Bird News Saturday 20th April

A White Wagtail was with Pied Wagtails in Belfast Harbour Estate, 3 Wheatear, a male and two female, were also present. (Daniel Newton).

A Common Sandpiper and 7 Common Tern were at Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara).

14 Whimbrel were at Orlock Point this afternoon. (Philip McErlean).

The female Ring Ouzel was still present today on Rathlin, and a new Stock Dove was also seen. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

2 White Wagtails and 3 Purple Sandpipers were south of Annalong harbour. (Richard Gray).

Copeland Bird Observatory today had a Ring Ouzel, 40 Willow Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 6 Wheatears, 8 Sand Martins and a House Martin. (Chris Acheson).

Tory Island had 22 White Wagtails, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Redwing, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Whimbrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Water Rail and a Corncrake which showed well as vegetation is still sparse, a Goldcrest and lots of cetaceans including 2 Basking Sharks. (Brad Robson).

Yesterday at least 10 Whimbrel were at Ballymacormick Point. (George Henderson).

Thanks to Neal Warnock for the pictures of the Pomarine Skua and Hen Harrier from Rathlin yesterday, to Ed O'Hara for the picture of the Common Tern, to Philip McErlean for the picture of the Whimbrel and to David Clarke for the picture of the leucistic Starling from Ballykinler:






Bird News Friday 19th April

The first Swifts of the year have appeared with two birds at Craigavon Balancing Lakes, a Sedge Warbler and five Common Terns were also present. A Reed Warbler was back at Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara).

The Marsh Harrier was still present on Rathlin this morning, a singing Sedge Warbler was also present. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson)

An immature male Marsh Harrier at Slieveanorra about 1030 this morning, moving south. (David Steele)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Monea, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson).

A Cuckoo and Grasshopper Warbler were calling today near Tappaghan wind farm Co Tyrone. (Clive Mellon)

Another Cuckoo was at Murlough.(Philip McErlean)

The Bann Estuary had a Greenland Wheatear and a Sedge Warbler, both ringed, this morning (Richard Donaghey)

A dark-bellied Brent was with 170 pale-bellied Brent at Killough Harbour.(David Nixon)


A number of Whimbrel have been seen along various coastlines over the last few days, thanks to everyone who kindly reported them.

Rathlin Island had....Adult Pomarine Skua (Neal), Marsh Harrier still, Mediterranean Gull still, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Whinchat, 3 Sedge Warblers, 8 Blackcaps, 70+ Willow Warblers, 32 White Wagtails, 60+ Wheatears, 2 Bramblings, 6 Fieldfares, 2 Redwings, 2 Whimbrels, 3 Common Sandpipers, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Carrion Crow, 1 Rook, 4 Jackdaws, 2 Canada Geese and the long-staying Scaup. (Ric Else/Hazel Watson/Neal Warnock)

Yesterday a Jack Snipe was at Paddy’s Dub, Lough Beg along with small numbers of Lapwing, Redshank, Dunlin, Snipe and Teal. (Godfrey McRoberts).

Thanks to Ed O'Hara for the pictures of the Swift and Reed Warbler and to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Wheatear, Rock Pipit and Buzzard:









Bird News Thursday 18th April.

Rathlin today had a Jack Snipe, Marsh Harrier (found by Raymond Fulton), Ring Ouzel, Med Gull, 6 Bramblings, 5 Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpipers, at least 34 White Wagtails plus many common migrants. (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

A Marsh Harrier was also seen at the Bann Estuary this evening (Richard Donaghey)

32 White Wagtails, 5 Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

Dundalk Harbour and east of the Old Bridge, had 9 Ruff and 2 Knot (Fulton Somerville)

A Cuckoo was heard calling at Slieve Gullion Park, Co. Armagh this morning (Frank Carroll)

A female Brambling was in a garden today at Loughries, Newtownards (Graham Day)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Edenderry Bridge along the Lagan Towpath (Paula Campbell)

Ring Ouzel and Marsh Harrier (Ric Else / Hazel Watson):


Brambling, Graham Day:

Ruff, Fulton Somerville:

Bird News Wednesday 17th April

An adult Iceland Gull was seen at Runkerry Head, Co Antrim (Colin Guy)

Rathlin Island had 5 Common sandpipers and a Mediterranean Gull (Ric Else \ Hazel Watson)

A White-billed Diver was at Malin Head, Donegal (Ronan McLaughlin)

Buzzard, Wilf Swain:


Angus Kennedy, Great Spotted Woodpecker:

Bird News Tuesday 16th April

2 adult Mediterranean Gulls were at Whitehead seafront this afternoon. (Ian Enlander).

A Grasshopper Warbler was at Ballymacormick Point (George Henderson).

There was an arrival of Common Sandpipers today including 4 at Kinnegar Pools (Daniel Newton), 2 on the River Lagan (Richard Gray & Angus Kennedy) and one at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve. (Brad Robson)

An elusive Green Sandpiper was at Marlacoo Lake between Tandragee and Markethill late afternoon (Clifford Sharpe)

Rathlin also had an arrival of Common Sandpipers with five birds present, a 2nd calendar year Mediterranean Gull was also on the island, see picture below. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson)

Thanks to Frank Murphy for the picture of the Red Kite, to Angus Kennedy for the picture of the Common Sandpiper, to Ian Enlander for the picture of the juvenile Grey Heron and to Ric Else for the pictures of the Black-tailed Godwit and the Mediterranean Gull:






Bird News Monday 15th April

The female Marsh Harrier was still showing near Whitehead this morning. It was viewable from the Islandmagee side, looking towards Jubilee Wood (Cameron Moore)

An Iceland Gull was on Rathlin as was the Snow Bunting (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

A White phase Gyr Falcon was reported from Glassagh Bay, Fanad Head today.

Marsh Harrier, Cameron Moore:

Cecil Smyth, Little Grebe:

Bird News Sunday 14th April

A female Marsh Harrier (wing tagged - probably in Norfolk) was quartering between Jubilee Wood and Whitehead Golf Course (Cameron Moore)

The first two Common Terns of the year were back at Oxford Island this morning. (Garry Armstrong).

The Snow Bunting was still on Rathlin, two Twite were also present. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Six White Wagtail were at Ardmore, Lough Neagh (Ed O’Hara)

7 Mediterranean Gull were at RSPB WoW this afternoon.

The Lough Neagh shoreline between Reedy Flat and Bannfoot had 16 Golden Plover, 11 Ruff, a pair of Pintail and a fly-past adult Mediterranean Gull.(Clive Mellon)


White Wagtail, Ed O'Hara:

John Spratt, Great Spotted Woodpecker:

Bird News Saturday 13th April

Four White Wagtails were in a ploughed field on the road to Ardmore on the south shore of Lough Neagh. (Garry Armstrong).

The Snow Bunting was still on Rathlin, see picture below. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

2 Mandarin ducks were at Silent Valley today, see picture below. (Mark Elliott)

Thanks to Ric Else for the picture of the Snow Bunting and to Mark Elliott for the picture of the Mandarin Duck:



Bird News Friday 12th April

A Ring Ouzel was at the West Light, Rathlin, this morning (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Our thanks to Angus Kennedy for his pic of the Kingfisher and to Wilfred Swain for his Brent Geese in flight.




Bird News Thursday 11th April

A Golden Eagle was over Rathlin this morning before drifting off south. Also on the island today, there were a Hen Harrier, the Snow Bunting still, at least 7 White Wagtails and a large arrival of Willow Warblers.  (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Two Pintail remain at the Quoile (Shaun Cleland, Alan Ferguson and Bert Montgomery).

The Bann Estuary had a significant gathering of c700 Black-tailed Godwits; also c600 Golden Plovers, 43 Sanderling, 42 Ringed Plover and 2 White Wagtails (Hill Dick)

Willow Warblers, Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins are now widely reported. Many thanks for the sightings.

Thanks to Ric for the picture of the Golden Eagle and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Hen Harrier:



Bird News Wednesday 10th April

Yesterday a Stock Dove was on Rathlin, this is only the second record for the island, a female Snow Bunting was also present. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

The Snow Bunting was still on Ratlin today, a White Wagtail and a flyover Crossbill were also seen.
(Ric Else & Hazel Watson)

Lough Beg this evening had three Sandwich Terns, a local rarity, over the ponds at Mullagh, also four White Wagtails, a Whimbrel and 1,000+ Black-tailed Godwits. (David Steele).

Thanks to Ric and Hazel for the pictures of the Snow Bunting and the Stock Dove, to Wilf Swain for the pictures of the Bullfinch and Wheatear and to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Gadwall: