Bird News Wednesday 20th October

On Rathlin a Ring Ouzel was at Kinramer with what was almost certainly asecond bird at Kebble. A Fieldfare was present with Redwings along with 35 Pinkfeet and 12 Barnacle Geese. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson). The White-tailed Eagle was also seen again at Kinramer this afternoon.

The Long-billed Dowitcher was at the south end of Lough Beg, also present were 30 Ruff, a Garganey and the Great White Egret.(David Steele).

This evening, the two Great White Egrets were still at Ballycarry (Ian Enlander)

The Marsh Harrier was at RSPB Portmore (Richard Caves)

Visible migration at St Johns Point this morning included a Merlin, 180 Siskin, 11 Redpoll, 4 Twite, 40 Tree Sparrows and 400 Skylarks (Chris Murphy)

Marsh Harrier, Richard Caves:

Great White Egret, Ballycarry, Ian Enlander:

Bird News Monday 18th October

A first year White-tailed Eagle was again on Rathlin today (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

There were 2 Greenland White-fronted Geese at Lomond Road / Myroe Levels (Lindsay Hodges)

30 Purple Sandpiper were at the Countryside Centre, Portrush (Juliet Fleming)

Juvenile White-tailed Eagle, Hazel Watson:

One of the Greenland White-fronts at Myroe was colour banded and was caught as a first winter male on Big Isle, Lough Swilly in November 2019. The mother of this bird was fitted with a satellite tracker and was recorded over two years returning from Greenland, visiting the North West and also south-west Ireland (when it then eventually relocated to the north west). Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the picture and Tony Fox for this information.


Bird News Sunday 17th October

A Tundra Bean Goose was with 20 Pinkfeet and a large flock of Whooper Swans on the road down to Ballykelly Marsh. (Stuart McKee, Hal McCullough). The Bean Goose was still present at 17.00, with 24 Pinkfeet in a stubble field east of the road to the Saltmarsh. An immature redhead Goosander was with Mergansers off the river mouth at high tide. (Richard Grey).

A Pectoral Sandpiper was opposite the hide at the Barmouth. (Ian Dickey).

The Pectoral Sandpiper was again in the south west corner of Lough Beg, a Garganey was also present. 8 Pinkfeet were at Mullagh. (David Steele).

The Marsh Harrier was at Portmore Lough RSPB this afternoon. (Michael Latham).

The two Great White Egrets were still at Ballycarry Bridge, a Pinkfoot was also present. (Linda Thompson).

At least 150 Whooper Swans were between Burnally Road and Broighter Road on the way down to Myroe. (Felicity Currie & Nick Lynch).

The hybrid Ring-billed Gull was still at Millisle. (Richard Weyl).

3 Whooper Swans flew high east over Stormont this evening. (Paul Lynas).

Rathlin had 2 Brambling, a Mistle Thrush, Redwings and 41 Pinkfeet which have been commuting between the island and the mainland. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the Marsh Harrier, to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Great White Egrets and to Steven Fyffe for the picture of the Merlin from Copeland:

Bird News Saturday 16th October

The Long-billed Dowitcher was still at the Barmouth. (Richard Donaghey).

A Marsh Harrier was on the island behind the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island. (Garry Armstrong).

63 Whooper Swans flew over Lough Foyle heading towards Inch. (Christine Cassidy).

The two Great White Egrets and fifteen Little Egrets were at Ballycarry Bridge. (Philip West).

The Spotted Redshank was in the channel running through Dundrum Inner Bay south, two Ruff were also present. (David Nixon).

A Pectoral Sandpiper was in the south west corner of Lough Beg until 15.30 when it flew high north, 30 Ruff were in the area and the Great White Egret was at Paddy's Dub. Six Pinkfeet were still at Mullagh. (David Steele).

The Glaucous Gull was seen again at the Barmouth. (Birdguides).

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the Merlin and to Julia Fleming for the picture of the Redwing from her garden:

Bird News Friday 15th October

The Long-billed Dowitcher was still at the Barmouth, distantly off the hide. (Garry Armstrong).

The Long- billed Dowitcher still at the south end of Lough Beg, a Great White Egret, 6 Pink-feet and 12 Greenland Whitefronts werevalso present.(David Steele)

The two Great White Egrets were still at Ballycarry (Linda Thompson) see Linda's pic below

2 Carrion Crow at Kinnegar,  Belfast. (Kenneth Anderson & Jim McKeown).

5 Slavonian Grebes, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Northern Divers were off the west end of Myroe, a flock of Twite were with Linnets at the Roe end. (Garry Armstrong).

7 Twite were at Ramore Head in Portrush, a single Wheatear and 18 Barnacle Geese were also seen.  (Richard Donaghey).

Rathlin had a late Willow Warbler, good numbers of Goldcrests, a White-fronted Goose, 41 Pink-feet, 50 Greylags and 70 Barnacle Geese over the day. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

A Snow Bunting was at Slieve Gullion. (David Knight).

The two Barnacle Geese and at least four Pink-feet were with the Greylag flock at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena. (Ginny McKee).

A Little Gull was at Sandy Bay in Larne this evening. (Suzanne Belshaw)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Great White Egrets, to David Knight for the picture of the Snow Bunting, to Ric Else for the picture of the White-fronted Goose and to Suzanne Belshaw for the pictures of the Little Gull:

Bird News Thursday 14th October

An immature White-tailed Eagle was at The Rue, Rathlin. Also present around the island were 5 Arctic Skua, a Red-throated Diver, Mediterranean Gull, a Merlin chasing a Peregrine, the Grey Plover and 47 Pink-feet (Ric Else / Hazel Watson).

A single Barnacle was with 71 Greylags at the Roe Estuary. (Martin Deehan).

The two Great White Egrets were still at Ballycarry (David Stirling)

Thanks to Ric for this picture of the White-tailed Eagle, to David Stirling for the pictures of the Great White Egret and to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of the Merlin:

Bird News Wednesday 13th October.

 The Long-billed Dowitcher was still at the Bann Estuary.(James McDowell)

2 Great White Egrets  where at Ballycarry bridge.(David Stirling/Cameron Moore) .

Rathlin today had 2 Snow Buntings, 6 Redwing, 20 Barnacle Geese, 2 White-fronted Geese, a juvenile Grey Plover and a Blackcap. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Our thanks to Cameron for the photo of the 2 GWE together, also to Ric Else for the pic of one of the Snow Buntings from Rathlin.


Bird News Tuesday 12th October

 The Long-billed Dowitcher was still at the Barmouth this morning. (Richard Donaghey).

A Sabines Gull was just outside Portstewart. Also present was a large pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins (John Clarke)

Bird News Monday 11th October

A Pink-footed Goose and two Barnacle Geese (of unknown origin) were at the Ecos Centre, Ballymena (John Parkinson)

The Long-billed Dowitcher was again showing at Bann Estuary; also 2 Grey Plover and 8 Whooper Swans were present (Hill Dick / James McDowell)

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Oxford Island (Paul and Jennifer Topliss).

Barnacles & Pink-footed Goose, John Parkinson:

Bird News Sunday 10th October

A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was in a ploughed field at Ballykelly this morning. A Grey Plover and a Ruff were at Ballykelly Marsh. An adult American Golden Plover, probably the same bird as last week,  was in the ploughed field at the junction of Lomond Road and Broighter Road.  Three Grey Plover were at Myroe. (Garry Armstrong).

A Long-billed Dowitcher was in the bay by the wooden pier at the Barmouth. (John Clarke).

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was still at the south end of Lough Beg, the Long-billed Dowitcher, last seen on the 4th October was also present. (David Steele).

Paddy's Dub at Lough Beg this afternoon had a ring-tail Hen Harrier, Little Stint, Grey Plover, Greenshank, 2 Ruff and 25 Snipe. (Godfrey McRoberts)

Rathlin today had 13 Twite, 4 Crossbill and 2 Pinkfeet. (Ric Else, Hazel Watson, Bob Watts, Wilton Farrelly).

Thanks to David Steele for the pictures of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper from Lough Beg yesterday, to Stephen Riddell for the first picture of the Long-billed Dowitcher and to John Clarke for the second Long-billed Dowitcher picture:

Birding Dumfries & Galloway

Any birders from NI visiting Dumfries & Galloway are encouraged to report sightings to a new D&G Bird News Blog at:

The Blog also has some excellent information to assist visiting birders.

Bird News Saturday 9th October

The Pectoral Sandpiper and Marsh Harrier were both still at Portmore Lough RSPB this morning. (Garry Armstrong).

A Spotted Redshank & 3 Ruff were at Dundrum Bay inner bay - this morning (Kenneth Brewster)

A Buff-breasted Sandpiper is at the south end of Lough Beg this afternoon. (David Steele)

22 Mediterranean Gull were along the Outer Ards (7 at Cloughey Bay, 8 south of Portavogie, 1 south of Millisle, 3 at Groomsport and 3 east of Ballyholme Bay) - (Richard Weyl)

Marsh Harrier, Portmore, Michael Latham:

Red Kite, Tim Jess:

Bird News Friday 8th October

 The Pectoral Sandpiper was still at Portmore Lough RSPB this morning. (Richard Donaghey / Richard Caves). The Marsh Harrier was also seen briefly (Richard Caves).

A Merlin was on Islandmagee. ( Cameron Moore).

10 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Whooper Swans and a Peregrine were at Ballykelly, 2 Grey Plover and 6 Knot were at the Barmouth. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).

2 Snow Buntings were on Rathlin. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson)

Thanks to Richard Caves for the picture of the Pectoral Sandpiper, to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Marsh Harrier, Dipper and Whooper Swans and to Cameron Moore for the picture of Merlin: