Bird News Friday 31st October.

Malin Head Co.Donegal had 3 Snow Bunting and a flock of 40 Twite.(Ronan McLaughlin)

Below is a photo of a Common Gull sent in by Cameron Moore bearing a ring with the lettering 2ADK, Cameron would like to know where the bird  was ringed any info.please pass it on to the blog. 

Bird News Thursday 30th October

A Short-eared Owl was at Groomsport (Frank Murphy)

St John’s Point, from 8.30-9.00 had 10 Tree Sparrows, 250 Linnets, 50 Skylarks, 100 Lapwings, a pair of Stonechats, Buzzard, Kestrel and a Redwing. (Chris Murphy)

An immature Long-tailed Duck was at Corbet Lake this afternoon; 1 Redshank at Loughbrickland was unusual for that location. (Joe Furphy)

The drake American Wigeon was still at the Culdaff Estuary. (Irish Birding)

A Richardson's Cackling Goose 
was once again with Barnacle Geese at Lissadell, Co Sligo (Seamus Feeney)

Look out for the Strangford Brent Geese which are featuring on Autumnwatch tomorrow night.

Thanks to Philip McErlean for the PC of a Merlin:

Bird News Wednesday 29th October

A Slavonian Grebe was seen on the River Bann today about one mile upstream from the hide at the Barmouth, see picture below. (John Clarke).

St John’s Point between 8.30 and 10.30am had 2 juvenile/female Merlins, 1 juvenile female Peregrine, 1 female Sparrowhawk, 20 Twite, 40 Linnets, 20 Goldfinches, 30 Tree Sparrows, 4 Mistle Thrushes, 50 Skylarks (more calling high, out of sight; also heard going over Killough previous evening between 7pm and 11pm), 42 Magpies, 2 Stonechats and 30 Mallard on the sea. Also single Porpoise, Common Seal and Grey Seal. (Chris Murphy).

Scarva to Poyntzpass produced: - 7 Buzzard, 5 Fieldfare, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Kingfisher, 10 Linnet, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Raven, c30 Skylark, 3 Treecreeper and 2 Water Rail calling. (Fulton Somerville).

The Long-tailed Duck was still at Myroe Levels along with 5 Greenshank, 3 Yellowhammer and good numbers of Skylark. A Black-throated Diver and 2 Slavonian Grebe were off the Levels and 1,000 Golden Plover at Magilligan (David Clarke, John Pyper).   

2 Red Kite, 2 Kestrel and a Reed Bunting with a flock of Linnets were at Tyrella (Warren Fowles).

Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of the Slavonian Grebe, to Karl Martin for the pictures of the Meadow Pipit, Ringed Plover and Linnet, to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Starling and to Dick Glasgow for the Wren pictures.



Bird News Tuesday 28th October

St John’s Point was quiet this morning, best was a pair of Shelduck. In Killough there were 6 Little Egrets, a Greylag and a family of 6 Whoopers (incl. 4 juvs), 32 Ringed Plover and 6 Tree Sparrows, (Chris Murphy)

Ballykelly had small groups of Whooper Swans totalling 40 birds, 35 Pale-bellied Brent, 2 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Pintail, 3 Little Egrets and c 80 Skylarks. Myroe Levels produced 20 Whooper Swans,1 Pink-footed Goose,1 Long-tailed Duck,1 Scaup (the latter two in the drainage channel) 2 Little Egrets, a Peregrine with a kill and 12 Greenshank. (Coleraine RSPB Group)

A Red-flanked Bluetail, the fourth Irish record, was at Tarmon on the Mullet Peninsula.

Thanks to Karl Martin for this pic of a Stonechat at Tyrella and to Margaret Adamson for the Pintail at the Maltings, Strangford:

2015 Calendar

THE IN TOUCH WITH THE WILD PHOTOGRAPHY 2015 Desktop Calendar is now available to buy, priced £4.99 plus 99p P&P delivery to Northern Ireland, UK Mainland & the Republic of Ireland. 
This year's Calendar includes images that have been published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, Birdwatch Magazine and Birdwatching Magazine images also included are Wheatear, Snow Bunting , Dipper etc Many have also been shown on this blog!

To place an order, please email Christine Cassidy at

Bird News Monday 27th October.

A fem. Merlin and a Kestrel where at St Johns Point.(Chris Murphy)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehead and 5 Twite at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan).

 A Great Northern Diver was off Groomsport (George Gordon).

There was 18 Little Egret at Ballycarry, 10 Snipe at Glynn sea front and 16 Greenshank at the bay on the left of the Rugby grounds in Glynn.(Margaret Adamson)

 Yesterday 9 Buzzard were at Agheton Drive in Portstewart but up to 12 have been present over the last week (Jane McLoughlin).


Visiting Birder

Aidan Morgan, an American birder, will be visiting in NI in December and January, staying in the Newry/Armagh area.

He is interested in joining any bird walks or outings taking place around the Newry/Armagh area during his stay.

If you are aware of any such events that may be of interest to Aidan please let us know and we will be happy to pass them on.

Bird News Sunday 26th October

A first-winter Mediterranean Gull was at Carrickfergus Harbour (Adam McClure).

Ballyquintin Point had 3 Manx Shearwater and 5 Sandwich Tern. Kirkiston had a Merlin and 300 Golden Plover. (Richard Weyl).

Kearney had a Merlin and 2 Sandwich Tern. (Philip West/Ian Graham).

Thanks to Sonya Duff for the picture of a Merlin which visited her garden and to Jane McLaughlin for the picture of the Purple Sandpiper.


Bird News Saturday 25th October

A dark morph Snow Goose (young bird) was with 100s of Greylags at Marlfield (N of Portaferry, Outer Ards). (Keith Bennett)

Ramore Head had..2 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 1Long-tailed Duck, 5 Twite, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 3 Whooper Swan, The Ring-billed Gull still at East Strand car park.(Neal Warnock)

The drake Pintail was showing well at RSPB Portmore Reserve this morning (Brenda Campbell and Robin Brown)

3 Swallows were heading south at Newry this morning. (Frank Carroll)

A Ruff was in a stubble field at Kearney. (Richard Weyl)

Between 9am and 10am 5 Great Northern Divers, 4 Scoter and a pair of Eider passed south. Also 1,000 Goden Plover, 100 Lapwing, 500 Starling, 100 Skylark, 20 Tree Sparrow and 20 Twite at the point. Five House Martins and three Swallows flew south over Downpatrick at 3pm.( Chris Murphy)

Inner Dundrum Bay had a Raven,, Carrion Crow,, Little Stint and 5 Greenshank. Opposite Tyrella Carpark - female Merlin, 2 Red Kite, 2 Raven, Buzzard.

 St John's Point - 5 Gt Northern Diver, 2 Red Throated Diver, Buzzard. Killough to Ardglass - 3 Swallow, Male Merlin, Red Throated Diver, 30 Ringed Plover, Little Egret.( J Whitla, R Hart, M Richardson, F Somerville)

Bird News Friday 24th October

A juvenile Little Stint was with around 12 Dunlins in the bay at Kilclief, Co. Down, beside the GAA pitch. A Sandwich Tern was also present. (David Nixon).

3 Wheatear, 20 Twite, a Red Kite, Sparrowhawk and 120 Ringed Plover were at Tyrella (Stuart McKee).

Yesterday up to 20 Whooper Swans were opposite the hide at the Quoile Pondage. (Tony Donaldson).

St John's Point between 9am and 10am had two Merlins including an adult male, 500 Skylark, 70 Tree Sparrows, 40 Goldfinches, 10 Meadow Pipits, 28 Magpies, 10 Blackbirds, 3 Snipe, and 800 Golden Plover. (Chris Murphy).

Thanks to Tony for this picture of the Whoopers.


Bird News Thursday 23rd October

Yesterday there were  3 Red Kites flying over Tyrella.15-20 Twite were also present. (Noeni Bryars)

A drake Pintail was at Portmore lLugh today. (Anne Guichard)

Circa 150 Whooper Swans and 150 Linnets were at Runkerry, close to the Giants Causeway (Dick Glasgow)

You can share rare / scarce birds news via , Twitter: @nibirds or text: 07973 403146.

Thanks to Noeni Bryars for these pics of a Red Kite and Sanderling and Anne Guichard for the Pintail:

Bird News Wednesday 22nd October

A 1st winter Glaucous Gull was near Dunseverick harbour. 2 Barnacle Geese and 9 White fronted Geese were seen flying past. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was at Marconi’s outfall at Ballycastle. 35 Whooper Swans were seen flying along the coast with another 50 in a field near Runkerry, Bushmills. (Colin Guy).

St John’s Point between 8.30 and 9.00 had 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Divers, otherwise very small numbers of seabirds. 1500 Golden Plover are still in the area.
Also, for the record, a drake Ring-necked Duck in eclipse was at Inch Lake on 13th October when 84 species were recorded on Inch Island (including a pair of Black Swans with a cygnet, Pheasant and a lone Feral/Racing Pigeon). 100 species might be possible on the island at this time of year. (Chris Murphy).

3 Red Kite, 20 Sanderling, 16 Common Scoter, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Great Northern Diver were at Tyrella. (George Gordon).

A Snow Bunting was at Castlerock and a 1st winter Iceland Gull at the Barmouth. (Birdguides).

Tory Island had a Northwestern Redpoll, a Lapland Bunting and a Pomarine Skua. (Birdguides).

Bird news Tuesday 21st October.

This morning between in very windy conditions 0830 and 1100 hours Ramore Head had 8 Pomarine Skuas ,7 Great Skuas (all in one  flock) , 4 Arctic Skuas , 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Leach’s Petrels, 1 juvenile Sabine’s Gull, 1 “small” Canada Goose,6 Barnacle Geese,37 Brent Geese, 8 Tufted Ducks,9 Wigeon, 2 Red breasted Mergansers, 6 Teal, 2 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red Throated Divers,1 Snow Bunting and 2 Redwings (Colin Guy)

Addional news from Ramore from 11.00 am until dusk produced 32 Pom Skuas, 2Great Skua, 2 Leach's Petrel, 3 Canada Geese,25 White fronted Geese,9 Whooper Swan,53 Brent Geese, 3 Red breasted Mergansers, 8 Widgeon and 4 Great Nothern Diver (Colin Guy, Ronald Surgeoner, Ian Dickey)

St Johns Point Co.Down in the morning had 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, 40 Twite,6 Goldfinch,100 Skylark,60 Linnet, 1500 Golden Plover, 1 Buzzard, 1 Little Egret. Killough in the evening had 1 adult Mediterrean Gull (Chris&Tim Murphy)

Melmore Head Co.Donegal had 33 Pomarine Skua, 8 Great Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 4 Grey Phalarope, 12 Barnacle Geese, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Great Northern Diver.(Eric Randall)

Rock Pipit - Stephen McMillan

Bird News Monday 20th October.

The Snow Bunting was still at Ramore Head along with a Wheatear. The long staying Ring-billed Gull remains at East Strand car park, Portrush. (Christine Cassidy/Lindsay Hodges.)

2 Snow Bunting where on the road down to White Rocks, Portrush. The flock of Whooper Swan nr Runkerry, Bushmills now exceed 100 birds. (Colin Guy)

7 Raven were over Castle/Ward Park in Bangor (Derek Polley). A pale phase Arctic Skua, Black-throated Diver and 6 Pale-bellied Brent were at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

 2 Mediterranean Gull (adult, first-winter), 7 Little Egret and 4 pale-bellied Brent were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

St John's Point for an hour this morning produced a Great Northern Diver,7 Red-throated Diver, 3 Brent Geese, 1 Red-breasted Merganser,1 Great-crested Grebe, 20 Twite, 30 Goldfinch, 30 Linnet, (Tim Murphy)

Wheatear - Christine Cassidy.
Snow Bunting - Christine Cassidy. 
Curlew - David Hill.

Bird News Sunday 19th October

A Glaucous Gull flew south at Kirkiston on the Outer Ards, 420 Golden Plover and 2 Swallow were also present. (Richard Weyl).

4 Barnacle Geese and 2 Whoopers flew past Ramore Head at dusk. (Colin Guy).

60+ Whoopers Swans were at Island Hill on Strangford Lough this evening. (Chris Henry).

2 Raven and 5 Swallow were at the Gobbins on Island Magee (Billy Hamilton, Cameron Moore). 

12 Swallow and 8 Twite were at Whitehead (Gerard McGeehan).  

16 Whooper Swan (12 adult and 6 juvenile) were at Strand Lough and a Merlin, 12 Linnet, 4 Little Egret, 15 Grey Heron and 3 Carrion Crow at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).   

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head and the adult Ring-billed Gull at Portrush East Strand (Brian Halligan).  

Yesterday amongst other birds a Wheatear, 4 Little Egret, Kestrel and several hundred Golden Plover were at the Floodgates in Strangford Lough (Andy Elliott).

An Arctic Tern in Rathlin Harbour this morning Sunday 19th October 2014 at 11:15am. (Patrick Barton)
Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Sanderling, Turnstone and Ringed Plover and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Goldfinch.

Bird News Saturday 18th October

A drake American Wigeon is at Tullaghan on the Sligo/Leitrim border. (Fionnbarr Cross).

A Long-eared Owl was along the M1 east of Ballygawley at 4.10 this morning. An adult Mediterranean Gull and a Great Skua were between Rossnowlagh and Murvagh in Donegal. (Brad Robson).

Yesterday approximately 50 Whooper Swans and a Kestrel were at Runkerry near Bushmills. (Dick Glasgow).

An Arctic Tern was at Orlock Point. (Richard Weyl).

A Little Egret was at the Floodgates at Newtownards. (David McCormick).

A Kingfisher was at Glynn in Larne Lough (Brian Halligan).  

250 Golden Plover, 50 Lapwing and 3 Skylark were at Flatfield along the River Lagan (David Clarke).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Whoopers and the Stonechat and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Kingfisher.


Bird News Friday 17th October

A Tree Pipit, 30 Redwing, 47 Whooper Swan, 3 Barnacle Geese, a Merlin, Arctic Tern, 5 Chough and 20 Twite were on Rathlin. (Neal Warnock).

A Carrion Crow was on Castlerock beach and a juvenile Little Stint at the Barmouth (Theo Campbell).

3 Red-throated Divers flew past Briggs Rocks this morning. Yesterday Briggs had 4 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver,1 adult Mediterranean Gull,4 Wheatears and a Canada Goose of unknown origin. (Colin Guy).

Bird News Thursday 16th September

A Honey Buzzard was seen today on the Straid Road, east of Bushmills and south of Whitepark Bay. It was last seen heading south after being harassed by a Rook (Dick Glasgow).

A Brambling was at Monea in Co. Fermanagh and a flock of 300 Redwing flew over. (Brad Robson).

The Snow Bunting, a Wheatear and a flock of Twite were at Ramore Head, Portrush. (Christine Cassidy/Ray Brogan).

The Ring-billed Gull was still at the East Strand car-park in Portrush. (Birdguides).

At Larne Lough 21 Little Egret, 3 Greenshank, 2 Dipper and a Kingfisher were at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan).
A Goldcrest was in a garden in Coleraine (W Hiles).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Snow Bunting, Wheatear and Twite, to David Hill for the picture of the Curlew and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Wren.


Bird News Wednesday 15th October

Portrush, Ramore Head had 1 Snow Bunting and 1 Wheatear. The East Strand Car Park had the "resident" Ring-billed Gull.  Bushmills had 38 Whooper Swans in stubble fields; Larrybane had 2 Buzzards and 3 Ravens. (Hill Dick / Peter Robinson)

Rough Island, Strangford Lough had over 1100 Golden Plover (Dot Blakely)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pics of a Stonechat and Buzzard and Robin Cunningham for the Whooper:

Bird News Tuesday 14th October

Two small flocks of Redwing flew west over Divis Mountain, Belfast this morning. Also present were 8 Ravens, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard (Larry Toal).

The American Wigeon was still at the Culdaff Estuary, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. Also present were 53 Chough, 2 Raven and a Buzzard. (Christine Cassidy & Diana Stevenson).

Late news from the 9th was of a probable Littoralis Rock Pipit at Ballywalter Pier, a Mediterranean Gull was at Ballyholme. (Norman Milligan).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the American Wigeon and the Stonechat, to Norman Milligan for the pictures of the probable Littoralis Rock Pipit and the Mediterranean Gull and to Christine Cunningham for the pictures of the Whooper Swans.



Bird News Monday 13th October.

A Slavonian Grebe was at Sandy Bay, Lough Neagh.(Nigel Ireland)

A Barn Owl was over Riverdale Primary School at Legarcurry.(Garry Wilkinson)

In Donegal an American Wigeon was at Culdaff estuary.(Michael McLaughlin)

Yesterday a Barn Owl was 2 miles south of Portrush.(Matthew Tickner)

Our thanks to (from the top) Dessie Loughrey for the Sanderling. Martin Lamb for the Reed Bunting. Margaret Adamson for the Black Guillemot in winter plumage.