and 12 Goosander were at Lough Alowney, Pettigo Plateau SPA, Co Donegal this evening per Fionnbarr Cross.

220 Sanderling were at Castlerock beach (Mervyn Guthrie)

31 Snipe were at Groomsport (Stuart McQueen)

An updated NI bird list can be seen at:

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of a Red Grouse from the Antrim Hills:

Bird News Tuesday 19th January

The Glossy Ibis was in the flooded field in Toome today, between the Roguery Road and the Lower Bann river. At mid day, it was preening by the river bank.(Seamus Burns).

At Portrush about 110 Twite were at Ramore Head and the adult Ring-billed Gull at the East Strand car park (Stephen Foster).

A fem/imm Black Redstart was at Kilroot beach (Stephen Drake).

A female brambling continues to visit a garden in Antrim. (Mark Smyth).

Yesterday between Bangor and Groomsport there were 3 Sandwich Terns, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver. (Julian Greenwood).

Blackcaps are now being widely reported from gardens across Northern Ireland.

Bird News Monday 18th January

3 Goosanders were at Lough Island Reavey,Co Down  1 male and 2 redheads. The Black Redstart was showing well at Newcastle Harbour, also seen there were 15 Purple Sandpipers and a Kingfisher. 18 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver were off shore and over 200 Common Scoters were just south of the Harbour.(David Nixon)

The 1st winter Kumliens Gull was still at Ballygally Co Antrim and the Ring-billed Gull remains at Carrickfergus, the Common/Ring-billed Gull hybrid was also present.(Tom Ennis)

A pair of Common Scoter was at Lough Beg (very rare there and possibly a site record). Also present were a male Ring-necked Duck, a Ring-necked x Tufted Duck hybrid and a female Smew (David Steele).

The Spoonbill was yet again at Castle Espie.

A Sandwich Tern was at Sandy Bay Larne. 3 Greenshank and 10 Whooper Swans were at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan)

A high count of over 800 Shelduck and 1200 Dunlin were feeding at Dargan Bay. (Adam McClure)

Black Redstart - David Nixon.

Bird News Sunday 17th January

A Glossy Ibis was feeding in a flooded field along the Lower Bann River outside Toome today.  It was in a field along the Rougery Road on the way into Toome, close to the new bridge. (Seamus Burns)

At least 20 Ruff were still at Diamond Lane, Aghalee. (Garry Armstrong)

Glynn had 31 Goldeneye, 10 Snipe. 6 Great Northern Divers were at Ballygally. A Pink-footed Goose was at Ballycarry with 53 Greylag. Also 7 Little Egrets there (Gerard McGeehan)

A family of Whooper Swans flew into Belfast Lough close to Blackhead this morning and the Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrick this afternoon (Adam McClure)

A 1st winter Iceland Gull was at RSPB Belfast WOW reserve this evening. Yesterday a 3rd year Iceland Gull was at Loughshore and a Whooper Swan with a Mute Swan well offshore (Stuart McKee)

A Sandwich Tern was at Groomsport (Warren Fowles)

A Common Chiffchaff was ringed at Crossgar this morning. (James O'Neill)

Thanks to Wilbert Hollinger for this pic of a Jay:

Bird News Saturday 16th January

Red-throated Diver numbers seem to be building up post-Xmas as usual, with 76 seen from Whitehead this morning all flying into Belfast Lough and 17 Great Northern Diver also present (Ian Enlander)

2 juvenile Iceland Gulls were at Enniskillen Tip (Brad Robson)

The Ring-billed Gull was seen again at Carrickfergus harbour, Belfast Lough today (Paul McCullough)

Along the north-east shore of Strangford Lough 27 Slavonian grebe (19 in Greyabbey Bay and 8 off Newownards Sailing Club).  Also 2 Black-throated diver in Greyabbey Bay. (Richard Weyl)

A Little Bunting was on Tory Island (Chris Ingram)

The Kumlien's Gull, a Whimbrel, Dipper & Carrion Crow were at Ballygally. 3 Goosanders (2 male, 1 fem) and a Jack Snipe were at Glynn. (Neal Warnock)

Large numbers of snipe were arriving in rough ground beside ASDA Antrim today. Yesterday a mixed flock of about 200 lapwing and golden plover were in a winter grain field west of Ballywalter (Mark Smyth)

You can report scarce or rare bird news at  Flightline: 02891467408 or via Twitter @nibirds

Bird News Friday 15th January

19 Ruff (possibly more) were seen at Diamond Lane, Aghalee today. Two Greenland-whitefronted Geese were with around 150 Greylags at the same location. (David Nixon)

A flock of 24 Snipe were feeding in a field near Ross Park Hotel, Ballymena this morning. (Adam McClure).

A female Blackcap was visiting a garden in Gransha, Bangor. (Stuart McQueen).

Castle Island Road on the way down to the Quoile had 100 Linnet, 100 Chaffinch, 5 Skylark and a few Redwing and Fieldfare. Prospect Road at Ballygowan had 150 Redwing, a few Fieldfare and a Sparrowhawk (David Clarke).

Two 1st winter Iceland Gulls were in Ardglass harbour. (Chris Murphy).

Approximately 20 Twite were at Whitehead seafront, see picture below. (Nigel Moore).

Thanks to David for this record pic of some of the Ruff, to Jeff Silvers for the picture of the Sparrowhawk, to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Buzzard, to Stuart McQueen for the picture of the Blackcap, to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Redshank and to Nigel Moore for the picture of the Twite from Whitehead:



Bird News Thursday 14th January.

16 Twite where in the sea front car park at Whitehead Co Antrim. (Ian Enlander)

Bann Estuary had 1 1st W Iceland Gull, 50 Sanderling and 230 Golden Plover; Myroe had c250 Brent, 5 Little Egret and 3 Greenshank. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

A 1st winter Iceland Gull was at the RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve.(Tom Ennis)

Yellowhammer - Linda Thompson.

Golden Plover - Noel Austin

Bird News Wednesday 13th January

Two Woodcock and a Greenshank were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve today (Brad Robson)

Today at Myroe there was a male Red Breasted Merganser, 3 Little Egrets, approx 200 Brent Geese, 6 Greylag Geese, Greenshank and 2 Buzzards. Also in a flooded field to the west of Ballerena there were about 100 Whoopers. (Sean Hickey)

Thanks to Garry Armstrong for this pic of an Iceland Gull at Ardglass:

Bird News Tuesday 12th January

2 Great Northern Diver were in the harbour at Portrush. (Gareth Bareham).

8 Twite were along the seafront at Whitehead. One had a green ring on the right leg (Cameron Moore).

Thanks to Craig Nash for this picture of a Brambling from Kilmacrennan in Donegal.

Bird News Monday 11th January.

A  Slavonian  Grebe was showing well of Rostrevor pier this morning.(Frank Carroll)

Yesterday along the Armagh shore of Lough Neagh a male Merlin was along Ardmore Road and 5/600 Fieldfare and Redwing nearby at Derrycrow and Derrytrasna (David Clarke).

Bird News Sunday 10th January

The Kumlien's Gull was seen again between Glenarm and Ballygally this morning. (Neal Warnock)

A Black Redstart was still showing at Newcastle Harbour (Garry Armsstrong)

The Red Kite was still at Tyrella and two 1st Winter Iceland Gulls were at Ardglass (Philip West)

A Whimbrel was feeding with Curlew near Ballystrudder, Islandmagee this afternoon (Adam McClure)

A male Brambling was at Kilmacrennan Co Donegal, coming to a feeder. (Craig Nash)

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus and the male Yellowhammer at ballycarry (Gerard McGeehan)

3 Purple Sandpiper, a Carrion Crow and Great Northern Diver were at Groomsport (Warren Fowles)

Thanks to Cameron Moore for this pic of the Ballycarry Yellowhammer and Stephen Maxwell for the Bar-tailed Godwit:

Bird News Saturday 9th January

A Slavonian Grebe was off Rostrevor Carlingford Lough. (Joe Devlin)

On Strangford Lough 3 Black-throated Diver and 5 Great Northern Diver where south of Gransha Point and another 2 Black-throated Diver and another Great-Northern Diver in Greyabbey Bay(Richard Weyl).

Two drake American Wigeon were still at Malin Town, Co Donegal.

An adult Glaucous Gull flew past the RSPB WOW reserve towards Kinnegar this evening (Stuart McKee)

Yesterday a Little Gull was at the Barmouth Co. L'derry.(Birdguides)

Our thanks to Angus Kennedy for this pic of a Grey Plover and also to Gareth Platt who sent in this pic of an Oystercatcher which was ringed in Iceland.
Add caption

Bird News Friday 8th January

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was near Corrick House, Augher this afternoon. (Adam McClure).

A male Brambling is regularly visiting sunflower-heart feeders in a garden at Gilnahirk, Belfast. (Ron Price).

Castlereagh Playing fields and surrounding farmland on Comber road Dundonald. On lake :-4 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 10 Moorhen, 12 Coot. On surrounding farmland:- 2 Buzzard, c 40 Linnets, a mixed flock of c 150 Redwing and Fieldfares, c 70 Yellowhammers and 25 Lapwing. (Gilly Irwin)

The drake Smew was at the causeway
at Inch NR, Co.Donegal today(8/1/2016). (David Mcilveen)

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for these pictures of a Sparrowhawk and David McIlveen for the Smew:

Bird News Thursday 7th January

The east end of Ballycarry Bridge had a male Yellowhammer - scarce in these parts. Ferris Bay on Islandmagee had 2 Great Northern Divers close inshore with 1 Sanderling and 3 Purple Sandpiper on the shore (Ian Enlander)

A Great Northern Diver was in Portrush Harbour (David Hill)

A Buzzard was perched on the fence at the Mater Hospital in Belfast. (Billy Hamilton)

5 Great Northern Divers were off Portavogie Harbour 3pm today (John McSorley & Dougie Gamble)

20  Sanderling were at the west end of Portstewart Strand. (Sean Hickey)

There were 2 male and a very small female Ruff at Reedy Flat today (James O'Neill)

The Glaucous-winged Gull was still at Castletownbere Harbour, Co Cork.

Thanks to Ian Enlander for the pic of the Yellowhammer and David Hill for the Great Northern Diver. We have further pics on our pics blog: 

Bird News Wednesday 6th January

A male Goosander was near Moorfields, Co Antrim this morning. (Adam McClure)

2 Great Northern Diver were off Bangor, the first was at Seacliff Rd, east of the Long Hole, the 2nd bird was west of Bangor Harbour around Pickie.(Derek Polley).

In Coleraine an Iceland Gull was on the Strand Road and a Glaucous Gull was at the Cresent football pitches, see picture below. (John Clarke).

25 Snipe were at Ballymacormick Point and 3 Great Northern Diver at Ballyholme Bay (George Henderson).

Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of the Iceland Gull, to Angus Kennedy for the picture of the Little Egret and to Stephen Maxwell for the picture of the Siskin.


Bird News Tuesday 5th January

A Mealy Redpoll was in a garden at Richhill, Co Armagh today (Andrew Poots)

A Little Auk was found in a work yard in Dundonald, Co.Down today. It was alive and well and released to Belfast Lough. (Paul McCullough)

A Woodcock flew across the road at Blahole, Whitehead at 5pm (Adam McClure)

Ardglass had 2 1st winter Iceland Gulls; Killough, 5 Great Northern Divers,1500 Lapwings and500 Golden Plover (Chris Murphy)

A different first winter Iceland Gull was at the Round O, Enniskillen (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Paul McCulloch for the pic of the Little Auk and Andrew Poots for the Mealy Redpoll:

Bird News Monday 4th January

The female Brambling was still visiting a garden in Antrim (Mark Smyth)

Tyrella today had 2,500 Scoter, 7 Great Northern Diver, 4 Red-throated Diver, 3,000 Golden Plover, 660 Lapwing, 2,000 Knot, 77 Sanderling, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 1 ad Med Gull, 600 Fieldfare (one with a white head and neck), 300 Linnet, 3 Twite (one with a green ring on left leg) and 4 Tree Sparrows. Killough Harbour had a female Eider and 3 Great Northern Diver (Chris Murphy)

Kinnegar had a male Sparrowhawk hunting on edges of lagoon, flock of c 25 Bar-tailed Godwits on shore, 2 Reed Bunting and 22 Tufted and 1 Gadwall in the sewage works. (Gilly Irwin)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this pic of a Siskin:

Bird News Sunday 3rd January

A Woodcock was drying out on Waterloo Road, Legacurry at 8.30am this morning, just past the horse riding centre. (Garry Wilkinson).

An adult Little Gull was at Black Arch north of Larne. (Neal Warnock).

A Barn Owl was seen twice flying over a church car park on the Clarehill Road, Moira this evening. (Jim Wells).   

Bird News Saturday 2nd January.

Greyabbey Bay Co Down had a female/immature Velvet Scoter, 5 Black-throated Diver, 3 Great Northern Diver and 5 Slavonian Grebe. (Richard Weyl)

3 Great Northern Diver where between Seahill and Grey's Point Co. Down (Derek Polley)

One first year Iceland Gull, one third year Iceland Gull and one first year Kumliens Gull at RSPB Belfast WOW reserve. Also one Greenshank and one ad. winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (Stuart McKee)

A Med. Gull along with a Little Egret and a Greenshank where at Whitehouse Lagoon.(G.McGeehan)

3 Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern where at Ballyholme Bay Co Down. (George Henderson)

Bird News Friday 1st January.

A Red Kite was seen along the M1 motorway near the Oxford Island turn-off this morning.(Clive Mellon)

8 Twite where at the marina in Glenarm Co Antrim, there was also a Great Northern Diver and a Med Gull.(Paul Tout)

6 Great Northern Diver and a Red-throated Diver where at the mouth of the Glenarm river.(Pauline Majury)

A female Brambling was visiting a garden in Antrim.(Mark Smyth)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Oxford Island Co Armagh.(Irishbirding)

A Common Sandpiper and 100 Siskin were on the Down side of the Lagan in Belfast at McConnells Weir. 2 pairs of Sparrowhawk were also noted displaying over Belfast (John Pyper).

A stunning male Smew was on Inch Lake Co Donegal (Annette Elkin) see pic below.

Med Gull - Paul Tout.

Jay - Christine Cassidy.

Twite - Cameron Moore.