Northern Ireland's Last Golden Eagles

Many thanks to Dick Glasgow for highlighting the presence of this fascinating footage of the ringing of the last breeding pair of Golden Eagles in NI:

Bird News Tuesday 17th October

A Firecrest was around the main toilet block area at Kearney this afternoon (14.30). There were also circa 30 Goldcrests. A Merlin was also seen. (Ian Graham)

A Yellow-browed Warbler, was at Kelly's Wood, St John's Point at 8:45 (Tim Murphy)

Another Yellow-browed Warbler was in the Cemetery Car Park, Portrush Rd,  Coleraine, beside the railway line. (John Clarke)

A Grey-bellied Brent Goose was seen from the old stone hide at Castle Espie, just outside the Castle Espie WWT enclosure this afternoon (Tom Ennis \ Tony Dodds)

At least 4 Twite were with the Linnet flock at Sandy Bay, Larne. Also a Knot there. Several small groups of Whoopers were arriving overhead and a Bonxie was on the sea. Yesterday a juv Dark-bellied Brent and a first winter Med Gull were at Drains Bay. (Neal Warnock)

A 1st winter Little Gull was at Marconi's, Ballycastle (Colin Guy)

8 Whooper Swans were at Islandhill, Strangford Lough (Stephen Maxwell)

Strand Lough, Co Down had 6 Whooper Swans. St John’s Point had 7 RedThroated Divers. Newcastle had c500 Common Scoter and 6 Great Northern Divers in summer plumage and from Bloody Bridge car park there were 12 Red Throated Divers (Fulton Somerville)


Bird News Monday 16th October.

10 Swallows were flying around this morning just outside P'down,birds obviously flying in front of storm Ophelia.(Brian Nelson)

A seawatch off St John's Point Co.Down produced 9 Great Skua, 11 Swallow, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Diver. (Ronald Surgenor)

2 Sand Martins and a Wheatear were along the shore near Portstewart beach.(Colin Guy)

8 Pomarine Skua(together), 2 Great Skua, 6 Manx Shearwater and 10 Sandwich Tern passed St John's Point this afternoon. A Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest and 6 Redwing were on land.  A Pomarine Skua, an Arctic Skua, a Great Skua and 300 Kittiwake were at Tyrella beach (Tim Murphy)

Our thanks to Cameron Moore for the pics of the Med Gull and the Common Terns. Also to Ronald Surgenor for the pics of the 2 Arctic Skuas and the Great Skua

Bird News Sunday 15th October

An adult Little Gull was at Groomsport. (Richard Weyl).

A male Hen Harrier was being mobbed by Hooded Crows at GR ID228075 on the Antrim Plateau between Buckna & Capanagh Wood at 14:30 this afternoon, a Raven was also present. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

5 adult Whooper Swans were at Strand Lough at 5pm before flying off south. (Tim Murphy).

A Red Kite was just north of Armoy, Co. Antrim this afternoon. (Colin Guy).

A Red-throated Diver was on the Bann Estuary today, see picture below. (John Clarke).

A Redwing, the first reported this winter, was in Bangor today. (Kerry Leonard).

Red-throated Diver John Clarke:

Bird News Saturday 14th October

A 2nd Yellow Browed Warbler was trapped on CBO this morning and the Wryneck was heard calling. (CBO).

A Great Skua was at Burial Island and a Blackcap and 14 Goldcrest‎ at Kearney.(Richard Weyl).

Bird News Friday 13th October

In Donegal an eclipse male King Eider was with 6 male Eider at the south end of Murvagh Beach, an adult male Surf Scoter, a juvenile Little Gull and a possible male borealis Eider were off Rossnowlagh Point. (Brad Robson).

2 juvenile Wheatear and 3 Goldcrest were at St John's Point. (Tim Murphy).

Yesterday a Merlin was beside the road at Atnamollyboy townland in Co. Fermanagh (near Fivemiletown). (Clive Mellon).

A Lapland Bunting was calling frequently as it flew over Ramore Head (Hill Dick).

Thanks to Clive for the picture of the Merlin.

Copeland Day Trip

A day trip to Copeland is planned for Saturday. If you would like to visit the island, contact David Galbraith on: 07934 416668

Bird News Thursday 12th October

A Yellow-browed Warbler was on Copeland Bird Observatory this morning. The Wryneck was also still present. (David Galbraith)

A Red Kite was just outside Downpatrick flying over Killough Road (Emma Mulholland)

A Snow Bunting, 52 Whooper Swans & 3 Twite were the best on a blustery Rathlin today (Neal Warnock)

On Carlingford Lough high counts of Shag (minimum of 350 on Green Island, Block House and associated reefs near Greencastle) and Great Black-backed Gull (minimum 120 in south-east side of Mill Bay) were seen (Ian Enlander)

A Hen Harrier was hunting along the Quoile River, Downpatrick (Michael O'Dwyer)

Over 80 Red Breasted Mergansers were off Whiteabbey this morning (Gerard McLaughlin)

Lurgangreen, Co Louth had 1500 + Golden Plover, 60 Grey Plover, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 130 Ruff & 3 Swallows. (Fulton Somerville)

Many thanks to David for this pic of the Yellow-browed Warbler and Michael for the Hen Harrier:

Yellow-browed Warbler, David Galbraith:

Hen Harrier, Michael O'Dwyer:

Bird News Wednesday 11th October

Approx 1200 Whooper Swans and a Merlin were at Inch levels. (Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges).

Yesterday 39 Whooper Swans were in a stubble field at Dunseverick. (Dougie Gamble).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of part of the Whooper Swan flock at Inch, to Rod Gillan for the pictures of the Wheatear and the Rock Pipit and to Dougie Gamble for the picture of the Whoopers from Dunseverick.

Bird News Tuesday 10th October

Off Ramore Head, Portrush this morning were 22 Pink-footed Geese, 11 Purple Sandpiper, 13 Golden Plover, 2 Raven and a Peregrine (Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges)

An adult Med Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne today (Joe Lamont)

The Bann Estuary had 4 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Little Stint, 2 Ruff and c400 Golden Plover (Hill Dick)

A Little Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne (Lillian Cummings)

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for this pic of a colour ringed Sanderling and Lilian Cummings for the juvenile Little Gull:

Sanderling, Lindsay Hodges:

Little Gull, Lilian Cummings:

Bird News Monday 9th October.

48 Whooper Swans and 7 Pink Footed Geese were in a field opposite Dunseverick  Castle .  2 Wheatears were at Ballintoy. Yesterday 38 Barnacle Geese and 3 Great Northern Divers flew past Ramore Head. (Colin Guy)

Rathlin had a Lapland Bunting, one Iceland Gull, 5 Arctic Skuas a Great Skua, 4 Twite, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Wheatear.(Neal Warnock)

Bird News Sunday 8th October

A Wryneck was on Copeland Bird Observatory this morning.(CBO) This is only the second record for the Observatory and only the fourth record for Northern Ireland  

A Yellow- browed Warbler was at the small pine wood on the southern side of Kearney (Garry Armstrong)

Ramore Head this morning had 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 3 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Divers and 17 Whoopers (Daniel Newton)

7 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay. 4 Swallow and 14 Red-throated Diver were at Ballyquintin Point. A Whimbrel was at Orlock Point and a Merlin was seen flying from Big Copeland to Donaghadee. (Richard Weyl)

The Snow Bunting was at Ramore head at 2.20 pm (Denver Shiels).

4 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 adults and a 1st winter, were at Ballywalter, another Mediterranean Gull, a 2nd year bird was at Lough Cowie. (Garry Armstrong, Wilton Farrelly & Ian Graham).

A pair of Red Kite were over a field on the main Rostrevor to Hilltown Road this afternoon. (Michael Holgate).

Mullagh, Lough Beg this afternoon had a Green Sandpiper, Little Stint and 90 Ruff, also two Chiffchaffs and 25 Swallows. (David Steele).

A Red Kite was on Lighthouse Road outside Leitrim, Co. Down. The bird had a green wingtag, possibly number 34. (Bill Guiller).

Many thanks to CBO for the picture of the Wyneck, to Cecil Smyth for the picture of the Buzzard and to Bill Guiller for the picture of the Red Kite:

Bird News Saturday 7th October

An adult Little Gull and an Arctic Tern were at Ballyhalbert, Co Down (Richard Weyl)

7 Chough were at Malin Head, Inishowen. (Dermot Mc Laughlin, Philip O' Doherty and Christine Cassidy)

A Pink-footed Goose was on Mew Island (CBO)

Yesterday 5 Wheatear were on Slieve Donard, near the summit (Roger Woodward)

Many thanks to Christine Cassidy for this pic of a female Kestrel:

James O'Neill Art

This Sandwich Tern picture is by local birdwatcher and artist James O'Neill.
 Painted in Acrylics on 50 x 20cm canvas.

Bird News Friday 6th October

A Garden Warbler was trapped and ringed at Portstewart dunes this morning. (Richard Donaghey, John Clarke).

Black Head had 1 Chiffchaff in mixed flock with 40 Goldcrest and 25 Long-tailed Tit. Total of 18 Harbour Porpoise between Black Head and Portmuck. (Ian Enlander.

The juvenile Black Tern was still at Mullagh, Lough Beg today. Also present was a Little Stint, a new bird, up to 80 Ruff and 41 Swallows. (David Steele).

4 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay, 300+ Skylark were at Kirkiston and 14 Red-throated Diver flying south at Burial Island. (Richard Wiel).

The female Snow Bunting is still at Ramore Head. (Colin Guy).

This afternoon there was 20 adult Whooper Swans flying over Portavoe Resovoir heading south over the Warren Road in Donaghadee. (David McCormick).

A 1st winter Little Gull, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 15 Manx Shearwater, 5 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Goldcrest, 6 Redpoll, 7 Reed Bunting, 10 Tree Sparrow and 300 Linnet were at St John's Point. 2 Yellowhammer and 250 Linnet were in fields 500m south of Killough. (Tim Murphy).

Thanks to John Clarke for the first picture of the Garden Warbler and to Richard Donaghey for the second picture.


Bird News Thursday 5th October

9 Ruff remain at the RSPB WOW reserve.(Derek Polley)

6 Whooper Swans all adults, were at Corbet Lough, Banbridge this morning. 4 Buzzard and 2 Red Kite also present. (David McCreedy)

10 Ruff were at Bann Estuary and c275 Brent at Ballykelly. A Myroe stubble field held c100 Skylarks and 25 Tree Sparrows. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

Ramore Head and Portrush Area  up to 1300hrs had at least 6 Leach's Petrels, 6 Bonxies, 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Sabine's Gull 35 Barnacle Geese, 1 Snow Bunting,1 Arctic Skua, 24 Brent Geese, 8 Teal, 17 Tufted Ducks (Colin Guy, Ian Dickey et. al. ) Another 47 Barnacle Geese were seen at Dunseverick . An evening sea watch from Ramore Head  between 1800 and 1900 hrs produced 5 Bonxies, 2 Arctic Skuas, 9 Red throated Divers, 16 Barnacle Geese.(Colin Guy)

This interesting Goose was photographed at Dundrum Inner bay this morning by David Nixon. It is presumably a Pink-foot due to the bill colour and the leg colour but the head shape seems a bit strange and it looks quite large - you can also that the bird has damage on it's belly (possibly from a gun shot?). Any comments or other sightings of this bird would be most welcome. You can see David's pics below.

Robin Cunningham: Freshly arrived Whooper Swans at Inch Levels Co.Donegal

Bird News Wednesday 4th October

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head this morning (Matthew Tickner). The Snow Bunting was still present early this afternoon along with a Lapland Bunting (John Clarke)

Late news for yesterday was that a juvenile American Golden Plover was at the Myroe Lawn fields (David Nixon / Trevor Wilkinson)

Thanks to Trevor Wilkinson for this pic of the juvenile American Golden Plover (centre):

Bird News Tuesday 3rd October

A juvenile Black Tern, 2 Little Stint and 75 Ruff were at Mullagh, Lough Beg this evening. (David Steele).

8 Whooper Swans flew west over the Skerries, Portrush at 1200 hrs. (Colin Guy).

A 2 hour sea-watch at Ramore this morning produced 11 Bonxie, 5 Arctic Skua, 5 Leach's Petrel, 58 Barnacle Geese, 7 Red-throated Diver, 18 Great Northern Diver, 3 Common Scoter, 43 Wigeon, 29 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 36 Brent Geese and a single Manx Shearwater. Large numbers of Auks were heading west. (Matthew Tickner & Colin Guy).

Four Greenland-type Wheatears were at Ballykinler beach today. (James O'Neill)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Gannet, to James O'Neill for the picture of the Wheatear and to David Hill for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Whooper Swans.

Bird News Monday 2nd October

Two Black Terns are now at Marconi's cottage, Ballycastle. A flock of Pink-footed Geese also flew by this morning. (Michael Latham).

6 Whooper Swans were back in their usual fields near Swanlinbar Bridge, Derrylinn, Fermanagh today. (Paul McAnulty).

A Little Gull was at Sandy Bay in Larne, see picture below. (Jason Bain).

Portstewart Head had 4 Great Skua and 2 Red-throated Diver flying west, there were large numbers of Gannets, both adult and juvenile off the head. (Sean Hickey).

A Ramore Head sea-watch at midday produced 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 25 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Bonxies and up to 100 auks flying west. Gannets..adults/juveniles were numerous. (Hill Dick).

A seawatch at Ramore Head between 0700hrs and 0900 hrs today produced a Leach's Petrel, 4 Bonxies, 14 White-fronted Geese, 33 Brent Geese,1 Common Scoter, 1 Red Breasted Merganser,7 Teal, 15 Tufted Ducks, 9 Arctic Terns,16 Wigeon,1 Great Northern Diver and unusually a Great Crested Grebe (Colin Guy).
Another 3 Great Northern Divers flew past at Lunchtime.(Colin Guy).
This evening at Ramore between 1800 and 1900 there were 8 Bonxies, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Leach's Petrel, 3 Great Northern Divers and 2 Red-throated Divers, 10 Manx Shearwaters. Approximately 60 Arctic Terns were feeding off the Skerries nearby (Colin Guy/Matthew Tickner)

Sea-watching at Kilcummin Head between 07.00 - 18.10 produced 3 juvenile Sabine's Gull, 106 Bonxie, 8 Arctic Skua, 1 adult Pomarine Skua, 406 Sooty Shearwaters, 20 Grey Phalaropes, 5 Leach's Petrel, 1 Storm Petrel, 40 Kittiwake, 6 Fulmar, 1 Lapland Bunting and 17 Whooper Swan in off the sea. (Brad Robson & Joe Donaldson)

  Thanks to Michael Lathan for the pictures of the Black Terns and the Pink-footed Geese and to Jason Bain for the pictures of the Little Gull and the Turnstone:



Bird News Sunday 1st October

The adult American Golden Plover was still at Ballykelly this morning (Daniel Newton)

11 Ruff where at the RSPB WOW reserve, a Little Stint circled but didn't land in.(Garry Armstrong)

A Black Tern was feeding at Marconi's outfall at Ballycastle and a female Goosander flew past. A Great Northern Diver was seen at Ramore Head.(Colin Guy) a record pic. of the Tern can be seen below

Brent over Strangford - John Moore.