Bird News Thursday 28th February

Two Waxwing were at Roughfourt, Mallusk today.

Two Little Egrets were at Myroe (Christine Cassidy)

A Little Egret was roosting in Victoria Park last night, 27th (from Roy Armstrong)

One of the Little Egrets was at the playing field at Moat Park again today (Lindsay Hodges)

A Water Rail was showing at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve. (Jim McKeown)

A probable Red-necked Grebe was off Killyleagh and 6 Carrion Crow at the Netwalk (Spencer and Joan Marshall)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the two pics of the Little Egrets at Myroe. You can see more pics at

Bird News Wednesday 27th February

5 Brambling were visiting a garden on the Belmont Road, Belfast (Philip West)

The Glaucous Gull was still at Ballycastle Harbour along with an Iceland Gull.

A mobile flock of 8/9 Waxwing was at Ballyholme in Bangor (George Gordon).   

8 Long-tailed Duck were just south of Carrickfergus. 6 Turnstone, a Rock Pipit and 6 Black Guillemot were also seen (Dot Blakely).

12 Yellowhammer were with a mixed flock of Chaffinch and Bullfinch at Inch in Donegal, 2 Buzzards were also present. (Christine Cassidy).

Thanks to todays photographers, to Alistair Prentice for this picture of two Rooks sparring, to Christine Cassidy for her picture of a Yellowhammer from Inch, to Stephen Maxwell for his picture of a male Goldeneye at Whitehouse Lagoon, to Adam Middleton for his pictures of the Turnstone and the Ring-billed Gull at Groomsport to Alex Coroliu for his picture of a Little Egret from Carlingford Lough and to Tom McCreery for the female Brambling from Waringstown. You can see more NI bird pictures at  


Making your records count

Many thanks to all who send in records and contribute to the Blog. If you would like to have your sightings of rare and scarce birds recorded, you can do so by emailing us at or reporting to Flightline on 028 91 467408.
Not all records are published eg due to reference to a potential sensitive breeding location. However if for any reason we have missed an email, record or pictures that you have sent in, please feel free to resend.
Many thanks again.

Bird News Tuesday 26th February

15 Waxwings on Castlewellan Rd, Banbridge at 5:30 pm. (Mark Elliott)

At Rockport, Craigavad, Co Down there were 4 Purple Sandpipers in the high tide wader roost. 19 Light-bellied Brent Geese were also present (Clive Mellon)

A female Brambling was in a garden near Londonderry (David Hill)

A 1st winter Iceland Gull was in a ploughed field near Church on road down to Ballintoy. A 3rd winter Glaucous was still at Ballycastle and 2 very tame Great Northern Divers in the Marina there. The Ring-billed Gull was at East Strand Portrush as usual. 150 Greylag Geese flew over Portrush at dusk. Also heard from a third party – Long-tailed Duck still on Rathlin (Colin Guy)

A Waxwing was at Ballymena Ecos Park (Jeff Larkin).

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in Antrim and 2 Raven were at the boat club (Mark Smyth)

A Snow Bunting was at Shane's Hill (Joe Lamont)

Yesterday near Lough Shark, County Down were 100+ finches which included 20+ Tree Sparrows and 3 Bramblings (Fulton Sommerville)

Thanks to Mark Elliott for the pic of the Banbridge Waxwings, taken with mobile phone! Also thanks to Alistair Prentice for this unusual Brent Goose portrait an to Joe Lamont for the Snow Bunting.

Bird News Monday 25th February

Yesterday at Larne Lough a Pink-footed Goose was with 38 Greylag at Church Bay. 2 Little Egret were at Ballycarry Bridge and 2 Brambling and a Blackcap in a garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

4 Brambling were in a garden in Pirrie Road off the Belmont Road in Belfast. (Philip West).

There were 2 Little Egrets along the River Enler at Dundonald this morning. One was at the bridge over the Grahamsbridge Road, then made its way to various places along the Enler parallel to the Comber Road, the second was on the football field. A female Blackcap was visiting a garden in Kings Road, Knock in Belfast. (Lindsay Hodges).

Thanks to todays photographers, to Lindsay Hodges for the Little Egret from Dundonald, to Iris Miller for the Shag from Glenarm, to Christine Cassidy for the first Dipper picture, to Chris Colhoun for the second Dipper from the River Roe, to Alex Coroliu for the Buzzard from outside Newry, to Alistair Prentice for the Treecreeper picture and to Tom McCreery for the Long-tailed Tit picture. You can see more NI bird pictures at




Bird News Sunday 24th February

1 Snow Goose, blue phase, with ca 70 gwf geese, Lough Macnean Lower, Fermanagh.  1ad Yellow-legged Gull Enniskillen dump. (Keith Bennett)

1 male Long-tailed Duck, Killowen Point, Carlingford Lough.(J.Devlin)

An ad Med. Gull was at Ardilea Co. Down.(Dermot Hudges)

A Brambling and a female  Blackcap were visiting a garden on the Kings Road in Belfast.(Lindsay Hodges)

25 Snow Bunting were at the old landfill site along Hightown Road above Glengormley. 50 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing were along Star Bog Road and 13 Raven and 2 Buzzard at Capanagh (Gerard McGeehan)

Slightly further afield a Black-necked Grebe was of Inch Pier.(N.Warnock) there was also 2 Smew present.(Birdguides) below is a photograph of the Black-necked Grebe kindly sent to us by Mervyn Guthrie

Our thanks to Alistair Prentice for this pic of a male Red-breasted Merganser.

Bird News Saturday 23rd February

At Murlough Bay, Co Down were 1pr Velvet Scoter, 12 Long-tailed Duck, 10 Red-throated Diver, all with >1000 scoter flock. A female Merlin was at Ballyquintin Point (Keith Bennett)

At Craigavon North lake was the long staying Little Gull. in the Portmore area were 300 + Whooper Swans and 1 Bewick Swan (Ed O'Hara)

13 Long-tailed Duck and 5 Red-throated Diver were off Rhanbuoy Park, Carrickfergus (Wilton Farrelly)

The Green-winged Teal was still at Barr Hall on the Outer Ards. (Joe Lamont/ Keith Bennett). 

 A Little Egret was at Anns Point and a Sandwich Tern at Portaferry. 3 Raven were at Ballyquinton Point (Joe Lamont)

A Black-necked Grebe was visible from the Causeway to Inch. Also an impressive count of 43 Yellowhammers in the area (Christine Cassidy / Inishowen Wildlife Club)

Two drake Smew were still at Inch, Donegal.

A Chiffchaff was today in Whiteabbey Co. Antrim. Also a Coromorant at Hillsborough Lake Co, Down seemed to be showing signs of the continental type (Paul McCullough)

Rathlin Island had Long-tailed duck, Purple Sandpiper and a Merlin (Neal Warnock)

An adult Ring-billed Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon (Wilton Farrelly)

At Strangford Lough a female Merlin, 2 Grey Plover, 8 Greenshank, 9 Knot, 300 Greylag, 500 Golden Plover and good numbers of Pintail were seen along the Inner Ards. Other birds of interest included a Red throated Diver at Newcastle Road, Kearney, also 3/4 Sinensis Cormorants at Lough Cowey and a Little Egret at Salt Water Brigg. (Bangor RSPB local group / Fulton Somerville / Jim Whitla)

A male and a female Brambling were in a garden in Waterloo Park in Belfast. 2 Snow Bunting were at Wolf Hill and 20 Snow Bunting at the old landfill site along Hightown Road above Glengormley (Larry Toal)

Along the north coast 2 Red-legged Partridge were at Broighter Road, a Little Egret at Myroe Levels and a female Merlin at Crindle (Theo Campbell)

50 Razorbill were seen in flat calm conditions between Portrush East Strand and the Skerries. 3 Waxwing were at a farm along the Ballymoney to Ballybogy Road (Richard Gray)

The second-winter Mediterranean Gull was still at Whiteabbey shore (Stuart McKee)

A Little Egret was at the Enler River along Grahamstown Road in Dundonald (Derek Polley)

Thanks to Ed for this pic of the Little Gull and to Alistair Prentice for the Redwing and to Joe Lamont for the Barr Hall Green-winged Teal. The Merlin was taken by Fulton Somerville.

Snow Bunting Hand Crafted By Theo Campbell

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Bird News Friday 22nd February

The Glaucous Gull was still at Ballycastle this morning. (Neal Warnock).

30 Waxwings were in Newtownards in an apple tree on the Donaghadee Road this morning.

A small flock of Waxwings were feeding in gardens in Ashley Gardens, Castlewellan Road, Banbridge. (David McCreedy).

2 Brambling are visiting a garden in north Antrim, see pictures below. (Dick Glasgow).

52 Waxwings were still at Fern House in Antrim Area Hospital this morning. (Clive Mellon/ Gerard McGeehan).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Alistair Prentice for the pictures of Waxwings from Lurgan, to Alex Coroliu for the pictures of Tree Sparrows taken at Portmore, to David Cassells for the Goldcrest picture, to Dick Glasgow for the Siskin and Brambling pictures to Tom McCreery for the Greylag Goose picture and to Chris Colhoun for the Long-tailed Tit, Jay and Blackbird pictures. You can see more NI bird pictures at




Bird News Thurs.21st February.

48 Waxwing were at the Antrim Area Hosptial, they were feeding on cotoneaster nr Fern House. They have been there for a few days now.(S.McWilliams)

A second-winter Mediterranean Gull was at Whiteabbey on the Antrim side of Belfast Lough (Stuart McKee).

The Little Egret was still near McDonalds in Dundonald (Tony McCormick). Probably the same was also seen in flight over Summerhill Avenue (Lowell Mills)

100+Fieldfare/Redwing (mostly Redwing)  were feeding in a corner of Aghacommon Embankment and Ballyneery North Rd, Derrymacash.(B.Campbell / P.Flowerday) 

The Little Egret was still at victoria Park (Gilly Irwin)

A Brambling was still visiting a garden at Knock (Lindsay Hodges)

David McCormack seen a Common Gull at Millisle to-day with a blue ring, anyone with information on where it was ringed contact the blog.

Our thanks to (from the top)Chris Colhoun- Coal Tit.  Tom McCreery-Stonechat.  Alistair Prentice- Carrion Crow.  Linsay Hodges - Female Blackcap, for to-days photographs.

Bird News Wednesday 20th February

There was a redhead Goosander on Derrin Lough near Tempo, Co Fermanagh today in the late morning (Clive Mellon)

The little egret is still at the small stream at McDonalds in Dundonald (Chris Henry)

An Eastern Jackdaw was at Antrim Marina, (Mark Smyth)

At Briggs Rocks were 1 Whimbrel today and a Snow Bunting flying over this afternoon (Colin Guy)

A Red Kite with no wing tags was just outside Ballywalter. In south Down 2 Red Kite were along Old Rathfriland Road and 6 Raven along the Upper Bann northeast of Rathfriland (Simon Morton, Lowell Mills)

A Gannet went east past Groomsport (George Gordon)

Many thanks to Mark Smyth for the picture of the Eastern Jackdaw and to Alistair Prentice for the Fieldfare.

Red Kite Talk

The last in the winter series of the Red Kite talks is Thursday 28th February 2013, 7.30 pm, Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Bryansford.

For information on directions, prices and how to book your place, please see

Red Kites, Wales - Adam McClure

Mealy Redpoll

Thanks to Chris Acheson for these pics of a Mealy Redpoll, photographed and ringed in his garden in Dunmurry on the 17th February.
In the bottom pic, the Mealy is the left hand bird whilst our nominate Lesser is on the right.
Such pics of Mealy Redpoll in NI are uncommon but go to show that even in your garden, there are rare birds to be found!