Bird News Monday 30th November.

5 Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe were in a flooded field at Carnbane just north of Newry, along the Newry Canal this morning. (Frank Carroll)

An Egret species was on the island at Hillsborough lake,(observer had no optics)Garry Wilkinson.

A Woodcock was at Glengawna in the Gortin Glens. (Annette Elkin)

A flock of 50 Redwing/Fieldfare was in a flooded field along Monlough Road West in Carryduff (David Clarke).

Purple Sandpipers, 5 at Sandy Bay yesterday and today again (Gavin Ferguson)

A Jackdaw at Whitehead Co.Antrim,  showing a white crescent at the side of it's neck, possibly a "Nordic Jackdaw" was sent in by Cameron Moore:

Thanks to Gavin Ferguson for this pic of a Purple Sandpiper:

Bird News Sunday 29th November

A male Brambling was again in a garden in Culcavy. (Garry Armstrong).

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus and a flock of Twite at Whitehead boat compound, see pictures below. (Cameron Moore).

An adult Little Gull came in to roost at the south bay in Carnlough, Co. Antrim. (Jeff Larkin).

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Ring-billed Gull and the Twite and to James O'Neill for the picture of the Red Kite.


Bird News Saturday 28th November

On Thursday 27th a Woodcock flew into the windows of The Waterfront Hall, Belfast. A pair of Peregrines were also seen over Belfast (Rob McAllister)

A Common Scoter was close inshore at Emerson's Quay, Ardmore, Lough Neagh today (James O'Neill)

A Little Egret is again in Orangefield Park East Belfast (Rhona Galway)

A male Brambling was in a garden in Coleraine (Eddie Manthorpe)

50 Redwing were in fields at Ballylumford (Billy Hamilton)

Thanks to Rob for the pic of the Woodcock:

Bird News Friday 27th November

At Castle Espie the following were seen on Strangford Lough from the Brent Hide and Limekiln Observatory 500+ Light-bellied Brent Geese, 30+  Eider, 500+ Oystercatcher, 50+  Black-headed Gull, 350+  Shelduck, 50+  Curlew, 70+ Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 9 Turnstone, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 90 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 13 Great Cormorant, 1 Little Egret. (Toni Castello). 

In Fermanagh the Brambling was still in a garden in Monea and a Long-eared Owl at Boho. (Brad Robson).

Bird News Thursday 26th November

A Red Kite seen today at 10.30 flying over the M1, 2 miles west of Moira roundabout (Pat Flowerday)

A Red Kite was over Mountpanther Estate at 1.45pm today. (Julia Grier)

23 Ruff, 1,200 Lapwing, 3 Pink-footed Geese and 3 Little Egret were at the south end of Lough Beg (David Steele)

52 Whooper Swans were grazing in field at Trummery near Moira (David Hunter)

A pair of Peregrines were seen in Coleraine (Peter Hough)

Bird News Wednesday 25th November

A female Brambling was in a garden in Antrim (Mark Smyth)

A Common Scoter was at Mill Bay in Larne Lough and 3 Twite at Whitehead boat yard (Cameron Moore)

St John’s Point had a Grt Norther Diver, 12 Brent Geese grazing among c. 1,000 Common Gulls, 6 migrant Song Thrushes and a Little Egret; Rossglass to Tyrella had a Fulmar, a Grt Northern Diver in summer plumage, a Red-throated Diver, 6 Common Scoter, a Red Kite, c.200 Sanderling, 3 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Twite (Chris Murphy)

A Jack Snipe was at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB and a Brambling in a garden at Monea (Brad Robson)

Today at Myroe were 350 Brent, 100 Whooper, 5 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank. (Robert McDowell)

For anyone interested, an American Bittern was found in Co Cork today and it gave excellent views!

Bird News Tuesday 24th November

A male Brambling was in a garden at Monea in  Co. Fermanagh, see picture below. (Brad Robson). 

Castle Espie had a Greenshank, Redshank, Little Egret and 5 Little Grebe, and 130 Shelduck, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone, 45 Redshank and a Greenshank were off the Brent Hide (Toni Costello).

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus. (Tom Ennis/Tony Dodds).

Along the Armagh shore of Lough Neagh 50 Meadow Pipit were at Emerson's sandpit, Reedy Flat and 300 Fieldfare and 200 Redwing at Derrycrow (David Clarke).

At the Quoile at dusk around 25 to 30 whooper swans flew in to the bay in front of hide along with up to 40 Greylag Geese and a Snow Goose type hybrid. (Tony Donaldson).

Ballykelly had 35 Whooper Swan, 70 Brent Geese, 1 Little Egret, 1 Greenshank. Myroe had 100 Whooper Swan, 200 Brent Geese, 7 Little Egret, 450 Lapwing, 2 Greenshank and 1 Twite,  Ball's Point had 2000 Golden Plover . (Peter Robinson + Coleraine RSPB Group)  

Thanks to Brad Robson for the picture of the Brambling, to Annette Elkin for the first picture of a Buzzard, to Carolyn Cubitt for the picture of the Greenfinch, to Gavin Ferguson for the picture of the Great Crested Grebes and to Tony Donaldson for the second Buzzard picture.


Bird News Monday 23rd November.

A Black Redstart was at Ballycarry bridge Co.Antrim and 2 Brambling  were visiting a garden in Whitehead.(Cameron Moore) see pics below.

Black Redstart.


Bird News Sunday 22nd November

2 Chough were in flight at Fair Head, Antrim. (Keith Bennett)

An adult winter Mediterranean Gull was at the north foreshore Belfast Lough (Stuart Mckee)

Yesterday 42 Pink-footed Geese were at Inch in Donegal (Brad Robson)

On the east side of Strangford Lough were 7 Slavonian Grebe (5 in Greyabbey Bay, 1 at Kircubbin and 1 south of Horse Island) and a Black-throated Diver in Greyabbey Bay. (Richard Weyl)

The adult Ring-billed Gull and a second winter Mediterranean Gull were at Carrickfergus (Brian Murphy)

A 2nd winter Little Gull was on the river at Ballycastle (Colin Guy)

A Chiffchaff was this morning at Derryboye, near Crossgar. There was a Snow bunting and Kestrel at Killard Point this evening (Jamea O'Neill)

A Red Kite was seen hunting beside the M1 Motorway between Moira & Lurgan (junctions 9 & 10). (Gareth D.A. Platt)

A woodcock was at A5 near Newtonstewart Co Tyrone last night. This afternoon a group of Crossbills and Golden Plover were at Clabby Mountain, co Fermanagh (Colin Bell)

Thanks to James O'Neill for this pic of the Snow Bunting and David McCormick for the Brent Goose:

Bird News Saturday 21st November

19 Whoopers flew from Greyabbey, around the south of Islandhill and up the Enler estuary. (Angus Kennedy)

2 Little Egret flew over Tesco at Portadown this afternoon (Alistair Prentice)

A male Brambling was in a garden at Richhill, Co Armagh (Andrew Poots)

100 Fieldfare were in a grass field along Ballymoney Road, Craigantlet (Leslie McKee)

It is worthwhile keeping an eye out for Little Auks along the coast. Large numbers have been seen in GB.

If you have any rare or scarce bird news which you wish to share, please do so via email  twitter @nibirds  and Flightline 02891467408.

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for this pic of a Black-tailed Godwit and Andrew Poots for the Brambling:

Bird News Friday 20th November

No news so far today.

Thanks to Derek Polley for the pictures of a Whooper Swan and a Snipe taken at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve earlier this week and to Suzanne Belshaw for the picture of the female Goldeneye from Stoneyford Reservoir.


Bird News Thursday 19th November

A Slavonian Grebe was at Oxford Island (Joe Devlin)

Three Glossy Ibis were in meadows just south of River Bann by M1 motorway (Birdguides)

2 Ruff where at the RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve.(Derek Polley)

Bird News Wednesday 18th November

A female/imm Black Redstart was at Quay Lane, Killough. St John’s Point this morning had 70 Fieldfares, 5 Redwings, 2 Stonechats, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Red-throatd Divers and a Great Northern Diver (Chris Murphy)

RSPB Belfast WOW had 2 Ruff, 9 Brent, 3 Gadwall and 9 Snipe (Gerard McGeehan)

A male Crossbill was in a garden at the west end of Rathlin Island (Liam McFaul)

Bird News Tuesday 17th November.

The Ring-necked Duck was still showing at the sewage ponds at Kinnegar Co Down.(T.Ennis/A Dodds)

Bird News Monday 16th November

Around 300 Brent Geese went over Comber in formation at 5.10 this evening apparently en route to Belfast Lough. (Chris Shaw).

12 Whooper Swan were in Belfast Lough off Greenisland this afternoon. They took off & headed in Belfast direction. ( Roger Woodward).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the pier at Ballycastle Marina this afternoon. Late news from yesterday was 7 Pink-footed Geese flying past Brigg’s Rocks. (Colin Guy).

RSPB Belfast WOW today had 12 Brent  Geese, 1 Ruff, 3 Snipe and Black-tailed Godwits, a Peregrine and 2 Whoopers (Noeni Bryars)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this picture of a Peregrine taken at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve.

3000+ Blog Posts

Many thanks to all those who have over the years contributed bird news and photographs to this Blog. We have now reached a milestone where there have been over 3000 separate Blog posts and nearly 1.3 million views. Without everyones support and contributions, this Blog could not exist.
Thank You!

Bird News Sunday 15th November

2 Slavonian Grebe were still at Glynn Station - quite close in south-east of the platform. (Ian Enlander).

Today a Short-eared Owl and 3 Jack Snipe were at Portavogie. Yesterday a Mediterranean gull at Ballyqiuntin Point. (Richard Weyl).

A male Brambling was in a garden at Old Mill Heights in Culcavy. (Garry Armstrong).

A Ring-billed Gull was showing well at Carrickfergus Harbour. (Neal Warnock).

RSPB Belfast WOW had 2 Ruff, 6 Pochard, a Whooper Swan, 60 Knot and 7 Brent (Gerard McGeehan).

Around 30 Whooper Swans were close to Glynn in Larne Lough, you can see a short video of the birds at and a picture of the birds below. (Linda Thompson).

14 Sandwich Terns were at the marina in Portaferry today. (John Wilson Foster).

This afternoon a Little Gull, 2 Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver were off Newcastle, a single Kestrel was at Tyrella, 2 Sandwich Terns were at St John's Point and Brent, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Curlew, Lapwing & Black-tailed Godwits were at Dundrum Inner Bay. (Kevin & Meta Kirkham Brown).

40 Whooper Swan and 160 Lapwing were in flooded fields between Bushmills and Portballintrae. 32 Linnet were nearby (John Wilkinson).

At Strangford Lough 24 Bar-tailed Godwit, 200 Oystercatcher, 700 Pale-bellied Brent, a Kestrel and Buzzard were at Greyabbey (Dot Blakely).
Below is a picture of the Culcavy Brambling and thanks to Neal Warnock for the picture of the Ring-billed Gull and to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Whooper Swans.


CBO Winter Talk this Tuesday

Bird News Saturday 14th November

Two Slavonian Grebe were off Glynn (Neal Warnock)

A male Brambling was visiting a garden in Spa, County Down (David Nixon)

St John’s Pt had a Great Northern Diver; Tyrella a Red Kite, 900 Golden Plover, 300 Sanderling; Bishopscourt: 250 Woodpigeon, 1 Stock Dove; Strangford Narrows another Great Northern Diver; Tullyhill (nr Kilclief) had 3 Whooper Swans, 4 Little Egrets, 550 Golden Plover, 50 Lapwing, a Merlin, 65 Ringed Plover incl a pale (leucistic) bird and 2 Sandwich Terns. Portaferry pontoon (from Strangford) had 4 Sandwich Terns; Castleward Bay had a Carrion Crow and Kingfisher: Tullyratty Great Dam had 100 Greylags and a 'Snow Goose' lookalike, a returning hybrid (Chris Murphy)

A male Brambling was in a private garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

80 Whooper Swans and 1 Greenland White-fronted Goose spent the day on the barley stubble fields near Aghalee (Ralph Walker)

Thanks to David Nixon for the top pic of the Brambling and Cameron Moore for the second pic:

David Nixon:

Cameron Moore:

Bird News Friday 13th November

A Barn Owl was hunting over fields at 4.30am between Comber Road and Ravarnet village. (Garry Wilkinson)

This morning, RSPB Belfast WOW had a Whooper Swan, 3 Brent Geese, a Buzzard and 100+ Greylag Geese (Derek Polley)

A female Common Scoter was off Magheramourne yacht club in Larne Lough, and 25 Whooper Swan and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull at Glynn (Cameron Moore).

Bird News Thursday 12th November

An adult Little Gull was at Whitehead seafront (Cameron Moore)

Little Gull, Cameron Moore:

Bird News Wednesday 11th November

2 Waxwings were perched on a Hawthorn hedge along the A57 near Ballyclare, Co. Antrim this morning. (Neal Warnock).

2 Ruff were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Gerard McGeehan).

2 Long-tailed Duck were at Carrickfergus (Dot Blakely). 

At Larne Lough 23 Whooper Swan and 5 Snipe were at Glynn (Linda Thompson). 

A Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Whimbrel and Sandwich Tern were at Orlock Point. Another Sandwich Tern was at Donaghadee (Stephen Foster, Ronan Owens).  

12 Little Egret were at Patton's Marsh near Newtownards. Another 5/6 Little Egret were in fields near the airport (Ian McKee).

A flock of over 20 Whooper Swans were near Toome today, see picture below. (Angus Kennedy).

A Kestrel and a Short-eared Owl were hunting over Killard and an adult Mediterranean Gull was on Ballyhornan beach (Chris Murphy)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for the first picture of some of the Whoopers at Glynn, to Angus Kennedy for the second picture of the Whooper in flight near Toome and for the picture of Brent Geese and Wigeon in flight near Castle Espie and to Alexander McCooke for the pictures of the Redwing and the Song Thrush in his garden.



Bird News Tuesday 10th November.

A Brambling was visiting a garden in the Gilnahirk area of Belfast.(Ron Price)

A Merlin was at Ballymacormick Point, Co.Down.(Aaron Devlin)

An adult Little Gull and an adult Med Gull along with a Long-tailed Duck where at Crawfordsburn Co.Down to-day, both Gulls where on the beach at the top of the river, the duck of the golf course.(Stuart McKee) see pics below

Adult Little Gull

Adult Med. Gull

Bird News Monday 9th November.

6 Whooper Swan where in the WOW RSPB Belfast harbour estate.(Derek Polley)

A Merlin was at Ballymacormick Point.(Aaron Devlin)

Our thanks to Cameron Moore showing this upsetting photo of Whooper Swans crashing into power lines at Ballycarry bridge, just one of the many  perils that birds face on a daily basis.The good news is the bird apparently survived it's ordeal 

Bird News Sunday 8th November

A juvenile Great Skua and an adult Great Northern Diver flew north past St John's Point during a seawatch between 10am-11am. Also seen were 2 Common Scoter, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Black Guillemot, 3 Common Guillemot, 35 Razorbill, 8 Gannet and 6 Kittiwake. In Killough Harbour in the evening there were 176 Curlew, 40 Brent Geese and 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. (Tim Murphy).

Yesterday a Short-eared Owl was on the rocks on the beach near the harbour at Warrenpoint. (Karen Elliott).

A late Swallow was actively feeding over the Presbyterian graveyard on the Armagh Road in Newry this afternoon. (Rosemary Mulholland).

A Snow Bunting was at Camlough Mountain, Co. Armagh, see picture below. (David Knight).

A 2nd winter Iceland Gull was at Glenarm this afternoon before flying out to fish cages. (Neal Warnock).

A juvenile American Golden Plover was at Myroe. (Birdguides).

Thanks to David Knight for the picture of the Snow Bunting and Will G for the picture of the Short-eared owl at Ballymcormick yesterday.


Bird News Saturday 7th November

Unfortunately one of the Short-eared Owls at Ballymacormick Point has been found dead (Bill Guiller) one other bird was seen later (Adam Middleton)

50+ Whooper swans are at Lough Neagh at Reas wood. 30 Fieldfare were feeding on Hawthorn berries in garden at Ballymacward near Dundrod. 100+ Fieldfare and a Merlin were in fields between Davis mountain and Wheelers road. (David McAllister)

A female Hen Harrier and group of 18 raven at Glenoo mountain, Fivemiletown county Tyrone this afternoon. (Colin Bell)

7 Whooper Swans in flight over Cloughfern, Newtownabbey heading in Belfast Lough direction at 3pm. (Jim McKeown)

Approx 250 Barnacle Geese and 52 Twite were at Malin Head, (Dermot McLaughlin & Christine Cassidy)

A male Brambling was in a garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

Along the River Foyle 5 Black Swan (perhaps from Inch Lake) were at Grangefoyle Road (Brian Hegarty)

Five Bottle-nose Dolphins were heading for Carnlough this morning (David Ledsham). 12 were also seen off Larbe this morning (Neal Warnock)

Thanks to Bill for this pic of the remains of the Short-eared Owl ( more at ), Christine Cassidy for the Twite and Adam Middleton for the Short-eared Owl:

Bird News Friday 6th November

2 Short-eared Owls were still at Ballymcormick, one of the birds was resting for two hours on branches close to the hedge near hay bales wrapped in black polythene, see picture below. (Stephen Maxwell).

Yesterday a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at Greyabbey Bay, see picture below. (Suzanne Belshaw).

3 Whooper Swan flew past Black Arch near Larne (Linda Thompson).

St John’s Point betwenn 9-9.30am had Yellow-legged Gull 1adult, Mediterranean Gull 1adult, 1 Little Egret, 5 Ravens; Rossglass had a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull; Killough Harbour had the juvenile Whooper Swan still present; Killard Point/Kilclief Bay had 200 Linnets, 1-2 Kestrels, 10 Skylarks, 200 Woodpigeons, 30 Snipe, 30 Mallard and a  juvenile Great Northern Diver; Castleward Bay had a Kingfisher, Carrion Crow, 1Greenshank, 10 Bar-tailed Godwits; Quoile Pondage had 300 Teal, 100 Wigeon, 50 Shoveler, 1 Gadwall, 170 Coot; Castle Espie had 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 270 Whoopers, 100 Black-tailed Godwits, 21 Little Egrets (Chris and Tim Murphy, Mark Holling).

A female Sparrowhawk and 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull were at Larne harbour late this afternoon. (Gavin Ferguson)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the picture of the Short-eared Owl, to David Hill for the picture of the Greenshank, to Suzanne Belshaw for the picture of the Mediterranean Gull, to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Whooper Swans and to Gavin Ferguson for the pictures of the Sparrowhawk and the 2nd Mediterranean Gull..



Bird News Thursday 5th November

A Little Bunting was in West Town, Tory Island (Chris Ingram / Theo Campbell)

A Great Northern Diver and 130 Siskin were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB in Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

At Larne Lough a male Goosander and 4 Whooper Swan were at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore)

A Twite was in Ballycastle today (Chris Easton)

Thanks to Annette Elkin for these pics of a Merlin and Short-eared Owl from Myroe yesterday: