First winter Glaucous Gull, juvenile Dark-bellied Brent Goose and two argentatus Herring Gulls at Killough, also two Woodcock and 22 Whooper Swan roosting on Strand Lough (Chris Murphy / David Stirling).
Two Glaucous Gulls WSW of Portballintrae at Dunluce Castle (RBA).
Crossbills showing well in Springwell Forest. Nine Twite at Magheracross (Martin Deehan).
Two pairs of Crossbill near the car park at Woodburn (Alan Webster).
Black Redstart and two Purple Sandpipers at Whitehead with 16 Twite at the back of the boatyard (Garry Wilkinson).
Two Pink-footed Geese at Lower Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson).
Russian White-fronted Goose and two Pink-footed Geese amongst a flock of 80+ Greylags and 40+ Whooper Swans at Lady Bay, Lough Neagh (Richard Caves).
13 Crossbills Ballyboley Forest just east of Killylane Reservoir (Timothy Davis).
Thanks to Chris Murphy for the Glaucous Gull and to Richard Caves for the Russian Whitefronts & Pin-footed Geese photos:
As many will be aware, we run a monthly poll on the best bird found by a member of the group, with the winners of these monthly votes going forward to an Annual poll on the best find of the year.
The Irish Rare And Scarce Bird News Group is delighted to announce that the Annual poll for 2023 will be sponsored by Swarovski Optik and by Robert Vaughan Illustrations
The winner of the Annual Poll will receive a pair of Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binoculars
We are sure neither Swarovski or the now famous EL range of binoculars need any introduction, considered by many to be one of the best optics manufacturers, and best models available for decades now.
2nd place will win an original painting of their bird by the excellent Robert Vaughan Illustrations
As the best find competition is associated with tangible prizes, it's important to note that contenders for the poll must be verifiable (i.e verifiably photographed, video recorded or well twitched. Shouldn't be a problem, generally the biggest, best twitched birds tend to capture the imagination and receive the most votes.)
As with our other competitions, we also ask that birders drop news of their find in good time here in the group to qualify, in the spirit of instant rare bird information sharing for which this group was established.
Any draws, be it in the monthly polls or the final annual poll will be decided by vote among the admin team.
Should any winner be a co-find, people will simply have to work out a way to share prizes, however favor is obviously given to the finder who reports the news here in the group.
Download the Band app and Join Ireland's Best Rare Bird News group here https://band.us/@irishrareandscarce
Good Bird Finding for 2023.
A Black Redstart was at St John's lighthouse. (David Stirling).
A Grey Plover was at Kearney on the Outer Ards. (Ronnie Doggart).
The Spotted Redshank was still at the hightide roost at Dundrum Inner Bay south along with a high count of at least 34 Snipe. (David Nixon).
The Ferruginous Duck was at Ballysaggart Lough again. (David Knight)
Thanks to David Stirling for the picture of the Black Redstart, to Ronnie Doggart for the picture of the Grey Plover to David Knight for the picture of the Ferruginous Duck and to David Nixon for the picture of the Snipe:
A female Common Scoter was at Traad Point, Lough Neagh this morning. (Ciara Laverty).
An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Loughshore Park on the north shore of Belfast Lough. (Shirley Dunlop & Gerard McGeehan).
The Red-throated Diver was still at Portmore Lough RSPB reserve. (Tim Jess).
Thanks to Ciara Laverty for the picture of the Common Scoter, to Alastair McLean for the picture of the Whooper Swan and to Tim Jess for the picture of the Red-throated Diver:
This morning at Tyrella, Dundrum Bay sightings include 118 Red-throated Diver, 14 Great Northern Diver and 150 Common Scoter (Chris Murphy).
Drake Smew has been refound at Todd’s Corner, Ardmore after no sign at Reedy Flats with the west and east ends being shot. Best in the centre was a Russian White-fronted Goose with the Greylags and a redhead Goosander (Garry Armstrong). Smew last seen 1415 very distantly then flew east and no further sign (Bob Watts).
A single Pink-footed Goose with Greylags at Ann’s Point, Greyabbey (Wilton Farrelly).
A ringtail Hen Harrier at Portmore Lough this morning (Michael Latham).
Male Ring-necked Duck still at Mill Lough, Bellanaleck (Ronan Owens).
One Barnacle Goose with c300 Greylags at Tunney Cut, Lough Neagh, also a mixed swan flock of c400 mostly Whoopers (Tom Ennis).
Thanks to Michael Latham for the Hen Harriers:
Late news from yesterday of a dead Little Auk found carefully laid out in Ballycastle harbour at the ferry terminal (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).
The Black Redstart feeding along windowsills and drainpipes on houses adjacent to Marine Avenue at Whitehead at 1415 this afternoon. It was also seen along the sea wall. Also 11 Twite and four Purple Sandpipers (Ian Enlander / Bob Watts).
Thanks to Ian Enlander for the Black Redstart: