Bird News Sunday 31st March

A Black-necked Grebe was at Reedy Flats \ Ardmore shore Lough Neagh. (Ed O'Hara and Joe Devlin)

A summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe was off the sea wall at Blanketnook, Donegal (Brad Robson)

Reedy Flats has 4 Med Gull and 2 Ruff (Ed O’Hara)

A male 'African' Chaffinch has been reported from a private garden in Gilford, Co Down.

A summer plumage Black-throated Diver was south of Gransha Point, Strangford Lough (Richard Weyl)

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus Harbour. A male Long-tailed Duck was also offshore. (Paul McCullough)

Around Lough Swilly today were 5 Ruff, 19 Sandwich Terns and an adult Med Gull. Murvagh Beach Co Donegal had 47 Red-throated Diver, 35 Great Northern Diver and a Black-throated Diver (Brad Robson)

A Swallow was at Benraw, Co Down. (Shelagh Henry)

Sandwich Terns are now widely reported. Many thanks for all the sightings.

Record shot of Black-necked Grebe at Lough Neagh, Ed O'Hara:

Skylark, Linda Thompson:

Bird News Saturday 30th March

The 1st w Bonaparte's Gull was at Killybegs 14:40 - 15:10 in bay to left of bridge as you arrive also a minimum of 3 Glaucous and 5 Iceland Gulls (Brad Robson)

2 dark bellied Brent Geese were at Kinnegar shore this morning. (Ed O'Hara).

A 3rd winter Kumlien's Gull, 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and a Kittiwake were among |seven species of gull at Waterfoot today. (Neal Warnock)/

The Inishowen peninsula in Donegal had a Peregrine, Kestrel and 2 Wheatear. (Christine Cassidy & Dermot McLaughlin)

A single Slavonian Grebe, Black-throated Diver & Carrion Crow were at Greyabbey (Richard Hunter)

Thanks to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the ring-tailed Hen Harrier and the Wheatear, to Neal Warnock for the picture of the Kumlien's Gull, to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Peregrine and to Michael Latham for the second Hen Harrier picture:

Bird News Friday 29th March

A Swallow was at the Clare Road outside Waringstown, Co Armagh (Fulton Somerville)

4 Ruff and a Raven were at Reed Flats, Lough Neagh (Ed O’Hara)

A Red Kite was seen today just outside Ballygowan on the Comber Road (Chris Shaw)

A female Hen Harrier today at 10 and again at 3pm "quartering" the moorland, Mageraboy, Ballintoy. (Patrick Barton)

Oystercatchers - Wilfred Swain.

Bird News Thursday 28th March

A Red Kite was being mobbed at Knowehead, Islandmagee at 9am this morning. (Paul Bagnall).

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in Delamont Country Park this morning. (Sharon Walker).

A Brambling was at Ligoniel Dams this morning. (Larry Toal & John O Boyle).

2 Red Kites were flying together south over Binevenagh mid afternoon. (Raymond Fulton).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Buzzard:

Bird News Wednesday 27th March

The adult Ring-billed Gull was again at Belfast Waterworks this morning (Brian Murphy)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in Belvoir Park Forest (Angus Kennedy)

Circa 20 Sand Martins were feeding on the River Bann near Coleraine (Lindsay Hodges)

Yesterday a male and a female Wheatear were at Ballymacormick Point (George Henderson)

3 Puffin were Back on the cliffs at the West Light, Rathlin Island (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

The Woodland Trust are hosting a Dawn Chorus Bird Walk event next Saturday morning in their Glasswater Wood, Crossgar. All details can be found on the following link:

Kingfisher, River Lagan, Angus Kennedy:

Bird News Tuesday 26th March.

A Red Kite flew across the Rathfriland to Kilcoo Rd this morning.(Robert Hudges)

A Raven flew over city hall in Belfast this morning.(Olcan Shaw)

A Brambling is still visiting a garden in Whitehead.(Cameron Moore)

2 Swallows where at Slaght, nr Ballymena.(David Steele)

Inch Levels, Co Donegal had large numbers of Whooper and Greylag accompanied by a minimum of 200 Pink-footed Geese. Also present were 5 Greenland- whitefronts, 3 Barnacles and a single Pale-bellied Brent. At nearby Farland Bank there were 4 Ruff. (David Nixon/Philip McHaffie)

Breeding Woodcock of Northern Ireland needs you.

The Woodcock is one of our my most mysterious breeding birds. Unlike other waders, it specialises in breeding in woodland and shuns the open ground favoured by lapwing, snipe and redshank. Unfortunately, like those species, it has suffered steep declines and is now no longer found in most places where they once were. But, because they are highly camouflaged and difficult to find, we don't know very much about where they are now found, or how many there are.

 This survey aims to establish the range and abundance of breeding woodcock all across Ireland based on counts of 'roding' woodcock. Roding flights are the noisy display flights over the woodland canopy undertaken by males at dusk and dawn to display to females. This is when they are at their most conspicuous and a count of displaying males in May and June gives a reliable indication of the breeding population of the area. The surveys are easy - most anybody can do them. It is magical to experience a number of displaying male woodcock with their strange grunting and whistling calls in the gathering dusk. In addition, there's always plenty of other wildlife to encounter in the twilight woodland. It's a pleasant and easygoing way to spend a few summer evenings while contributing strongly to our knowledge of breeding woodcock in Northern Ireland. For more information and instructions on how to do the survey and submit records, and to select your woodland sites to survey, please follow the link

In addition, all records of woodcock seen in spring and summer, including roding males, females on nests, or broods of chicks, are of great interest as they will help build up an idea of the range of breeding woodcock in Northern Ireland.

 Please email any sightings you may have to, or log them with CEDaR (NI) or the National Biodiversity Data Centre (ROI). 

Bird News Monday 25th March

An adult Ring-billed Gull was at the Waterworks Park,  Belfast. (David Knight)

A Yellowhammer was on Rathlin, the 100th species recorded so far this year, also present were 3 Brambling and 2 Twite. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

A summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe, 2 Pink-footed Geese and 2 Ruff were at Reedy Flat on the south shore of Lough Neagh. (Richard Weyl).

550+ Greenland White-fronts flew north west this evening over Lower Lough Erne in several flocks . 40+ Fieldfares and 25 Redwing were on the shore of Lower Lough Erne this evening (Brad Robson)

Sand Martins are now being widely reported and we would like to thank everyone who has sent in sightings.

Thanks to Ric & Hazel for this picture of the Yellowhammer and to David Knight for the pictures of thr Ring-billed Gull:

Wildlife Crime in the Antrim Hills

We have received reports of illegal coursing and other activities in the Antrim Hills. The PSNI would like Birders visiting the Antrim Hills / Capanagh Forest / Shillanavogy forest to report any suspicious sightings of people hunting / hare coursing / scrambling etc to:
Constable Simon Waring, tel. 101 ext 86101 email

Bird News Sunday 24th March

The Kumliens Gull was feeding at Kinnegar Shore this morning. (Garry Armstrong) It relocated to RSPB WoW where it was seen at 12:30 (Daniel Newton)

5 Sand Martin were at Oxford Island (Ed O’Hara)

The adult Iceland Gull was at RSPB WoW early afternoon. (Wilton Farrelly)

Portmore Lough had 4 Ruff along with 12 Black-tailed Godwits in with around 2000 Golden Plover (Clive Mellon)

Chiffchaffs are now widely reported. Thanks to all for the sightings.

Thanks to todays photographers for their contributions. You can see more pictures of our local birds at:

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker which has been visiting a garden in Bangor - Jonny Andrews

Peregrine - Mervyn Campbell

Bird News Saturday 23rd March

The Kumliens Gull was around Kinnegar Sewerage Works this morning (Daniel Newton)
Also at Kinnegar we’re 3 Sand Martin, 4 Sandwich Tern and a Ruff. (Ed O'Hara)

6 Black-throated Diver were off Kircubbin and 24 Slavonian Grebe at Greyabbey South (Garry Armstrong)

Chiffchaffs are now widely reported. Many thanks to all who shared sightings.

6 Sand Martin where at Killard Co Down. (Alastair McLean)

A Willow Warbler was seen on Copeland Island on Friday night. This is the earliest ever recorded in the Observatory’s 65 year history.(Chris Acheson)

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrick and 2 Long -tailed Duck were off Fishermans Quay. (Brian Sutton)

Kumlein's Gull - Ed O'Hara

Bird News Friday 22nd March

The Kumliens Gull was at Kinnegar Shore at 3:50pm. (Daniel Newton)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the Stormont Estate, Belfast (Paul McCullough)

A Glaucous Gull was at Ramore Head this evening. (John Clarke).

The Newry Canal this morning 7:30 - 9:00 from Poyntzpass to Scarva produced 3 Redwing, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Sand Martin, 5 Buzzard and 6 Grey Heron. (Fulton Somerville).

Thanks to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Redwing and to Kenny Moore for the picture of the Dippers:

Bird News Thursday 21st March

Yesterday a Woodcock was at the east end of Ballymacormick Point on Wednesday (George Henderson)

A Cuckoo was calling in Inishowen this morning. (Christine Cassidy & Lindsay Hodges)

Long-tailed Tit - Wilf Swain

Cuckoo, 2019 Records

Submit Cuckoo Records Online. 

 Mark the return of Spring by listening out for the cuckoo!

 Help in recording what is for many the distinctive sound of Spring – the call of the cuckoo.
 If you see or hear a cuckoo please submit your record online.

The Cuckoo is a rapidly declining species Red Listed as a bird of conservation concern in the UK. They arrive from Africa in April and May and sing throughout the Spring. They are much more likely to heard than seen. Their calls are distinctive but can be mistaken for Collared Dove and Woodpigeon.

More information on the Cuckoo can be found on the Priority Species of Northern Ireland website.

 If you see or hear a Cuckoo then please visit and submit your record.

 CEDaR Online Recording – [] 
 CEDaR – [] 
 Habitas – []

Damian McFerran
Record Centre Manager, CEDaR

National Museums Northern Ireland
Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 0EU
T - 028 9039 5256
E -

Bird News Wednesday 20th March

This morning the Newry Canal between Jerrettspass and Poyntzpass had a calling Water Rail, 1 Raven, 1 Dipper, 3 Tree Sparrow & 2 Grey Wagtail. This afternoon at Oxford Island there was 1 Jay, 1 Chiffchaff, and a mixed flock of 150+ Whooper & Mute Swans. (Fulton Somerville).

A Chiffchaff was calling at Bloody Bridge, Newcastle this morning. (Roger Woodward).

2 Kestrel (displaying) 2 Peregrine (displaying ) 16 Chough, 2 Ravens & 2 Buzzards were at Malin Head, Inishowen, Donegal. (Christine Cassidy & Lindsay Hodges).

Rathlin today had its first Wheatear of the year plus Chiffchaff, Brambling and Twite. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Kestrel, to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Meadow Pipit, to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Whooper Swans and to Ric Else for the picture of the Wheatear:

Bird News Tuesday 19th March

The presumed Kumliens Gull was still at Kinnegar Shore this evening (Daniel Newton)

This morning a male Wheatear was on Newcastle promenade, near the Shimna footbridge (Dan Bailie)

Two Brambling were in Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

A flock of over 30 Twite were at Ramore head this morning. (John Clarke)

A Red Kite was seen circling over the River Lagan weir area, Belfast. It then flew off south (Rob McAllister)

A Great Skua and Chiffchaff were on Rathlin Island. A Brambling and Twite were also present (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

Twite - John Clarke

Male Brambling - Cameron Moore

Bird News Monday 18th March

A probable Kumliens Gull was at Kinnegar later this afternoon (Michael Latham). See picture below.

The Spoonbill was off the Limekiln, Castle Espie (Michael Latham)

A singing Chiffchaff was near the Tannaghmore West Road car-park at Craigavon Lakes (Daniel Newton)

A littoralis Rock Pipit was at Sandy Bay, Larne today (Neal Warnock)

On the east side of Strangford Lough there were 66 Slavonian Grebe (56 between Greyabbey and Kircubbin and 10 off Newtownards Sailing Club) (Richard Weyl)

Yellowhammers continue to be reported from Gardens with two in Newtownards (Ian McKee) and one in Banbridge (Mike McLaughlin)

Unusually a Water Rail was in Stricklands Glen, Bangor around a puddle (Derek Polley)

Ring-Billed Gull still at Carrickfergus Marina, Co Antrim, this morning. (Kevin Kirkham)

A Chiffchaff was calling at Belfast Waterworks (Dot Blakely)

A male Brambling was in a garden at Marlborough Drive, Bangor (David Miller)

A Manx Shearwater was off Copeland (CBO)

Presumed Kumliens Gull - Michael Latham

Presumed Kumliens Gull - Michael Latham
Scandanavian Rock Pipit - Neal Warnock
Spoonbill - Michael Latham

Bird News Sunday 17th March

The adult Iceland Gull was again at RSPB WoW this evening (Daniel Newton)

4 Pink-footed Geese were with Greylags at Reedy Flats, Lough Neagh (Ed O’Hara)

The Spoonbill was feeding near the Limekiln at Castle Espie. (Paul & Niall Mulvenna)

A Chiffchaff was calling this morning montalto estate Ballynahinch (Marty Rooney) Another Chiffchaff was singing at Rathgael road in Bangor this morning. (Kerry Leonard)

8 Ruff were at Lough Beg this morning (Richard Hunter)

The Ring-billed Gull was showing again at Carrickfergus Harbour (Michael Latham)

15 Purple Sandpipers were at Kilhorne Bay, Annalong this afternoon. (Richard Gray)

Donegal Bay WeBS count today had 47 Greenland Whitefronts & a Chiffchaff on the south shore. Mountcharles had 4 Long-tailed Duck, 25 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver but only a few Scoter (Brad Robson)

Pink-footed Geese - Ed O'Hara

Ring-billed Gull - Michael Latham

Bird News Saturday 16th March

There is a  boat trip from Ballycastle to Islay this Monday (18th). Contact Jim Wells on 07856235144 for full details.

A Brambling and a female Blackcap were still visiting a private garden in Whitehead, see pictures below. (Cameron Moore).

A Merlin was along the M1 at Moira and an unusual Herring Gull with yellow legs was at Belfast WOW, see picture below. (Ed O'Hara).

5 Yellowhammer were at Inch in Donegal. (Christine Cassidy).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Brambling and the female Blackcap, to Ed O'Hara for the picture of the unusual Herring Gull, to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Treecreeper and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Yellowhammer:

Bird News Friday 15th March

3 Long-tailed Duck were off Carrickfergus harbour (Gerard McGeehan)

2 Sand Martins were in Kinnegoe Bay at Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the picture of the Slavonian Grebe, to Mark Elliott for the first Great Spotted Woodpecker picture, to David Cassells for the second Great Spotted Woodpecker picture and to Wilf Swain for the Buzzards picture:

Bird News Thursday 14th March

The adult Iceland Gull was at RSPB WoW this evening (Daniel Newton)

RSPB WoW has a Ruff, 5 Med gulls and high counts of 70 Lesser-blackBacked Gulls and 120 Shelduck (Derek Polley)

A Slavonian Grebe was at Whitehead seafront this afternoon. (Cameron Moore and Daniel Craig)

A Raven was at Belfast City Hall (Paul McCullough)

3 Jack Snipe were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB reserve, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

A Woodcock was seen this evening at A4 dual carriageway near Parkanaur Co Tyrone. (Colin Bell)

Clogher Head Co Louth had a Red-throated Diver, a Black-throated Diver and 30 Common Scoter. Castletown River Dundalk had a Ring-billed Gull. (Fulton Somerville, Robert Hart and Michael Richardson)

Ring-billed Gull, Fulton Sommerville
Slavonian Grebe - Cameron Moore

Bird News Wednesday 13th March

Yesterday a littoralis type Rock Pipit was at Whitehead sea-front, see pictures below. (Cameron Moore).

Two Brambling were in a garden in Whitehead today. (Cameron Moore).

An adult Iceland Gull was at Belfast WOW this afternoon. (Daniel Newton).

A Yellowhammer was in a garden in Newtownards. (Ian McKee).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the littoralis type Rock Pipit, to Philip McErlean for the picture of the Kingfisher and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Greenfinch:

Bird News Monday 11th March

A Brambling and a Blackcap were in a private garden in Whitehead,see pictures below. (Cameron Moore).

The Newry Canal between Poyntzpass and Scarva, this morning had a pair of Grey Wagtails, 5 Mistle Thrush, 21 Redwing, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Buzzard, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Snipe and 1 Jay. (Fulton Somerville).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Brambling and the Blackcap and to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Grey Wagtail: