Bird News Friday 14th December

A mixed flock of Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot were at Ballykelly Bank in Lough Foyle, see picture below. (David Hill).

42 Whooper Swans were in a part flooded potato field near the junction of the Straid Rd with the Moycraig Rd near Ballintoy. (Patrick Barton).

Lough Island Reavy had a male Goosander (Jim Wells)


Bird News Thursday 13th December

A Hoopoe was in Donaghamore, Co Tyrone. The bird was last seen in the vicinity of St Patrick’s Graveyard (Stephen McNally)

An adult Iceland Gull came in to roost at Belfast WoW this evening. (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

The Barnacle Goose at Islandmagee was ringed on Islay 2013. 5 Tree Sparrows were visiting a garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

Whitehill Road, Aghagallon. Co Armagh had 350+ Whooper Swans with c70 Greylag Geese. Dundalk Harbour had a Spotted Redshank. (Michael Richardson & Fulton Somerville)

3 Goosander (1m, 2f) were at Meenatully Lough on the Pettigoe Plateau, Co Fermanagh on Tuesday 11th. Yesterday two Goosanader (1m 1f) were on a lough north of Lough Shivnagh on the Pettigo plateau, south Donegal yesterday (Fionnbarr Cross)

Hoopoe, Stephen McNally:

Spotted Redshank, Fulton Sommerville:

Barnacle Goose, Cameron Moore:

Bird News Wednesday 12th December

The only news so far is of a male Blackcap visiting a garden in Coleraine this morning. (Gus Bowden).

WeBS Counter Needed

Shane Wolsey of BTO is looking for a volunteer WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) counter for the Macedon Point to River Lagan section of Belfast Lough. It’s a great section – lots to count!

Counts are once a month on nominated days September – March. Counts are sent to Shane who will enter them online.

If you are willing and able to take this section on, please contact Shane Wolsey shane.wolsey@bto.org



Bird News Monday 10th December


A Short-eared Owl was at Myroe this morning. (Brian Halligan).

A Tree Sparrow and a male Brambling were in a garden on the Kilraughts Rd. Ballymoney (Derek McIntyre).

The Barnacle Goose is still at Islandmagee, it has coloured leg rings. The redhead Goosander is still at Ballycarry. (Cameron Moore).

A redhead Smew was at Shallow Flat near Derrytrasna on the south shore of Lough Neagh. (Richard Weyl).

Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB reserve today had 13 Little Egrets and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on an island near Castlecaldwell. (Amy Burns & Fionnbarr Cross)

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the picture of the Barnacle Goose:

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Bird News Sunday 9th December

A Barnacle Goose was feeding with Greylags at Islandmagee and the female Goosander was still at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore)

18 Stock Doves were at The Cairn outside Aghalee today. (Dermot Hughes)

Several Twite were at Sandy Bay, Larne (Linda Thompson)

10 Purple Sandpiper were at Groomsport (George Henderson)

Purple Sandpipers were off the prom opposite Molly Browns in Portstewart. (John Spottiswood)

An adult Littke Gull was seen from the Rathlin Ferry (Patrick Barton) and a Red-throated Diver was at Ballycastle Strand (Michael Latham)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for this pic of one of the Twite:


Bird News Saturday 8th December

A solitary Pink-footed Goose was seen at Drains Bay just in front of Carnfunnock Country Park on the foreshore. (Ken McAuley)

The female Goosander was still present at Ballycarry.(Michael Latham).

A Chiffchaff was seen along the Newry Canal, just north of Carnbane.(Frank Carroll) 

2 Pink-footed Geese were on the west side of upper Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh with Greylags and Whooper swans from Derrylin road this afternoon (Brad Robson)

Brian Halligan.


Bird News Friday 7th December

A female Goosander at Ballycarry bridge, Larne Lough. (Cameron Moore).

A Red-throated Diver flew into Belfast Lough this morning and was showing well offshore between Carnalea Golf Course and Crawfordsburn Country Park.(Ian McKee).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Turnstones:





Bird News Thursday 6th December

3 Twite were at Whitehead Boatyard (Cameron Moore)

A juvenile Peregrine was at RSPB WoW (Derek Polley)

Thanks to Cameron for this pic of one of the Twite:


Bird News Tuesday 4th December

The Great White Egret was still at Lough Beg (Neal Warnock)

The red head Smew and 2 Pintail were at Portmore Lough (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop / Gary Wilkinson)

Three Snow Buntings were at the pitch and putt course at Royal Portrush Golf Course (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this pic of a male Sparrowhawk:


Bird News Monday 3rd December.

Newry canal ...Jerrittspass to Poyntzpass has..4 Kingfisher, a Little Egret, 70 Fieldfare, and 25 Whooper Swan.(Fulton Somerville)

Bird News Sunday 2nd December

A red head Smew was at Portmore Lough RSPB, see picture below. (Ed O'Hara).

A Brambling was visiting a garden in Dungiven. (Lindsay Hodges).

Another Brambling was along the coast north of Larne. (Linda Thompson).

Thanks to Ed O'Hara for the picture of the Smew and to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Brambling:



Bird News Saturday 1st December

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the male Blackcap from his garden in Bangor:


Bird News Friday 30th November.

A Blackcap was visiting a garden in Bangor.(Derek Polley)

A Woodcock was seen from a garden in Fivemiletown.(Colin Bell)

Bird News Thursday 29th November

A high count of 600+ Teal were at Belfast WoW along with a juvenile Peregrine (Derek Polley)

A Short-eared Owl was at Ballyquinton Point, Co Down (Michael Maguire)

Bird News Tuesday 27th November


At least one of the White-rumped Sandpipers was at the Roe today with numerous other waders and a female Peregrine Falcon. No sign of Lesser Yellowlegs today but 16 Pinkfeet Geese and twenty three Greylag Geese were with Whooper Swans in a field at Myroe. 2 Slavonian Grebes were on the sea at Myroe. The Barmouth had about 500 Golden Plover 100 Dublin and roughly 50 Sanderling and a single Snipe was in front of the hide. (Garry Wilkinson/Nigel Moore).

There will be a boat trip to Islay this Saturday (December 1st). There are 50,000 geese and many raptors on the Island at present. Contact Jim Wells on 07856235144 for more details.

Bird News Monday 26th November

A Great White Egret and a high count of 16 Little Egret were at Lower Lough Erne (Peter Taylor and Fionnbarr Cross)

The Lesser Yellowlegs was still at Myroe (Jonny Rosborough / Ronald Surgenor)

A Great Northern Diver was just off shore at the Whiterocks near Portrush this morning. (Keith Stevens).

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker was at a nut feeder in a garden on outskirts of Newtownards. (Stephen McMullen).

A mixed flock of Linnets and Twite were at Ballykelly. (Annette Elkin).

Thanks to Garry Wilkinson for the picture of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, to Annette Elkin for the pictures of the Twite and the Greenshank and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Buzzard:





Bird News Sunday 25th November

The Lesser Yellowlegs was still in the channel at Myroe. Also present were 63 Slavonian Grebes, 37 Pinkfeet, 2 Great Northern Divers, 10 Red-throated Divers and 7 Long tail Ducks (Garry Armstrong / Stuart McKee)

Three White-rumped Sandpipers remain off the Roe Estuary (Stuart McKee)

A Black Redstart was at St Johns point this afternoon. (Fergal O’Connor)

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker was visiting a garden in Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson)

Late news from Thursday was of a Waxwing feeding on Rowan berries along the Donaghadee Road, Bangor (Janice Ritchie)

Thanks to Michael Latham for this pic of the Lesser Yellowlegs and the Pink-footed Geese:


Bird News Saturday 24th November

The Lesser Yellowlegs was still present in the drainage channel at Myroe, also present were 22 Pink-feet, 49 Slavonian Grebe, 6 Long-tailed Ducks and a Common Scoter. (Neal Warnock).

A Red-throated Diver was offshore east of Groomsport and 20+ Snipe were flying offshore at the eastern end of Ballyhome Bay in Bangor. (Derek Polley).

A Little Auk was off Rathlin (Jim Wells)

Bird News Friday 23rd November.

A Lesser Yellowlegs was at Myroe.(Derek Brennan) see photo below,(right hand bird)

About 40 Pink-footed Geese flew north over Cullybackey this morning. (Jeff Larkin)

A high count of 70+ Gadwall where at the Billy Neill playing fields Dundonald. (Stephen Maxwell)

17 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers and 21 Common Scoters were between Lough lshore and Seapark, Greenisland (Gerard McGeehan)

Two drake Ring-necked Duck were at Inch, Co Donegal (Richard Smith)



Bird News Thursday 22nd November

A Marsh Harrier (female/imm) was near Lisnaskea upper Lough Erne Fermanagh this morning (Brad Robson)

A Brambling and a Tree Sparrow we’re visiting a garden at Whitehead. The seafront also had a Whimbrel (Cameron Moore)

The American Wigeon was still at Culdaff (Robert Vaughan)

From Gambles Bridge to Scarva along the Newry Canal this morning had 9 Whooper Swans, 45 Cormorants, Kingfisher, Fieldfare & 3 Jay. (Fulton Somerville)

Brambling, Cameron Moore:

American Wigeon, Robert Vaughan:

Bird News Wednesday 21st November

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was along the Lagan Towpath just above Eel Weir (about 3km from Shaw's Bridge). (Damian McAuley).

A male American Wigeon was at the Culdaff Estuary in Co. Donegal, see picture below. (Robert Vaughan).

St John’s Point, between 10am and 10.30am had 60 Black Guillemots, 80 Razorbills, 20 Comon Guillemots, 1 Puffin, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 30 Kittiwake all going north; 8 Common Scoter going south into Dundrum Bay; 40 Linnets opposite St John’s Church, also 400 Golden Plover, 100 Lapwings, 1 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel (Chris Murphy) Late news of a Short-eared Owl reported at Rossglass Monday, 19 November by Jim Manley (Chris Murphy).

Thanks to William Smiton for the picture of the Sparrowhawk and to Robert Vaughan for the picture of the American Wigeon:




Bird News Tuesday 20th November

A female Brambling and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker were visiting a garden in Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson)

Up to 10 Tree Sparrows were at the feeders at Portmore Lough this afternoon. (Philip McErlean)

Tree Sparrow, Philip McErlean:


Ringed Mediterranean Gull - AETC

Thanks to Gareth Platt for providing information on this bird, seen today at Kinnegar Shore.


It was ringed as a 3rd Calendar year bird, in May 2008, in Stade, Germany. It has subsequently been seen in NI at eg:
Oct 2008 - Carlough Bay - Neal Warnock
Feb 2010 - Whitehead - George Gordon
Oct 2016 - Whitehead - Cameron Moore
Jan 2017 - Donaghadee - Stephen Foster

Bird News Sunday 18th November

A late Great Skua was seen at St John Point today (Michael Rutledge)

5 Purple Sandpipers were opposite Molly Brown's in Portstewart. (John Spottiswood)

12 Twite were seen in fields above Ballintoy (Brian Murphy)

Bird News Saturday 17th November

4 Long-tailed Ducks were off Loughshore Park in Belfast Lough and a Great Northern Diver was off Kinnegar shore. (Wilton Farrelly)

Two drake Ring-necked Ducks were viewable from the causeway at Inch, Co Donegal (Theo Campbell)

Thanks to Alastair McLean for the picture of the Stonechat:


Bird News Friday 16th November

A drake Ring-necked Duck was shot on Upper Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh last Saturday (per Brad Robson)

An unusual record today was a European Storm Petrel foraging and resting on water at Dargan Bay, Belfast Lough this morning (Ian Enlander / Brian Sutton)

An unidentified Swift species was seen briefly on Tory Island (Anton Meenan) which follows the recent influx of Pallid Swifts into GB.

Bird News Thursday 15th November

A Marsh Harrier was at Oxford Island again this morning (Noel Austin)

A Great Skua and a Jack Snipe were at Ballyquinton Point. 2 adult Med Gulls were at Kircubbin (Richard Weyl)

Great Northern Diver, Ian Jackson:

Copeland Bird Observatory Winter Talk

Find out why Anthony McGeehan reckons Inishbofin is a ‘Last chance saloon’ for Irish birds when he presents the first of our new season CBO Winter Talks at the MBC on Tuesday 20th November.

Anthony can be credited as a true expert in Irish birds and has just released his most recent book ‘To the Ends of the Earth: Ireland's Place in Bird Migration’.

 Anthony notes that for species that breed there, ‘Inishbofin’s habitats have largely escaped 'farmageddon'. Hence populations of Skylarks, Corncrakes and Lapwings are still intact. For migrant birds, it can be either the first or last part of Europe... Anything can turn up’.

 Also planning a book is photographer Lawrence Eagling, who will bring the meeting up to date on an exciting project he has conceived, documenting the wildlife and changing landscape of the Copeland Islands throughout the seasons. Lawrence will present a sneak preview of some of his stunning CBO photos.

 This meeting is well worth reserving a slot for in your diary, and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

The talks commence at 7:30pm and everyone is welcome *** (Tea/Coffee & Biscuits provided: £2 admission).

 South Lecture Theatre
 Medical Biology Centre (MBC)
97 Lisburn Road,
 Belfast.


Bird News Wednesday 14th November

At Portmore Lough, the 2 Marsh Harriers were showing well over the reeds on the right side of the hide. (Terry Paton)

A Ruff was at RSPB WoW (Gerard McGeehan).

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of the Siskin:


Bird News Tuesday 13th November

The Great White Egret, Little Stint & 4 Ruff were still present at Lough Beg this afternoon (Richard Hunter).

A male Hen Harrier flew across the road near the top of Shane's Hill at Ballyboley Forest this morning. (David Gillespie).

Thanks to Richard Caves for the pictures of the Great Norther Diver from Newcastle:



Bird News Monday 12th November

The Marsh Harrier was still at Oxford Island this morning, it was hunting over the small island behind the Discovery Centre. There was no sign of the Marsh Harriers at Portmore up to 12 o'clock. (Garry Armstrong).

The Great White Egret, Little Stint, 12 Ruff, 2 ringtail Hen Harrier and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were at Lough beg today. (Gareth Bareham, Matthew Tickner).

In Newcastle 5 Great Northern Divers, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Black Guillemot were seen from the pier at high tide today. (Richard Cave).

Bird News Sunday 11th November

The two Marsh Harriers were showing well at Portmore Lough this morning (Michael Latham). One of these birds was presumably seen at Kinnego Hide, Oxford Island at lunchtime (Noel Austin) The 2 Marsh Harriers were then back at Portmore this afternoon showing well between about 3pm and 4pm. (Paul & Niall Mulvenna)

Lough Beg this afternoon had a Great White Egret (presumably the same bird as seen in mid-October), also a Little Stint, 26 Ruff and a Goosander (David Steele)

A Ruff was at Portavogie and 110 Black-tailed Godwits were at Kirkiston (Richard Weyl)

Marsh Harrier, Michael Latham:

You can see more pics of local birds at: https://nibirdpics.blogspot.com

Bird News Saturday 10th November

4 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver & 1 Red-throated Diver were at Carnlough Bay this morning (Richard Hunter)

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was at the Floodgates. A Spotted Redshank and a Ruff were at the Comber Estuary (Wilton Farrelly)

7 Great Northern Divers were close to the back of Newcastle pier. Also a flock of about 30 Purple Sandpipers were present (Michael Latham)

2 Red Grouse were at Llendrum Wind Farm Fivemiletown County Tyrone this afternoon. (Colin Bell)

At least one of the Marsh Harriers was at Portmore Lough today (Stephen Dunbar / Linda Thompson)

Great Northern Diver and Purple Sandpiper, Michael Latham:




Marsh Harrier, Linda Thompson:

Bird News Friday 9th November

A Little Gull was on the weir in Newcastle Boating lake this morning. (Leonard Charles).

A pair of Pintail were at Inch in Donegal. (David Hill)

Thanks to Michael Henderson for the picture of the Red-breasted Merganser and to David Hill for the picture of the Pintail:




Bird News Thursday 8th November

There are two Marsh Harriers showing well at Portmore Lough this morning (Laura Smith).

The return of water at WOW has brought back the birds including 1 Snipe, 500 Teal, 60 Wigeon, 200 Curlew, 80 Knot, 200 Lapwing, 150 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin. Three of the Godwits were ringed including a bird first ringed in Iceland in 2007 so now 11 years old. (Derek Polley).

Yesterday 2 Crossbills were at Springfield, Co Fermanagh. And today one flew over a garden in Fivemiletown. (Colin Bell).

A Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper and Carrion Crow were at Donaghadee today. (Stephen Foster).

A Pintail was at Portmore this evening. (Suzanne Belshaw),

Thanks to Stephen Foster for te pictures of the Whimbrel and the Carrion Crow and to Philip McErlean for the picture of the Marsh Harrier:

 





Bird News Wednesday 7th November

16 Sandwich Terns were in Portaferry (John Foster Wilson)

A report has come in, presumed to be of the escaped Turkey Vulture at Altikeeragh Rd Castlerock. (Andy Doherty).

Bird News Tuesday 6th November

A single Sabine's Gull, Great Skua and Arctic Skua all passed north at St John's Point early this afternoon (Brian Sutton).

At least 100 Whooper Swans were on stubble field near Ballyrashane just outside Coleraine at 8am this morning. (Ginny McKee).

Montgomery "Hide" at Castle Espie had a Kingfisher, 5 Grey Plover, 4 Greenshank, 20+ Linnet flock  and 40 Eider. Islandhill had 4 Skylark,46 Whooper Swans and 400+ Golden Plover. (Derek Polley).

Circa 120 Twite were at Portrush today, feeding and bathing along the shore between Ramore Head and Portandoo. (Matthew Tickner)

Bird News Monday 5th November

33 Pink-footed Geese and 5 Scaup were at Inch, Co Donegal (Brian Murphy) 

2 Sandwich Tern were at Killyleagh (Dave Peers)

Redwing, David Hill:

Ringed Gulls in Millquarter Bay

Two foreign ringed Mediterranean Gulls were at Millquarter Bay, Co Down today.

Red PLY1, from Poland, was first sighted on the 1st November, by Graham McElwaine and still present today.

White 3NNT, is believed to be of Dutch origin.

7 other colour-ringed gulls were also spotted on the same beach.

Herring Gull - White 4K8:C - from Ayrshire
Herring Gull - Red 278:D - from Dublin
Herring Gull - Orange Z15:M - from Isle of Man

Black-headed Gull - Orange 2AXT - from Adam McClure's NI Study
Black-headed Gull - Orange 2ALC - from Adam McClure's NI Study
Black-headed Gull - Yellow 2BT3 - from Aberdeenshire

Common Gull - Blue 2ATK (about 100% sure) from Shane Wolsey's former NI Study.

Gareth Platt.

Thanks to Gareth for the pictures of the Mediterranean Gulls:



Bird News Sunday 4th November

At Carnlough were 2 Black-throated Divers and 2 Great Northern Divers (Gerard McGeehan/Shirley Dunlop/Carol Gillespie/Ray Bennett)

Sandy Bay Larne had a Brambling and 2 Twite. A Slavonian Grebe was also close to Swan Island in Larne Lough (Neal Warnock)

A Brambling was visiting a garden in Richhill, Co Armagh (Andrew Poots)

Two late Manx Shearwater were in Rathlin sound this morning (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Fieldfare and Redwing are being widely reported.

Two White-fronted Geese were with a flock of 20 Whooper Swans at Cullyhanna, Co. Armagh. (Joe Devlin).

The Cooley Peninsula coast road, Ballytrasna to Cooley Point, had 5 Great Northern Divers, 4 Brent Geese and 4 Little Egret. (Fulton & Janet Somerville).

8 Twite were at Briggs Rocks, Co Down (Richard Hunter).

A flock of 20 Twite were at Millquarter Bay. (Gareth Platt).

Thanks to Andrew Poots for the picture of the Brambling, to Neal Warnock for the picture of the Twite, to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of the Redwing, to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Eider and the Red-breasted Merganser, to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Kestrel and to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Great Northern Divers: