Bird News Friday 28th February

The Pacific Diver was still at Lough Fea (Chris Ingram)

The Spoonbill was still at Castle Espie.

A single Slavonian Grebe was off Macedon Point and 28 Snipe were using the high tide roost at Whitehouse Lagoon this morning. The hybrid Snow Goose type was still at Glynn in Larne Lough. (David Nixon & Philip McHaffie).

The Glaucous Gull and Ring-Billed Gull were still at East Strand car park in Portrush. Two Red throated Divers were off Ramore Head -both in partial summer plumage and calling to each other. A single Snow Bunting was still at Rathmore Golf Club. Two Great Northern Divers were still in Ballycastle Marina with another two at Cushendun. (Colin Guy).

A Buzzard was being mobbed by 2 Jays in Randalstown forest this morning. (Celine Boyle).

The Glossy Ibis was still at Oxford Island. (Birdguides).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Tom McCreery for the picture of the first Great Northern Diver, to James O'Neill for the picture of the Purple Sandpiper, to 8 year old Aaron Martin for the picture of the Blackbirds, to William Smiton for the pictures of the Black-headed Gull and the Jackdaw, to Colin Guy for the picture of the second Great Northern Diver, to Alex Coroliu for the picture of the Little Grebe, to Alistair Prentice for the pictures of the Goldcrest and the Fulmar, to Christine Cunningham for the picture of the Mallard and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Buzzard, Tree Sparrow and Reed Bunting.




Bird News Thursday 27th February.

A Green Sandpiper was on the banks of the river at Ardilea, close to where it flows into Dundrum Inner Bay North, this morning. (Ron Price)
Our thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pic of the female Reed Bunting. Alex Coroliu for the male Shoveler.

Breeding Bird Survey Training Days

Breeding Bird Survey

The 2014 series of BBS (Breeding Bird Survey) training days starts soon. This BTO/JNCC/RSPB survey is a national volunteer project aimed at keeping track of changes in the breeding populations of widespread bird species in the UK. The survey is designed to be a simple and enjoyable birdwatching exercise, while also providing critically important data on Northern Ireland’s birds. Our one day course (run on five occasions this year) will cover BBS rationale, field methodology and data submission. There is more detail about BBS online at: If you are interested in taking part please let me know by return email which of the following dates and locations is best for you:

Date                     Event                                                 Venue                    Cost
Sat 8th Mar          BBS Methodology training day       RSPB Portmore      Free
Thu 13th Mar       BBS Methodology training day       Castle Archdale      Free
Fri 14th Mar         BBS Methodology training day       Peatlands Park        Free
Fri 28th Mar         BBS Methodology training day       Limavady               Free
Sat 29th Mar        BBS Methodology training day       Castle Espie            Free

Bird News Wednesday 26th February

A juvenile Glaucous Gull and the usual Glaucous / Herring hybrid were at Enniskillen tip, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

The female Lesser Scaup was still at Dunfanaghy New Lake. Also present were 2 Scaup and a Long-tailed Duck. (Chris Ingram).

There was approx 20 Great Northern Divers and 2 Red-throated Divers close in to the pier in Newcastle, a number of Purple Sandpipers on the rocks at the pier and approx 60 Common Scoter a few hundred yard out. (Fulton Somerville).

2 female Brambling were in a garden at Aghnaleck near Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson).

The Surf Scoter was still off the harbour n Newcastle. (Birdguides).

Thanks to todays photographers, to Alex Coroliu for the pictures of the Glaucous Gull, Kittiwake and Guillemot, to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Raven, the Pied Wagtail and the Tree Sparrows, to Colin Guy for the picture of the Great Northern Diver, to Tom McCreery for the pictures of the Curlew and the Red-throated Diver, to Mark Killops for the picture of the Purple Sandpiper and to James O'Neill for the pictures of the Fulmars and the Coot.



Bird News for Tuesday 25th February

An adult Mediterranean Gull (with nearly a full hood) was at Glynn and 3 Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern and 3 Purple Sandpiper at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

3 Great Northern Divers were at Ballycastle Harbour – two of them in the the Inner Marina – one of them
has a deformed lower mandible.  Another Great Northern was at  Marconi’s outfall nearby. At Portrush a Black-throated Diver was off the East Strand near the Arcadia. The Ring Billed and Glaucous are still present. (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the Treecreeper pic and Mark Killops for the Kittiwake:

WONIBP's - 2014

The NIOC event on the night of 19th March has now moved to the Kennedy room at Cultra Manor. Best of luck to everyone who has entered!

Bird News Monday 24th February

9 Common Crossbills were at Tullychurry Forest, Co Fermanagh today. (Brad Robson).

A Carrion Crow was in a field at Ballyvaston, north of Squires Hill outside Belfast, loosely associating with a group of Hooded Crows. (Clive Mellon).

3 Great Northern Diver were at Glenarm and a Buzzard was nearby. (Stephen Maxwell).

A Great Northern Diver was at Waterfoot. (Dick Glasgow).

The adult male Surf Scoter was with several hundred Common Scoter off Newcastle Harbour. At least 18 Great Northern Diver were in the area - some of them very close (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Dick Glasgow for the first Great Northern Diver picture and the Grey Heron picture, to Stephen Maxwell for the second and third pictures of Great Northern Divers and for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Curlew and to Mark Killops for the picture of the Fulmar. You can see more NI bird pictures at


Bird News Sunday 23rd February.

The Pacific Diver was again seen on Lough Fea. Co. Tyrone.(T.Ennis/C.Gillespie.)
Before yesterday the last reported sighting to the blog was Sunday 2nd February.

A male and female Surf Scoter where offshore at Newcastle. Co.Down.(Birdguides)

The Glossy Ibis was seen at the Closet Meadows, Oxford Island.(M.Killops/M McManus)

Ballyquintin Point,Co Down had a Short-eared Owl and a Jack Snipe. Portavogie had 33 Great-Northern Diver.(R.Weyl)

A pair of Goosander was along the River Main at Slaght near Ballymena (David Steele).

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard along the Ulster Way at Ballyleidy in Clandeboye Estate (Karl Hamilton).

The Pink-footed Goose was still at Ann's Point with a notable count of 10 Stock Dove in adjoining field. 3 Sandwich Tern where at Portaferry along with 4 Carrion Crow.(G.Armstrong/P.West.)

Our thanks to (from the top)Tom McCreery for the Purple Sandpiper. Lindsay Hodges for the Carrion Crow. Tony Donaldson for the female Blackcap. Alex Coroliu for the Glaucous Gull, this photo was taken at Greenore,Carlingford Lough.


Bird News Saturday 22nd February

The Pacific Diver was seen again at Lough Fea today (Shane McGarvey).

The Glossy Ibis was at Kinnego, Oxford Island (Cecil Smyth)

The Spoonbill was on the lake at Castle Espie, Co Down (Wilton Farrelly)

A Raven was in flight at Carnmoney Hill. (Jim McKeown)

A male Blackcap feeding in a garden in Templepatrick. (Sandy McWilliams)

At Kircubbin yacht club  were 8 Black-throated Diver. Between Kircubbin and Greyabbey Bay were 19 Slavonian Grebe. A Jack Snipe was at Horse Island. (Richard Weyl)
3 Long tailed Duck. 2 male and 1 female were off Carrickgergus harbour, Belfast Lough this morning. The adult Ring billed Gull was at Carrickfergus harbour today (Paul McCullough)
An adult Glaucous Gull was at Greenore, Carlingford Lough (Alex Coroliu)
85 Brent Geese and 2 Little Egret were at Mill Bay, Greencastle, Co Down. (Matthew Scott)
Three Sand Martins were seen in Waterford today - spring is here!

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of a Tree Sparrow, Karl Martin for the Carrick Ring-billed, Alex Coroliu for the Glaucous Gull and Cecil Smyth for the Glossy Ibis. You can see more pics at

Bird News Friday 21st February.

The male Surf Scoter was seen again off the harbour at Newcastle Co.Down.(Birdguides).

2 male and a female Brambling and 4 Siskin were in a garden on the Belmont Road, Belfast (Philip West)

The long staying Spoonbill still showing at Castle Espie. 2 Black Throated Divers where at Kircubbin yatch club and the Pink footed Goose with the Grey Lag geese in the field near Ann's Point.(S.McKee)

Slightly further afield...The male American Widgeon was still at the Culdaff Estuary in Donegal.(Chris Acheson)

Our thanks to Cameron Moore for the pic. of a Fulmar. Also to Stuart McKee for the Spoonbill.

Bird News Thursday 20th February

The Little Egret was still behind McDonalds at Dundonald. (Paul Scott)

Circa 20 Purple Sandpipers were at Newcastle (Noel Austin)

53 Black Tailed Godwit were seen flying over the fen at Portmore Lough. (Ciarán Burns)

Two Snow Buntings were seen on Castlerock beach (Alex Tinlin)

Killybegs, Donegal today had 4 Kumlien's (two 1st & two 2nd winter) 6 Glaucous and 5 Iceland Gulls (Seamus Feeney)

Yesterday a Slavonian Grebe, 6 Great Northern Diver and 6 Razorbill were between Glenarm and Carnlough (Colin Irwin)

Thanks to Noel Austin for these Purple Sandpiper pics and Alex Tinlin for the Snow Bunting and Dick Glasgow for the Rook: