Bird News Monday 31st January

The Snow Goose was with circa 350 Greylag and 150 Whoopers in fields just North of Portmore this morning (Nigel Moore)
Snow Goose - Nigel Moore

22 Waxwing were along the Westlink in Belfast near Roden Street (Walter

An adult Yellow Legged Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast (Stuart McKee).

50 Redwing were at Roselawn Cemetery (David and Sheila Clarke).

A Blackcap was in a garden in Chippendale in Bangor (Francis Duffin).

An easy twitch for us Northerners

Picture above taken by Ian Graham this morning is of the Asian Lesser Whitethroat currently visiting a garden feeder in no 16 The Priory,Drogheda Co.Louth. Coming from Belfast you could be twitching this bird within 80 mins. Directions are easily obtained through Google or AA Route Planner..The race is not yet certain, may find out in due course,but still a very rare bird and well worth seeing.

Bird News for Sunday 30th January

The Snow Goose was still present in fields N.E. of Portmore Lough, it was feeding with Whooper Swans and Greylags and earlier 2 Brambling were visiting a garden on the Ballymacash Road in Lisburn.(W.Veale)

The Ring-necked Duck was back on Lough Cowey Co.Down.(K.Bennett)
The ad Bewick Swan was still with the Whoopers at Cullyhanna Co.Down and 4 Canada Geese and 150 Widgeon were also present. The 2 PF Geese were at Lough Ross.(F.Carroll)

12 RT Diver were off Maggy's Leap south of Newcastle Co.Down (S.McKee)

2 Blackcap were in a garden at Islandmagee (the numbers of Blackcap's reported from gardens this winter has been amazing) (R.McDowell)

6 Whooper Swan were on Lake Corbet Co.Down but no sign of the Ferruginious Duck.(W.Farrelly/P.West)

6 Goosanders at Cushendun, (2 male 4 female) also 1 Red Throated Diver.64no. Brent Geese at Ballygalley feeding on shoreline at low tide. (Pauline Majury)

127 Red-throated Divers flew past Whitehead this morning between 8 - 9am. Visibility wasn't great so this is a minimum with possibly another 60+ passing further out. All birds were seen to fly into Belfast Lough. (Ian Enlander)

50 Fieldfares, at Magheraveely, Co Fermanagh. (Stephen Scarlett)

A Sandwich Tern was at Sandeel Bay and a Merlin at Briggs Rocks on the Down side of Belfast Lough (Richard Weyl).

Brambling continue to visit a garden at Richill, Co. Armagh (Andrew Poots)
114 species were recorded in a day around South Down/Strangford Lough area,birds included 350 Common Scoter off Murlough and a Little Egret at Dundrum Bay South. 6 Yellowhammer and 2 Stock Dove at Ardilea. 30 Twite, 50 Linnet, 20 Reed Bunting, 6 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Tree Sparrow and a Skylark were at Tyrella and 2 Sandwich Tern and 2 Purple Sandpiper at Portavogie. 30 Tree Sparrow, 2 Stock Dove were with good numbers of Chaffinch and Reed Bunting at Lough Money. A female Scaup and 18 Whooper Swan were along the river from the Quoile Centre. Several Carrion Crow and a Common Guillemot were at Killyleagh Harbour and 20 Whooper Swan in the fields below Scarbo. 500 Golden Plover were at Comber Estuary and 350 Greylag and 1 GWF Goose in the fields north of Greyabbey. 2 GN Diver and 2 Slav.Grebe were off Monghan's Bank at Kircubbin and several Slav Grebes at Greyabbey Bay South.(C&T Murphy/K.Bennett)

Bird News Saturday 29th January

A Snow Goose was with 350 Greylag and 52 Whooper Swan in the fields between Portmore Lough and Lough Neagh - presumably the same seen earlier at Strangford Lough (Paul Toner).

A Red-necked Grebe and 8 Slavonian Grebe were seen at Greyabbey Bay South. (Keith Bennett)
At Craigavon Balancing Lakes, two Ferruginous hybrids were seen here (could these birds possibly be the cause of the 'multiple' Ferruginous Duck sightings?)
An adult Bewick Swan (an increasingly rare bird in NI), was with the Whooper Swan flock at Cullyhanna. 2 Pink-footed Geese were at Lough Ross, Crossmaglen (Joe Devlin)
The first winter Ring-billed Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon, Belfast and an Iceland Gull flew over the RSPB Belfast Lough Reserve (Keith Bennett)
A White-fronted Goose was with a flock of Greylags near the river running alongside the north end of Castle Espie (the Anns Point bird?). A Kingfisher was also at the adjoining pool (Ron Price)

20 Waxwing were at the junction of Ravenhill Park and Ravensdale Park Gardens in Belfast (John Pyper).
At Belfast Lough 280 Scaup were off Cultra. 2,200 Eider, 13 RT Diver and 6 Carrion Crow were between there and Bangor - 2,000 of the Eider were off Grey Point (Richard Weyl).
12 Yellowhammer were in a garden in Magherafelt (Mark Smyth).
7 Wigeon and 3 Brent were at Carnlough Bay (Iris Miller).

The probable Asian Lesser Whitethroat continues to be seen in Drogheda (Irish Birding).

Bird News for Friday 28th January

24 RT Diver were in Belfast Lough, 15 of them of Kilroot and another 9 seen flighting east out of the Lough.(C.Mellon)

Yesterday 4 Waxwing were at the edge of Florencecourt in Fermanagh.(G.Henderson)

Belfast Telegraph & Birding

Well done to the Belfast Telegraph who today carried nearly three pages about birds and birding in NI! It was also good to see that all the bird photographs were correctly captioned. Unfortunately the feature articles are not online so you will have to buy a copy but worth the read.
Interestingly they do have on their website (at the following picture!

Greylag Geese, Rathcoole - Jack Close, ref: Belfast Telegraph

Bird News for Thurs 27th January

7 Waxwing were at Abbeydale off Rossdowney Road in the Waterside in Derry.(T.Campbell)
11 Waxwing were in Ballycastle.(irishbirding)
7 Slav. Grebe, 1 Greenshank, 10 Knot and 3 Grey Plover were at Greyabbey Bay South.(H.McCullough)

7 Gadwall (unusual there) were at the east end of Hillsborough Lake.(B.Anderson)

A Blackcap and 2 Siskin were in a garden in Newry.(F.Carroll)

Yesterday the Med.Gull with the yellow ring was seen again at Ballycarry Bridge.(C.Moore)

Birding Frontiers Talk

Martin Garners talk will be taking place at 7:30, Friday 11th February at CIYMS, Circular Road, east Belfast. One species that Martin will discuss is Northern Harrier, a possible future visitor to NI?
Northern Harrier - Ian Lewington

Birds of East Africa

Many thanks to Kerry Leonard for an excellent talk and presentation last night about ringing birds in December in Kenya. There were many superb photographs of both birds and mammals. Below are three photographs from that presentation:
Barred Warbler, adult. Note how worn the plumage is - Kerry Leonard

Barred Warbler, 1st Winter. Note how pale this bird is, particularly on the underparts - Kerry Leonard

Marsh Warbler. Ringed in their thousands. This bird is very olive on the upper parts - Kerry Leonard

Bird News Wednesday 26th January

4 Goosander - 2 female and 2 immatures - were at the weir at Randalstown (Dermot

A second winter Mediterranean Gull was seen again at the river at Ballyholme, Bangor.
(George Gordon).

A female Blackcap was in a garden at Island Magee (Robert McDowell).

Yesterday 175 Curlew were at Dundrum Inner Bay South, 5 Bullfinch a mile
along the road from Newcastle to Bryansford and 4 Goldfinch at the east side
of Tollymore (Ann McComb).

Thanks to Stephen Foster for this shot of a female Blackcap taken in his garden in Bleary in late December.

Female Blackcap, Bleary, Co. Armagh - Stephen Foster

Bird News Tuesday 25th January

A male and female Peregrine were seen together twice over Belfast city centre today. (Colin Cardy).

Bird News Monday 24th January

The male Ring-necked Duck was giving good views at the Rahop end of Lough Money. At least 6 Stock Doves were in a nearby ploughed field with numerous Woodpigeons. A pair of Blackcap were at the Quoile Centre but no sign of any Bramblings. At 5 pm the redhead Smew was on the far side of River Quoile below the Quoile Centre. (Ian Jackson).

The Ferruginous Duck was in Lurgan Park Lake which is partially frozen so the bird was giving good views. (Stephen Foster).

9 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay and 3 Slavonian, 2 Carrion Crow and
a hybrid just south of Horse Island (Richard Weyl).

20 Waxwing were at the Adelboden on the road to Donaghadee just outside
Groomsport and a Carrion Crow at Groomsport harbour (Jim Whitla, Margaret

A Waxwing was along Pond Park Road in Lisburn and 2 Brambling in a garden at
Ballymacash Road (Walter Veale).

Yesterday 2 Brambling and 2 Blackcap were in a garden at Waterloo Park in
Belfast (Larry Toal).

Ferruginous Duck, Lurgan Park Lake - Stephen Foster

Shoveler, Lurgan Park Lake - Stephen Foster

Bird News for Sunday 23rd January

The American Herring Gull was still at Donnybrewer along with a 2nd winter RB Gull.

The RN Duck was still showing at Lough Money.(C.Nash)
2 Smew both female were at the Quoile pondage, one about 200 yards from the bridge, the second from the main hide. 3 Brambling were at the Quoile centre, a male Blackcap was giving good views at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate Reserve.

A Goosander was seen off Cusendall.(Brenda Campbell) see photo below

A minimum of 48 Brambling (amazing number) were visiting a garden in Richill.(A.Poots) see
photo below

A Chough was in the fields at Fair Head and 4 GN Diver at Red Bay. A Waxwing was along Ardenlee Ave in Belfast.(K.Bennett)

A second winter Med.Gull was at Ballyholme Bay and a Little Egret, 3 Carrion Crow, and 2 hybrid at Ballymacormick Point Co.Down.(R.Weyl)

The hybrid Common/RB Gull was at Millisle, 9 Slav.Grebe at Greyabbey Bay South and a Sandwich Tern at Ballyhenry Co.Down(G.Gordon)

2GN Diver were off Ballygally Co.Antrim, (photo below)there was also 12-14 Bottlenose Dolphin

Ballycarry Med Gull

Many thanks to Cameron Moore for the picture below of the Mediterranean Gull at Ballycarry, Larne Lough. It had been ringed as a pullus in England.

Bird News Saturday 22nd January

A day for Ring-necked Ducks with two seen.
A drake was at Drumgay Lough, Co. Fermanagh and a first winter male at Lough Money Co Down. This latter one is probably the Lough Cowey bird
Also at Drumgay Lough was a drake Scaup and 22 Whooper Swan. (Wilton Farrelly)
The Smew was seen at the bridge at the Quoile
24 Waxwing were at Ramoan Road, Ballycastle

In Co Down, 2 Sandwich Tern were at Portaferry Marina. At Marlfield were 30 Yellowhammer, 10 Tree Sparrow, 5 Reed Bunts, 100s of Chaffinch, 100 Skylark and a Greenfinch.
9 Slavonian Grebe in Greyabbey Bay South, 120 Golden Plover at Kirkistown along with a female Merlin. Kearney had 5 Scoter, a GN Diver and a passing Pochard. Mount Stewart had 20 Greenfinch (all Keith Bennet)

In Larne Lough, 52 PF Geese, 84 Greylag and the first winter Med Gull were at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore)

11 Brambling, 2 Blackcap and a Lesser Redpoll were in a garden in Belgravia, Belfast. 2000 Eider were off Grey Point, 30 Knot and 40 Black-tailed Godwit at Kinnegar Horehound, Co Down (J Whitla)

A Brambling was in a garden at Killough, 10 Tree Sparrow and a Twite were at Tyrella. 500 Common Scoter, 5 Scaup, 20 Razorbill and a Common Guillemot were off Murlogh.

15 Yellowhammer were along the Belfast Rd, Comber. (D Polley)

Blackcaps have been seen in a number of Gardens e.g. Larne (Derek Polley) and east Belfast

Carlingford Birding Weekend

The sixth Carlingford Birding weekend takes place on Feb 4th - 6th and is guided by Eric Dempsey. The event includes an introductory talk, a bus tour and walks. The cost is 50 euro per person, excluding accommodation. For more information, contact Breffni Martin at

Bird News for Friday 21st January

A 30 mins. seawatch at St John's Point produced a GN Diver, 4 RT Diver, 30 Razorbill, 3 Black Guillemot, a common Guillemot, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Kittiwate, 20 Skylark were at the point, a Brambling, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 25 Reed Bunting and a Stonechat were at Tyrella and 2 Eider offshore (C.Murphy) (if you are brave enough to do a sea watch this time of year, it is worth knowing that there have been unusually high numbers of Balearic Shearwaters off Cornwall this month)

A Little Egret paid a visit to a garden in Dundonald, no doubt the bird that is seen regularly in Moat Park.(R.McCrory)

2 Carrion Crow, a Hooded Crow and a hybrid were at Cove Bay in Groomsport.(G.Gordon)

A female Brambling was at Clogher (P Grosse) 
Little Egret, Strangford Lough - George McKee

Focus on Birds

Focus on Birds is a photographic exhibition currently running in the Belfast rooms of the Ulster Museum and will continue until March. Organised by the NIOC, it is a collection of stunning photographs taken from the last 5 years of the club's competition, well worth a visit and of course it's all free.

Ringed Little Egrets

Please keep a look out for colour ringed Little Egrets in NI. From a total of 40 birds fitted with colour rings with individual digits, there have already been 12 re-sightings reported from birders around  Ireland  The most impressive sighting has been that of a Little Egret which was ringed by BirdWatch Ireland staff member John Lusby in its nest last summer in Galway Bay and which was subsequently spotted by a birder in the Azores in October, a trip of 2,133km! Please keep a look out for any colour ringed egrets and report sightings to John Lusby at  or Chris Benson at  Each bird has two colour rings, a black darvic with a letter above the left knee and a yellow darvic with a letter/number above the right knee.
Little Egret - John Lusby

BTO Help Needed

If you bird any of the squares in the map below, the BTO is seeking your help. Please log on to the web link below and help contribute records for the next Atlas:

Bird News Thursday 20th January

10 Waxwing were along Northway in Portadown town centre (Stephen Foster).
A fem/imm Smew was at Derrytrasna along the Armagh shore of Lough Neagh (David Knight).

At least 15 Brambling were in a garden in Carrickfergus (Shirley Dunlop). 
A Little Egret was between Ardmillan and Castle Espie. a Merlin was also seen (Colin Cardy)
Late news for yesterday, at Slieve Beagh nr Fivemiletown were 2 Crossbills, 2 Red Grouse and 1 Kestrel. Also unusually 
in Main St. Lisnaskea, a Raven has taken up residence. (Colin Bell)

Bird News Wednesday 19th January

The male Ferruginous Duck was at Lurgan Park Lake and a Barnacle Goose with 130 Greylag at Lady Bay along the Antrim shore of Lough Neagh. It is possible there are 2 male Ferruginous (the other at Craigavon) but this has still to be proved (S Hewitt).

The first winter Mediterranean Gull (with the yellow ring) was still at Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough. An adult Mediterranean Gull was along the seafront at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

5 Waxwing were on telegraph poles along Belfast Road in Bangor - feeding on cotoneaster in the gardens of 54 and 58 and giving very close views (George Gordon).

A Brambling was with 150 Chaffinch/Goldfinch and a few Lesser Redpoll in a garden in Killough (Chris Murphy).

Golden Eagle Trust On Facebook

Just to let you know you can follow the White-tailed Sea Eagle reintroduction and other projects on the Golden Eagle Trust's Facebook page

Just click on the link to the facebook page -

or logon to facebook and search for us

Feel free to ask questions about projects or start a discussion on the site, we will aim to update the site most days but I'd be happy if it was a forum for you to post messages and interact.....

Allan Mee.

Talk On Bird Migration In East Africa, Ulster Museum, 25th January

Please see the attached flyer for a talk by Kerry Leonard in the Ulster Museum on 25th January, entitled 'Bird Migration in East Africa'. It is sure to be of interest to those of you living close to Belfast.

The talk will focus on the eastern Palearctic birds which migrate through the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, ongoing studies on those species and some of the excitement and hazards of catching birds in the African bush (in the dark). The talk will also include plenty of pictures of Afro-tropical species and big game - something for everyone!

This talk is part of the Copeland Bird Observatory winter meeting series and is kindly hosted by the Ulster Museum. It starts at 7.30pm.

Shane Wolsey

Biodiversity Conference

3 March 2011  (09.30 – 16.30 approx)
Everglades Hotel, Derry, County Londonderry.
The Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group and the Biodiversity Forum for Ireland are holding a conference entitled: "Biodiversity In Ireland: Towards New Targets And Indicators" on 3rd  March 2011 in the Everglades Hotel, Derry, County Londonderry. 
The event will consider the implications for Ireland, North and South, of outcomes of the Convention on Biological Diversity held at Nagoya, Japan in October 2010 and of the new EU policies, targets and actions expected to be published early in 2011.
 Speakers from Europe, Ireland and UK will outline the key changes, and the workshop will consider new key biodiversity targets and indicators to feed into
Ø  the review  of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy; and
Ø  the implementation of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Plan.

For further information, please contact,

Bird News for Tues.18th January.

The male Ferruginious Duck was at Lurgan Park Lake and at least 2 Goosander at Lough Island Reavy. The fem/imm Smew was at the Quoile Quay and 43 Shoveler off Castle Espie in Strangford Lough.(S.McKee/H.McCullough)

8 Waxwing were in flight at Portrush and the ad. RB Gull at East Strand car park.(M.Tickner)

A 1w Med.Gull with yellow ring(from England) was at Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough.(C.Moore)

2 PF Geese were at Crossmaglen(J.Devlin)

A LT Duck was off Murlough in south Down and 2 Brambling at Island Park in Newcastle.(C&T Murphy)

Bird News Monday 17th January

At Portmuck on Islandmagee there were 12 Red Throated Divers on the sea with a further 4 flying south, also 4 Gannets flying north and 20 Kittiwake. (Ian Enlander).

6 Waxwings were along Mountsandel Road in Coleraine. (Richard Hoy).

A male Brambling was in a garden in Lisburn and a Waxwing along Stockdam Road. (Ted Rolston).

2 Mediterranean Gulls, and adult and the second winter with only one leg, were at Portrush East Strand carpark. (Matthew Tickner).

Bird News Sunday 16th January

40 Waxwing were still at Waterfoot, also an early Gannet was seen of the coast (Ian Graham)
The male Ferruginous Duck was at Lurgan Park Lake Co.Armagh.(S.McKee)

12 Waxwing were on telephone lines along Belfast Road in Bangor.(M.Adamson)

An ad. Med.Gull was at Whitehouse Co.Antrim.(G.Armstrong)

A Sandwich Tern was near the yacht club at Ballyholme.(G.Gordon)

4 Brambling were in a garden in Dunmurry.(C.Acheson)

A Brambling was still coming to the feeders at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate

The ad RB Gull was still present at Portrush east strand car park.(M.Tickner \ K Bennett)

2 Crossbill at Muckle Rocks,Slieve Beagh,Co Tyrone/Monaghan, and a Peregrine at Fivemiletown (Colin Bell)

Thanks to Danny Boyd for this picture of a leucistic Goldfinch
Goldfinch - Danny Boyd

Bird News Saturday 15th January

Little news today, most people were either watching the Rugby or not venturing out in the poor weather.

Yesterday 30 Waxwing were in the centre of Larne (Colin Guy). 
Blackcaps are being reported extensively from gardens e.g. at Ballystrudder, Islandmagee, (Robert McDowell)

The probable Asian Lesser Whitethroat was again on sow today at Drogheda (Irish Birding).

If not in your diary, don't forget Martin Garners forthcoming talk on the 11th February at CIYMS, east Belfast.

Bird News for Friday 14th January

2 male Smew are now present at RSPB Portmore Lough Reserve no sign of female but is probably still present.

A 1st winter Med Gull and 5 Carrion Crow were at Killyleagh Harbour.(C.Murphy)

An inland GN Diver and a Greenshank were at the west end of Lower Lough Erne in Fermanagh.(B.Robson)

A Little Egret was in Moat Park, Dundonald.(A.Lovell)

A female Blackcap was visiting a garden in Kinedar Cres in Belfast.(P.West)

Ocean of Wings Touring Film Festival

A one day festival of seabird films to be shown in Northern Ireland:
Saturday 5th March 2011
10am – 4.30pm
Tollymore National Outdoor Centre
Bryansford, Co Down
The detailed programme of films and speakers for the day has not yet been finalised. However, because time is moving on, and demand for the limited number of places is likely to be high, it has been decided to let everyone know the date and venue for the festival, and to allow those that are interested to book their place. Due to sponsorship for the event by NIEA it has been possible to keep the cost of tickets to just £10. This will include teas, coffees and a lunch, as well as the films and the speakers.
The day will include:
A small number of seabird specialist speakers
Details of a new seawatching initiative being developed by a wide range of partners and being coordinated by BTO
The opportunity to network with seabird enthusiasts
A large number of Seabird films.

For further details and a booking form, please email Shane Wolsey at:

Bird News Thursday 13th January

A male and a female Smew were at Portmore Lough and a Mealy Redpoll was at Lurgan Park Lake. (Dave Allen).

30 Shoveler and 100 Fieldfares were at Collectors Bay at the Quoile Pondage. (Craig Nash)

4 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks behind the harbour at Ballyhalbert. A Raven was displaying in the carpark at Mountstewart and a Grey Plover was behind the harbour at Portavogie. (Derek Polley).

3 Purple Sandpiper were at Orlock Point. (H McCullough).

Yesterday 500/600 Starlings were going to roost at Fivemiletown. (George Henderson).

Starlings - Winter Plumage

At this time of year, not only are Starlings an amazing sight going to their roost (see previous posts) but they are also resplendent in their spotty winter plumage. Again, Danny Boyd has captured this:
Starling, winter plumage, Belfast - Danny Boyd
However, in the bird world, not all Starlings are the same. The photograph of the bird below was taken by Barry Heinrich in South Korea. Look at the large bright spotting on this bird - and the very long bill!
Starling, South Korea - Barry Heinrich, Birds Korea

By the way, the Birds Korea website is one of the best around (and much better than this one!). The quality of the bird photographs is superb and many eastern vagrants are featured! Look under the 'Birds' tab at the website:

Starlings over Belfast, Danny Boyd

Bird News Wed 12th January

12 Waxwing were along Circular Road in Larne at the roundabout near the railway station (David Gillespie).
4 RT Diver, 2 Stonechat and a Little Grebe were at Briggs Rocks near Groomsport (P McCullough).
3 Sandwich Tern, Tullyhill Bay, Strangford Lough (David McKnight)
A Lesser Redpoll, Siskins and Greenfinches were visiting a garden at Magheraveely, Co. Fermangh (Stephen Scarlett).

Bird News for Tues 11th January

Thanks to Danny Boyd who kindly sent in some great flight shots of an Oystercatcher(top) a Turnstone (middle) and a friendly ? garden visitor (bottom)
30 Waxwing were on the Shankill Road in Belfast, a male and female Sparrowhawk were also present to-day. 2 Raven were also seen in the area.(C.Cardy)
The Ferruginous Duck was again present on the Balancing Lakes Craigavon.(irishbirding)

Along the north coast the male Goosander was still presen at Ballycastle, and 3 fem/imm. Goosander at Cushendun Bay. The adult RB Gull still at Portrush east strand car park.(C.Guy)

The adult hybrid Common/Ring-billed Gull still at Millisle.(G.Gordon)

On the River Quoile the imm/female Smew was 100m downstream from the main road bridge to Killyleagh, A Little Gull flew over the road down to the yacht club near the hide, a Carrion Crow was at Castleview in Killyleagh and another Carrion Crow,200 Brent,2BT Godwit, and a Greenshank at the strand in Killyleagh.(S&J Marshall)
Killard had 2 Knot, 16 Ringed Plover, 100 Teal, 60 Turnstone, 22 Dunlin and an unusual Little Egret, the bay between Strangford and Killard had 3 Sandwich Tern.(C.Nash)

On this date

The 11th January 1802 saw the first Two -barred Crossbill for Northern Ireland, in fact it was the first for Britain. It occurred at Grenville which was near Belfast. Like most old records the identification of this bird was sketchy, due to the possibility of it been just a Common Crossbill showing some wing bars but I suppose in those days this was surely unknown. There has been 4 records of Two-barred Crossbill the last in 1927 which there was a specimen of in the Ulster Museum, but the specimen has since disappeared so at least there was proof of at least one turning up here. They do turn up in Britain regularly mostly the Scottish Isles and the east coast of Britain.

Bird News Monday 10th January

20 Waxwings and a female Sparrowhawk were at the Shankill Road in Belfast. (Colin Cardy).

2 Waxwings were in a garden in Ballyhalbert.

9 Bramblings were in a garden in Ballyholme, Bangor.

A 1st winter Smithsonianus Herring Gull was at Donnybrewer yesterday, only positively identified today.

Bird News Sunday 9th January

Purple Sandpiper - Gavin Ferguson

A Grey Phalarope was off Portstewart and the Ring-billed Gull was still at Portrush East Strand car park (Birdguides)
The female Smew was still showing well at the coal quay on the Quoile pondage.
A female or immature Smew was at Clea Lakes. (Richard Weyl).
A Brambling was in a private garden at Magheraveely, Co Fermanagh (Stephen Scarlett)
Another Brambling and two Siskins were coming to the feeders at the RSPB Harbour Reserve (see photo's below)
10 Bramblings, 3 Siskins, 3 Lesser Redpolls, 12 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch and 10 Long Tailed Tits were in a garden in Whitehead. (Shirley Dunlop).
4 Waxwing were on the Castlereagh Road (Wilton Farrelly)
9 Bramblings were in a garden in Whitehead and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and a Greenshank along the seafront. A Little Egret was at Ballycarry Bridge. (Cameron Moore).
A male Blackcap was at the Quoile visitors centre.
9 Little Egret were at Castle Espie (Paul Scott)
Along the north coast 20 Pink Footed Geese flew east at Ballintoy and 4 Purple Sandpipers were also noted. (Chris Murphy).
A Blackcap was in a garden in Bessbrook in south Down. (Frank Carroll).
2 Crossbill were at Gortnagally pony trail at Slieve Beagh in Co. Tyrone. (Colin Bell).
A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at the river at Ballyholme Bay before flying off to Ballymacormick Point. (George Gordon).

Smew, Quoile Pondage - Philip West

Brambling Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve - Ian Graham

Siskin, Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve - Ian Graham

Fieldfare - George McKee

Bird News 8th January

The Snow Goose was still south of Anns Point, Co Down along with 4 Pink-footed Geese. (Joe Allen)
25 - 30 Waxwings were still at Waterfoot, Co. Antrim. Also, 11 Whooper swans were off the sea there in Red Bay (Pauline Majury)
The first winter male Ring-necked Duck was still at Lough Cowey and a Sandwich Tern at Cloghy Bay Co. Down (Richard Weyl).
The Ring-billed x Common Gull hybrid was at Millisle.
A Goosander was at Cushendun (Keith Bennett)
30 Brambling were still at Richill, Co Armagh (Andrew Poots)
5 male and 5 female Gadwall were on one of the small ponds at Roselawn Cemetery in Belfast - they have been there most of the week (David Clarke).
A female Blackcap was in a garden in Stranmillis in Belfast (Ian Mitchell).
Whooper Swans, Waterfoot - Pauline Majury

Bird News for Fri.7th January

The Ferruginous Duck was off the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island. (E O'Hara).

The female Smew was still at the Quoile pondage.(C.Nash)

25 Brambling were at Cargan Co.Antrim. (R.Weyl)

A GS Woodpecker was seen and heard at the Mourne Mountain Centre in Tollymore Co.Down.(N&P. McKee, K.Leonard, S. Wolsey)

Late news from yesterday 6 Goosander were at Cushendun Bay.(C.Guy)

Waxwing Road Kill

Angus Kennedy has kindly sent in pictures of one of the Waxwing road kills from the flock at Waterfoot. Some pictures are below and on our 'Recent Photographs' page. This birds weight was 65g which is within the norm:
Waxwing (Waterfoot Co. Antrim) - Angus Kennedy

Waxwing feather detail - Angus Kennedy

Bird News Thursday 6th January

The Ring Necked Duck was still at Lough Cowey. (Ed O'Hara).

8 Twite were at Briggs Rocks, Co. Down (Ron Price)

2 Waxwing were at Ormonde Gardens, Castlereagh Road, Belfast (Wilton Farrelly)

The Snow Goose, 4 Pink Feet, 1 Greenland Whitefront and 350 Greylag were in the fields north of Greyabbey.
A Little Egret and a Greenshank were at the pool in the field at Anne's Point

A Hen Harrier and 3 Sparrowhawks were over the trees behind the carpark at Newtownards Sailing Club.

4 Slavonian Grebes were in Big Rock Bay south of Greyabbey.

A Little Egret was on the shore at the south end of Kircubbin

30+ Yellowhammers were with a mixed flock of Chaffinches, Tree Sparrows, Linnets and Skylarks at the south end of Marlfield Road north of Portaferry. (All Ed O'Hara).

Around Belfast 4 LBB Gulls were at Kinnegar shore and a Brambling at the RSPB Harbour Reserve. Another LBB Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon and a LT Duck and 4 Common Scoter at Macedon Point. (S.McKee)

Along the north coast the ad RB Gull was at P'rush East Strand car park and the 2w Med.Gull at the car park to the east of Ramore Head.(M.Tickner)

A Green Sandpiper was seen in flight at Collector's Bay at the Quoile Pondage and a Brambling at the Quoile visitors centre.(D.Blakely)

A Snow Bunting has been visiting a garden in Newry from New Year's Eve.(A.McEvoy)

Snow Goose, South of Anne's Point, Greyabbey - Ed O'Hara

Yellowhammer, Marlfield Road - Ed O'Hara

Bird News Update

The flock of Waxwings were still 1 mile from Waterfoot on the Glenariff Road. The flock has reduced in size and numbered about 200 although unfortunately 4 birds were picked up dead from the road.
Waxwing, Waterfoot - Angus Kennedy

Bird News Wednesday 5th January

The Snowgoose was still with the Greylags in fields north of Greyabbey, visible from the main road, and a Sandwich Tern was at Portaferry. (Frank Carroll).
5 Goosander (only one an adult male) flew out of the river at Cushendun and settled in the bay in the late afternoon. (Colin Guy).
The Ferruginous Duck was still at Craigavon Balancing Lakes and 2 Brambling were in the large mixed finch flock in the Sunflower field on the road down to Reedy Flats, 18 Whooper Swans were in the fields at the Flats along with 200 Greylag Geese. (Ed O'Hara).

Ferruginous Duck, Balancing Lakes - Ed O'Hara

Whooper Swans Reedy Flats - Ed O'Hara

Bird News Tuesday 4th January

The adult Snow Goose was with 4 Pink Feet and 200 Greylags in the fields north of Greyabbey. (George Gordon).

A Waxwing was feeding on apples in a garden at Woodcroft Heights in Ballymena. (Richard Grey).

9 Bramblings were in a garden in Whitehead and an adult Mediterranean Gull along the seafront near the yacht club. 3 Bramblings were in a garden at Ballystruder on Islandmagee. (Cameron Moore).

7 Long Tailed Tits were in a garden in Killyleagh and a Kestrel and Buzzard along the Comber Road. The junction of the Castle Island and Strangford Roads (on the way down to the Quoile Pondage) had a large flock of Chaffinch with 2 Yellowhammer. Coal, Great and Blue Tits. (Joan & Spencer Marshall).

6 Brambling and a Blackcap were in a garden in Ballyholme, Bangor.
Shoveler - George McKee

Bird News for Monday 3rd Jan

The Snow Goose was still present at Ann's Point Co.Down (E.O'Hara)
In addition to the above bird there were also 100 Canada Geese (feral population) a Med.Gull was at Cloghy Bay and 12 Grey Plover at the Dorn,a Grey Plover and a Kestrel were at Ballyquintin Point and a Carrion Crow, 1 Little Egret,2 Redwing, 30 Fieldfare, and 2 Kestrel at Templecowey(A.McCullough)

25 Waxwing were along the Bryansburn Road in Bangor.(R.Weyl)

300 Waxwing were still a mile outside Waterfoot.

Late news from yesterday ( Sun.2nd) 200 Barnacle Geese in a field alongside the Tullynakill Road,north of Whiterock Co.Down.(R.Price)
Copeland Bird Obs - Neville McKee (more under 'Recent Photographs')

Geese at Anns Point, Strangford Lough

The last few days has seen 6 species of geese at Anns Point including the Snow Goose, a Greenland Whitefront, 5 Pink-footed Geese, Greylags, Brent Geese and Canada Geese (feral flock). Anns point is just south of Mount Stewart and the geese favour fields between here and Greyabbey. Below are some pictures of the Snow Goose (also in the pictures are some of the Pink-footed Geese and Greylags):
Snow Goose, Ian Graham

Snow Goose, Philip West

Snow Goose, Philip West

Bird News Sunday 2nd January

Snow Goose, five Pink-footed Geese still at Greyabbey, Ring-necked Duck still at Lough Cowey. (Richard Weyl et al).
RN Duck (presumed 1st W male) - Philip West
 300+ Waxwings at Waterfoot, 1m on the Glenariff Road, Co. Antrim. (Pauline Majury)
Waxwings, Waterfoot, Co. Antrim - Pauline Majury
68 Pink-footed Geese were on the south side of Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough. 95 Greylag and 7 Greenshank were on the north side. 11 Brambling, 3 Blackcap, 5
Siskin and 2 Linnet were in a garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore).
A fem/imm Smew was still at Lough Beg (David Steele).
The Ferruginous Duck was still at Craigavon North Balancing Lake (Birdguides)

Strangford Lough: At Gransha Point  1 Black-throated diver, 3 Slavonian grebe, 1 Sandwich tern. At Marlfield 3 Black-throated Diver, 3 Great-northern Diver, 3 Red-throated Diver, adult Little Gull, 3 Sandwich Tern, Merlin, 30 yellowhammmer, 60 tree sparrow, 150 chaffinch, 20 reed bunting, 150 skylark. At Ballyhenry Island 1 Jack Snipe. At Kircubbin 1 Black-throated diver, 1 Red-throated diver (Richard Weyl)
9 Raven at Maynooth Road, Richhill, Co. Armagh. (Andrew Poots).
Long-tailed Duck, Newtownards Sailing Club
Slavonian Grebe - 5, Greyabbey Bay.

Well done to Chris Murphy who has started his New Year bird list. He had 100 species on a day out mainly in south Down including 3 GN Diver off Tyrella, 40 Twite, 40 Skylark, a Tree Sparrow and 2 Reed Bunting at Tyrella. 6 RT Diver were off Newcastle and 1,000 Dunlin at Dundrum Inner Bay North. 12 Yellowhammer were at Ardilea and 3,000 Shelduck were at the north end of Strangford Lough. 12 Lesser Redpoll were in a garden in Killough and a Little Egret at Dundrum Inner Bay South.

Purple Sandpiper, Newcastle, Mark Killops

More Waxwings

Many thanks to Pauline Majury for the shots below. These birds were seen yesterday (1st January), 1 mile from Waterfoot on the road to Glenarriff.