Bird News Tuesday 31st May

Red-rumped Swallow was seen on Murlough beach this afternoon heading towards Dundrum at 2.45 pm approx (Garry Wilkinson)

There are four Ruff at RSPB Portmore Lough, two males in breeding plumage, and two females. There was also a Garganey. (Laura Smith)

A Kingfisher was seen at Knockbridge,nr Portadown on the Newry canal side.(Paul Allen)

Yesterday Padddy Dub Lough Beg had 1 Little Egret,  1 pair of Garganey,  2 male Shoveler,  3 Canada Geese,  23 Whooper Swans,  6 Ringed Plover,  4 Dunlin,  30+ Redshank and 20+ Lapwing (Godfrey McRoberts)

Bird News Monday 30th May

A singing male Common Rosefinch was at west town Tory island Co Donegal (Brad Robson).

A Cuckoo was calling at Murlough this morning. (Joyce Millar)

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers were nesting in a front door porch in Antrim. (Mark Smyth)

Thanks to Dougie Gamble for the picture of the Puffin from Lighthouse Island off Donaghadee, to Martin Pettinger for the picture of the Meadow Pipit and to Karl Martin for the picture of the Willow Warbler.


Bird News Sunday 29th May

A Little Stint and a Ruff are at the RSPB Belfast WOW reserve. (Garry Armstrong)

Lough Beg this morning had four female Ruff and two Canada Geese in the southwest corner. Two Cuckoos were at Mullagh (the first seen there for several years). (David Steele)

A Great Skua caught a Kittiwake at the West Light on Rathlin Island (Shane McGarvey)

You can see more pictures of local birds at:

Thanks to Wilf Swain for this pic of a Cuckoo and Chaffinch:

Bird News Saturday 28th May.

A Little Stint was at the RSPB Belfast Harbour estate.(Birdguides)

A Garganey was at RSPB Portmore Lough.(Birdguides)

Long-eared Owl - John Clarke.

Bird News Friday 27th May

A female type Black Redstart was in a sheltered gully on the western side of Slieveanorra. (David Steele)

A pair off Spotted Flycatchers were at Comber town center at the river (Harry Byron)

An Osprey was seen at Inch Lake, Co Donegal (Boyd Bryce)

Bird News Thursday 26th May

7 Crossbills were at Belmore Forest, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

6 Crossbill were also seen over Antrim castle gardens this morning - heading in a roughly northerly direction (Davy Hunter)

A Red Kite was at the Gobbins, Islandmagee this afternoon. Flying south towards Whitehead. (RSPB staff)

Bird News Wednesday 25th May

Six Sanderling in summer plumage were resting on dense wrack off Green Island, Carlingford Lough today, see picture below. (Dougie Gamble).

A Spotted Flycatcher was seen in Derrymore Wood Bessbrook this morning. (Frank Carroll).

Thanks to Dougie Gamble for the picture of the Sanderling, to Annette Elkin for the picture of the Stonechat, to Andrew Pitt for the picture of the Scaup from Ballycastle marina and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Cuckoo.


Bird News Tuesday 24th May

The male Scaup was still at Ballycastle marina. (Birdguides).

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers was along the Riverside Walk, Ballynahinch this evening. (Ian Jackson).

A Short-eared Owl was hunting at Killard this evening, see picture below. (Angus Kennedy)

Thanks to today's photographers.

Short-eared Owl - Angus Kennedy

Red Grouse Slieve Donard - Edward Cooper
Reed Bunting - Tom's Pics


Bird News Sunday 22nd May

The drake Ring-necked Duck was still at the Templewater, Castel Ward, Co Down (Wilton Farrelly)

A drake Garganey was off the Castle Island Hide, Quoile Pondage (Ian Graham)

A single Brent Goose was on the shore at Killard. (Ian Graham)

A singing Garden Warbler in tree at the park in Tobermore. (Stephen Evans)

Thanks to Shona McVea for this pic of a Red Kite:

Bird News Saturday 21st May

A Green Woodpecker was heard yesterday afternoon at Castle Ward, Co Down (Craig Nash). Craig has posted details of the location here:

Yesterday the drake Scaup was still in Ballycastle Marina (Colin Guy)

A Cuckoo was calling from the east end of Dundrum Bay (Alan Godfrey). Another 2 Cuckoo were calling at Lough Fea (Shane McGarvey)

You can see more pics of local birds at

Thanks to Colin Guy for this pic of the Scaup:

Bird News Friday 20th May

A possible Corncrake was heard calling along the railway between Bushmills and the Giants Causeway late this afternoon. (Fred Bass).

Two Spotted Flycatchers were at the walled garden, Scrabo Country Park (Harry Byron)

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Buzzard.

Bird News Thursday 19th May

Glynn had 2 adult Med Gulls, 5 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Spotted Flycatcher on the river (Gerard McGeehan)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in flight within the Stormont estate.(Paul McCullough)

29 Knot (some in summer plumage), 50 Dunlin, 300 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Gadwall were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Dot Blakely).

Bird News Wednesday 18th May

Late news for yesterday. Seven Sanderlings in various stages of plumage were at Sandy Bay. Also two Purple Sandpiper, 30+ Dunlin, two White Wagtail and one Northern Wheatear (Gavin Ferguson)

A Night Heron was seen at Dromantine Lake, Co Down this morning. (Mary Anne MacRae) it was looked for this afternoon without success (Joe Devlin)

Unusually a drake Scaup was in Ballycastle Marina this evening (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Gavin Ferguson for this pic of the Sanderling and Linda Thompson for the Spotted Flycatcher:

Talking Terns at Belfast Window on Wildlife (WOW)‏

Talking about Terns!

Come along to Belfast’s Window on Wildlife to learn about all things tern! Reserve warden Chris Sturgeon will give an insight into this special species, including why they choose to make their homes at Belfast Lough each year.

RSPB members free. Adults £4.
Booking is essential by emailing or calling 028 9046 1458.

20 May 2016 7.30pm-8.30pm Belfast WOW,
 100 Airport Road West,
 Belfast Harbour Estate

Bird News Monday 16th May

Yesterday 2 singing Reed Warblers were at Blacker’s Rock. Lough Neagh, Co. Tyrone. (Godfrey McRoberts).

Rathlin today had Whinchats, Whitethroats, Sedge Warbler, 2 Great Skua, a Corncrake heard calling around 3pm in front of Brockley Farm, and Garden Warbler heard singing from tree top near top of Kinramer Forest. (Patrick Barton & Michael Barton).

Thanks to Patrick Barton for the picture of the Whinchat and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Black Guillemot.


Bird News Sunday 15th May

Two Great Skua were seen off Groomsport (Brian Murphy)

A flock of Knot and three Sanderling were at Kinnegar. (Stuart McKee)

RSPB WOW Reserve had 3 Med Gulls and 11 Knot (2 of which were in breeding plumage) that arrived in a small flock and stayed for about 20-30 minutes. (Tom Ennis)

Two ad summer Little Stints at Paddy's Dub this evening. (David Steele)

Thanks to Stuart McKee and Stephen Maxwell for the pics of a summer plumaged Knot:

Stuart McKee:

Stephen Maxwell:

Bird News Saturday 14th May

An adult summer plumaged Little Stint was at Paddy's Dub, Lough Beg, it was on the dried out mud with Dunlin and Ringed Plover. (David Steele)

A White-tailed Eagle was seen over Murlough Bay Co.Antrim, resembled the bird seen on Rathlin over the last few weeks, highly likely same bird (Colin Guy)

Common Terns - Christine Cassidy.

Bird News Friday 13th May

At least one of the White-billed Divers was seen off Tory Island today (Chris Ingram).

In Ballintoy this afternoon among the male Common Eider flock there was a bird that appeared to be of one of the American sub-species . It was identical in every way to the other eiders except the area of the head and nape that should have been pale green was totally rustic brown - there was the thin white line dividing the colouration on the nape / head as per our birds. (Colin Guy).see bottom pic.

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the pictures of the Cuckoo and Whitethroat taken at Murlough and to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Spotted Flycatchers.

Bird News Thursday 12th May

3 White-billed Divers were still off the east of Tory. Also a Spotted Flycatcher & 2 Chiffchaffs. (Chris Ingram).

A summer plumaged Little Auk was seen alongside the boat on the Rathlin crossing. Rathlin itself was rather quiet but a female Whinchat ,Cuckoo, 2 Choughs and 2 Siskins were noted. Several Bottle Nosed Dolphins swam towards the boat exiting Ballycastle Harbour. (Colin Guy)

There were 7 Brent Geese at Reedy Flat today. (James O'Neill)

5 singing Garden Warblers were on an island at lower Lough Erne islands RSPB reserve, Co Fermanagh today (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Noeni Bryars for the picture of the Spotted Flycatcher.

Bird News Wednesday 11th May

Late news of a Short-eared Owl in the upper Lough Erne near Lisnaskea last Friday (Sarah McCaffrey)

3 Spotted Flycatchers were at Delamount CP (Dot Blakley)

A Long-eared Owl and two Raven were seen at Edenderry (Samuel Thomas)

A Pacific Golden Plover was seen at Inch. It was on the mud viewable from the platform (Chris Ingram) 

A piece by Mike Dilger on Copeland Puffins will be shown on The One Show on BBC1 tonight at 7.00pm today and on the BBC iPlayer shortly thereafter.

Yesterday evening a dark phase Arctic Skua was at Whitepark Bay (David Morrow)

A first summer Semipalmated Plover was this evening at Tacumshin. 

Thanks to David Hunter for this pic of Puffins on Rathlin:

Bird News Tuesday 10th May

A Whitethroat was seen close to the Burnish Viewpoint near Newry this afternoon. (Frank Carroll)

The Glossy Ibis was still at Portmore, a Spotted Redshank was also present. (Birdguides).

Bird News Monday 9th May

A Red Kite was being mobbed by crows at Harmony Hill, Lisburn.(Noeni Bryars)

A Cuckoo was heard over the last 3 days at the White Hill, Cloughmore, Rostrevor -  2 Woodpeckers still drumming at separate locations on the White Hill again over the last 2 days.(Sean Tinnelly, Mark Cooper & David Cooper)

About 200 Whimbrel where in a field off the Brockagh Rd, Tamnaherin, SE of Eglinton Co L'derry.(Norma Percerval-Price)

Another Cuckoo was seen at at the crossroads in Clabby village (Colin Bell)

A pair of Spotted Flycatcher where in Tempo Park, Co Ferm.(Colin Bell)

34 Brent Geese where still at Dundrum Inner Bay as where 9 Whimbrel.(David Nixon)

Late news from yesterday at Paddy's Dub, Lough Beg: 1 Little Egret,  3 male Red breasted Merganser, 10 Wigeon ,1 Turnstone,  50 Ringed Plover 30 Lapwing,  50 Dunlin,  30 Black tailed Godwit,  20 Whimbrel,  30 Redshank 4 drumming Snipe, 1 male Greenland Wheatear and  2 White Wagtail. (Godfrey McRoberts)

4 Whimbrel & 2 Whitethroat were the best at St.Johns point this morning. (Richard Hunter)

2 Spotted Flycatchers were at the north east end of Rathlin . 2 Choughs were at the south end of the island. (Colin Guy)

Three White-billed Divers were at the east end of Tory Island this evening (Robert Vaughan)

Thousands of calidris waders were at the Bann Estuary: Dunlin, Ringed Plover
and Sanderling. About a quarter of the Sanderling were coming into summer
plumage. 8 Whimbrel were also seen (Tom Ennis, Guy Hamilton)

A White-tailed Eagle, presumed to be a sub-adult was seen close to Randalstown Forest. A presumed second Eagle species was also seen. (Sam Andrews)

Whinchat  - Stephen Maxwell.

White-tailed Eagle - Sam Andrews

Bird News Sunday 8th May

The Glossy Ibis was still at Portmore Lough (Birdguides)

An adult Little Gull was at Glynn (Garry Armstrong)

A female Yellow Wagtail was c1 km north of Kearney, Co Down (Richard Weyl)

An Osprey was heading north in Sionmills Co Tyrone at 3pm (Brian Hegarty)

Good numbers of Whimbrel (80+), and Wheatear (15+) were at Lough Foyle polders (Donnybrewer/Longfield and Myroe) today. (Gareth Bareham)

A Whitethroat was at Whitehead. A Whinchat, Wheatear and a Cuckoo were at Glenwherry. An adult Med Gull and 3 Whimbrel were at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop)

A Corncrake was heard on Rathlin yesterday.

3 Cuckoo, Downings, Donegal (Christine Cassidy & Ray Brogan)

A Long-eared Owl was seen at Ballymoney Road, Helens Bay. (Richard Woods) Another was seen yesterday by the bend in Ballysallagh Road, Bangor (Richard Haydon)

A Cuckoo was at Leitrim Lodge near Rostrevor this afternoon.

At Floodgates/Patton’s Marsh there were 5 little Egret, 2 Sedge Warbler, a Wheatear, a pair of Stonechat and 40+ Common Tern. (Karl Martin)

RSPB Belfast WOW Reserve had 4 Med Gull and 2 Ruff (Stephen Maxwell)

It is now estimated that over 600 pairs of gulls are nesting on the roof of the Tesco distribution warehouse in Antrim. They are mainly Lesser Black Backs and Black-headed. (Mark Smyth)

An adult White-billed Diver was at the east end of Tory Island (Robert Vaughan)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this pic of a Black-tailed Godwit and Christine Cassidy for the Cuckoo. You can see more bird pics at :

Black-tailed Godwit, Stephen Maxwell:

Cuckoo, Christine Cassidy:

Bird News Saturday 7th May

Late news for yesterday was of four Med Gulls at RSPB Belfast WOW Reserve (David McIlveen)

5 Whimbrel were at Skernaghan Point, Islandmaghee (Derek Polley)

Today at RSPB Belfast WoW were 2 Med Gulls, a Ruff - male summer and 12 Bar-tailed Godwits (Dave Playle)

A Long eared owl was seen hunting at the Ballymoney road, Helens Bay at 10:30pm (Richard Woods)

Thanks to Tommy Hammill for this pic of a Red Kite:

Bird News Friday 6th May

A Mediterranean Gull was apparently paired with a Common Gull on an industrial roof in Antrim. (Gareth Platt).

7 Light-bellied Brent Geese were over Lough Neagh, near Reas Wood, Antrim. (Dave Allen).

Yesterday a Wheatear was in a back garden in Larne. (David Gillespie).

Rathlin had a Cuckoo and approximately 25 White Wagtails. A summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was seen flying over the island. (Colin Guy).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Sand Martin and to Gareth Platt for the picture of the odd couple Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull.

Bird News Thursday 5th May

The Ruff, 2 Common Sandpiper and 100+ Common Terns and a colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit (WNO-YRY ringed Feb 2015 in Devon, recorded here April/May 2015 and again twice this year), Whimbrel, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Knot, 4 Sandwich Tern, 6 Arctic Tern and a Med Gull were at RSPB WOW Reserve - (Derek Polley)

A Grashoper Warbler and a Wheatear were at Ballycolin Rd, Belfast hills today. (Eric Randall)

5 Whimbrel and 4 male Wheatear were seen from the car park a mile south of Glenarm and 10 Swift at Sunnlylands (Billy Hamilton)

Swifts, Grasshopper Warblers and Whitethroats seem to be widespread at present.

Thanks to John Banford for this pic of a Cuckoo:

Bird News Wednesday 4th May

A Cuckoo was calling in the Derrytrasna/ Bannfoot area outside Lurgan. (Pat Flowerday)

A first summer Mediterranean Gull was at RSPB WOW reserve (Stuart McKee).

An eagle species was at the cross roads between Dromara & Hillsborough, it flew parallel to the road for about 1.5 miles & then flew off in the Banbridge direction. This is most likely to have been a WTE (David Patterson).

A male Green-winged Teal was at Church Island, Lough Beg. Also Whimbrel migrating through - total 200+ were logged this evening. A male Ruff western shoreline and five Greenland-race Wheatears at Mullagh. A Little Egret was seen flying into trees on the western side of the Beg - breeding possible (would be first in the area if confirmed). (David Steele).

Bird News Tuesday 3rd May

The Glossy Ibis remains at the RSPB Portmore Lough reserve.(Neil Cartmill)see Neil's pic below.

Yesterday, Blacker's Rock Co.Tyrone had... 200+ Sand + House Martins, 150 Golden Plover, 10 Curlew, 12 Pochard (9 male and 3 female) and a female Sparrowhawk.(Godfrey McRoberts)

Glossy Ibis

Sand Martin - Christine Cassidy.

Bird News Monday 2nd May

The Glossy Ibis was still showing well at Portmore Lough (Laura Smith / Graham & Claire Moorehead)

A Red Kite was spotted over the Lisnamurrikin Road just outside Ballymena at 2pm this afternoon (Tom Swann)

Two Garganey were also at Portmore Lough (Birdguides)

Two Golden Eagles have been seen in County Antrim. (Gareth Platt)

Late news for yesterday was that 3 adult Med Gulls, 2 Arctic Tern, 9 Common Tern  and the summer plumages Ruff were at RSPB WOW Reserve (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

The drake ring-necked duck is still at Temple Water, Castleward. (Richard Weyl)

A male Whinchat was seen on the Glenhead road today (Lilian Cummings)

110 Whimbrel were at Lough Beg this evening. 200+ White Wagtails and a female were Merlin at Mullagh. (David Steele)

Thanks to Kate Mc Allister and Marta Barberis for this pic of the Glossy Ibis and to Gareth Platt for the record shot of the Golden Eagle:

Bird News Sunday 1st May.

Two Little Gull (one adult,one 1st summer) were on Cockle Island, Groomsport. Big movement of Whimbrel were noted on the outer Ards peninsula.(Garry Armstrong/Wilton Farrelly)

A Glossy Ibis was at Portmore Lough (Kate Mc Allister/Marta Barberis)

A Glaucous Gull was at Brigg's Rock this afternoon and seen again on Cockle Island this evening, (no sign of the two Little Gulls seen in morning) Colin Guy.

An almost full summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was at Glenarm Harbour, see picture below. (Kenny & Pauline Majury).

Great Northern Diver - Kenny&Pauline Majury