Bird News Tuesday 31st October

There are now two juvenile White-rumpled Sandpipers at Mullagh, Lough Beg. Also three Little Stints still. (David Steele)

There are now seven Pink-footed Geese in Dundrum Inner Bay, seen today from the bridge at Keel Point (David Nixon)

12 Whooper Swans were seen flying in a westerly direction over Belfast from the Ballygowan Road area this afternoon. (David Smylie)

With the huge influx of Hawfinches in to England, keep a look out for birds here over the next few weeks particularly around yews and apple trees.

Yesterday 16 Twite were at Whitehead Boatyard (Linda Thompson)

Many thanks to Linda Thompson for this pic of the Twite:

Bird News Monday 30th October

The Goosander was still at Dundrum Inner Bay, Co Down (Brian Murphy)

A flock of Twite were at Myroe (Ronald Surgenor)

Thanks to David Steele for this picture of yesterday's White-rumped Sandpiper:

Bird News Sunday 29th October

A juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was at the Mullagh, Lough Beg, with three Little Stints (David Steele).

At Kearney on the Outer Ards there were 5 Pink-footed Geese flying south, 143 Whooper Swan in a stubble field and a Chiffchaff. (Richard Weyl).

20 Whooper Swans were in flight over Carnmoney Hill & Cloughfern area heading in Belfast Lough direction at 8am. (Jim McKeown).

Whooper Swans were in flight over Ardarragh, Rathfriland this morning at 9am. Heading south over Finnard Bog. ( Shelagh Henry).

Early morning birding in RSPB Wow area of Belfast Lough saw 49 species including a Skylark, a Chiffchaff, 11 Meadow Pipit, a Guillemot & 2 Black Guillemots, 2 Buzzards, one with a Lapwing kill. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

There was a late Swallow at Bloody Bridge, Newcastle this morning. (Karen Elliott).

The female Goosander was still at Murlough, see picture below. (Mike McLaughlin).

A Grey Phalarope was showing well at Glasagh Bay, Fanad, Co Donegal (Wilton Farrelly)

Thanks to Mike for the picture of the Goosander:

Bird News Saturday 28th October

3 Crossbills were seen at Loughmourne (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

Hen Harrier - Linda Thompson.

Little Egrets - Oliver Bernard.

Bird News Friday 27th October

13 Pink-footed Geese were at Mullagh, Lough Beg this afternoon, also three Little Stints and 20 Ruff. (David Steele).

The hybrid Ring-billed gull was at Millisle, a Jack Snipe at Portavogie, 18 Sandwich Tern at Cloughy and a Wheatear north of Kearney. (Richard Weyl).

A Great-spotted Woodpecker was at Oxford Island, see picture below. (Geraldine Crozier).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Little Egret and to Gerladine Crozier for the picture of the Great-spotted Woodpecker:


Bird News Thursday 26th October

A Great White Egret was at Ardmore shore, Lough Neagh (Joe Devlin)

The red head Goosander is still in Dundrum South Inner Bay (David Nixon)

Twelve Twite were at Whitehead boatyard (Cameron Moore)

At Whitehead pm 2 swallows feeding above houses overlooking the boatyard ( Larry Toal)

A Little Stint was at Myroe and around 500 Whooper Swans were in fields nearby. About 15 Ruff were in fields at Ballykelly Marsh. At Portmore Lough there was a large number of Pochard and a male Marsh Harrier was seen briefly (Garry Wilkinson, Nigel Moore, Andrew Cleave)

RSPB WoW had a Ruff and 2 Peregrine. 33 Red-breasted Mergansers were at Kinnegar. (Derek Polley)

At least 120 Whooper Swans were in a stubble field near Moira (David Hunter)

30 Twite were at Magilligan Point (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Ginny McKee for this pic of a Twite from Sandy Bay, Larne:

Bird News Wednesday 25th October

At Dunseverick Harbour a flock of 8 Long-tailed Tits were seen coming in high from sea (from the direction of Rathlin) at dusk. They quickly dropped into bushes adjacent to the harbour. (Colin Guy).

A family party of 5 Whooper Swans were at the Quoile. (Angus Kennedy)

9 Crossbills were at Loughmourne reservoir today. (Stephen Drake)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Drumaroad near Spa this afternoon (Adam McClure)

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for the composite picture of the Jay, to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Little Egret and to Michael O'Dwyer for the picture of the Whooper Swans:


Islay Geese Trip

There are two seats left on a boat trip to Islay this Friday (27th October). The boat leaves Ballycastle at 9am and will be back for 5.45pm.
There are 25,000 Barnacle Geese on the island and several Canada Geese including a Todd's.
Contact Jim Wells on 07856235144 if you are interested in joining the group.

Bird News Tuesday 24th October

Three juvenile Little Stints were at the Mullagh, Lough Beg. There was also a Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Pink-footed Goose (David Steele)

The best at Kearney was a Blackcap and 3 Redwings (Stuart McKee)

Bird News Monday 23rd October.

A Red-Necked Grebe was off the Barmouth this afternoon.  Five Red-throated Divers were also seen. An Arctic Tern was at Magillian Point.(Colin Guy)

A female Goosander, 5 Pink-footed Geese and 4 Ruff where at Dundrum inner bay.(David Nixon)

Late news from yesterday was that a female Hen Harrier was seen on the Straid Rd Ballycastle.(James Shields)

Golden Plover - Linda Thompson.

Bird News Sunday 22nd October

A juvenile American Golden Plover is at the Barr Mouth, Castlerock, a juvenile Little Stint was also present (Stuart McKee)

3 Bonxies, 3 Common Scoter and 5 Barnacle Geese were seen from Ramore Head (Garry Armstrong/Ian Graham).

Also at Ramore today were 9 Arctic Skua, 10 Bonxie, 4 Pomarine Skua, 3 Sabine's Gull, 6 Common Scoter, 18 Great-northern Diver, 10 Red-throated Diver, 2 Grey Phalarope, 4 Leach's Petrel, 2 Storm Petrel and a Manx Shearwater. (Neal Warnock & Colin Guy).

This morning at Groomsport there were an Arctic Skua, a Manx Shearwater, 6 Great-northern Diver and a Mediterranean Gull. (Richard Weyl/Michael Latham)

A flock of 30+ Fieldfare flew over the Portrush Rd, Coleraine this evening. (John Clarke).

Inch lough Donegal had a male Ring-necked Duck, a 1st w Med Gull and 12+Pink-footed Goose.  Also 34 Pinkfeet were at Blanket Nook along with 49 Red-throated Diver and a Scaup (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Michael Latham for the pictures of the Great-northern Diver and the Red-breasted Merganser, to Mark Elliott for the picture of the Tree Sparrow and to John Moore for the picture of the Stonechat:

Bird News Saturday 21st October.

9 Ruff where in a field at the 12 arches, Murlough Co Down.(David Nixon)

A seawatch from Ballycastle produced...5 Great Skua, 3 Arctic Skua, 1 Pom.Skua an ad Sabines Gull, juv Black Tern, 6 Great Northern Diver, 5000+Kittiwakes.(  Neal Warnock)

At Kearney a Chiffchaff (noticeably pale but not calling), a Blackcap and 6 Whooper Swans. 2 Little Stint at Drumfad Bay, Millisle, a Great Skua ‎at Burial Island and a Wheatear at Ballywalter.(Richard Weyl)

20 House Martin where over Castleward heading towards Portaferry.(Dan Barry)

Redwings are now widely reported.

A Barn Owl was seen in a garden near Maze racecourse last night.(Garry Wilkinson)

Ruff - David Nixon.

Bird News Friday 20th October

6 Twite and a Wheatear were at Ramore Head. (Colin Guy).

An adult female Ring Ouzel was found dead at St John's Point lighthouse. Also at St John's Point were 1 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldcrest, 4 Song Thrush, 3 Redpoll, 8 Reed Bunting and 1 Swallow. (Tim Murphy).

Thanks to Michael O'Dwyer for the picture of the Guillemot:

Bird News Thursday 19th October

An eclipse male Goosander was at Waterfoot. (Neal Warnock)

Thanks to David Hunter for this pic of two Hooded Crows:

Bird News Wednesday 18th October

The Long-tailed Duck is still at Cairndhu Rowing Club in Larne. (Jason Bain)

8 Twite were at Ramore Head this morning (Matthew Tickner).

3 House Martins were in Markethill today.  (John Anderson).

Late last night (at 22.00), 20 Whooper Swans flew low over the Carrickfergus shoreline, heading north east. (Roger Woodward).

3 Pink Footed Geese and 3 Whooper Swans were seen from the Rathlin Ferry. The island was rather quiet with a flock of approx. 20 Siskins seen flying low over Rue Point and out to sea. Also at Rue, 5 Great Northern Divers were flying overhead and were all calling. Only Warbler on the island was a Chiffchaff.  (Colin Guy).

The Bann Estuary today had 1 Little Stint, 38 Sanderling, 148 Teal and 8 Whooper Swans. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson).

Thanks to Neal Warnock for the picture of the Long-tailed Duck:

Northern Ireland's Last Golden Eagles

Many thanks to Dick Glasgow for highlighting the presence of this fascinating footage of the ringing of the last breeding pair of Golden Eagles in NI:

Bird News Tuesday 17th October

A Firecrest was around the main toilet block area at Kearney this afternoon (14.30). There were also circa 30 Goldcrests. A Merlin was also seen. (Ian Graham)

A Yellow-browed Warbler, was at Kelly's Wood, St John's Point at 8:45 (Tim Murphy)

Another Yellow-browed Warbler was in the Cemetery Car Park, Portrush Rd,  Coleraine, beside the railway line. (John Clarke)

A Grey-bellied Brent Goose was seen from the old stone hide at Castle Espie, just outside the Castle Espie WWT enclosure this afternoon (Tom Ennis \ Tony Dodds)

At least 4 Twite were with the Linnet flock at Sandy Bay, Larne. Also a Knot there. Several small groups of Whoopers were arriving overhead and a Bonxie was on the sea. Yesterday a juv Dark-bellied Brent and a first winter Med Gull were at Drains Bay. (Neal Warnock)

A 1st winter Little Gull was at Marconi's, Ballycastle (Colin Guy)

8 Whooper Swans were at Islandhill, Strangford Lough (Stephen Maxwell)

Strand Lough, Co Down had 6 Whooper Swans. St John’s Point had 7 RedThroated Divers. Newcastle had c500 Common Scoter and 6 Great Northern Divers in summer plumage and from Bloody Bridge car park there were 12 Red Throated Divers (Fulton Somerville)


Bird News Monday 16th October.

10 Swallows were flying around this morning just outside P'down,birds obviously flying in front of storm Ophelia.(Brian Nelson)

A seawatch off St John's Point Co.Down produced 9 Great Skua, 11 Swallow, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Diver. (Ronald Surgenor)

2 Sand Martins and a Wheatear were along the shore near Portstewart beach.(Colin Guy)

8 Pomarine Skua(together), 2 Great Skua, 6 Manx Shearwater and 10 Sandwich Tern passed St John's Point this afternoon. A Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest and 6 Redwing were on land.  A Pomarine Skua, an Arctic Skua, a Great Skua and 300 Kittiwake were at Tyrella beach (Tim Murphy)

Our thanks to Cameron Moore for the pics of the Med Gull and the Common Terns. Also to Ronald Surgenor for the pics of the 2 Arctic Skuas and the Great Skua

Bird News Sunday 15th October

An adult Little Gull was at Groomsport. (Richard Weyl).

A male Hen Harrier was being mobbed by Hooded Crows at GR ID228075 on the Antrim Plateau between Buckna & Capanagh Wood at 14:30 this afternoon, a Raven was also present. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

5 adult Whooper Swans were at Strand Lough at 5pm before flying off south. (Tim Murphy).

A Red Kite was just north of Armoy, Co. Antrim this afternoon. (Colin Guy).

A Red-throated Diver was on the Bann Estuary today, see picture below. (John Clarke).

A Redwing, the first reported this winter, was in Bangor today. (Kerry Leonard).

Red-throated Diver John Clarke:

Bird News Saturday 14th October

A 2nd Yellow Browed Warbler was trapped on CBO this morning and the Wryneck was heard calling. (CBO).

A Great Skua was at Burial Island and a Blackcap and 14 Goldcrest‎ at Kearney.(Richard Weyl).

Bird News Friday 13th October

In Donegal an eclipse male King Eider was with 6 male Eider at the south end of Murvagh Beach, an adult male Surf Scoter, a juvenile Little Gull and a possible male borealis Eider were off Rossnowlagh Point. (Brad Robson).

2 juvenile Wheatear and 3 Goldcrest were at St John's Point. (Tim Murphy).

Yesterday a Merlin was beside the road at Atnamollyboy townland in Co. Fermanagh (near Fivemiletown). (Clive Mellon).

A Lapland Bunting was calling frequently as it flew over Ramore Head (Hill Dick).

Thanks to Clive for the picture of the Merlin.

Copeland Day Trip

A day trip to Copeland is planned for Saturday. If you would like to visit the island, contact David Galbraith on: 07934 416668

Bird News Thursday 12th October

A Yellow-browed Warbler was on Copeland Bird Observatory this morning. The Wryneck was also still present. (David Galbraith)

A Red Kite was just outside Downpatrick flying over Killough Road (Emma Mulholland)

A Snow Bunting, 52 Whooper Swans & 3 Twite were the best on a blustery Rathlin today (Neal Warnock)

On Carlingford Lough high counts of Shag (minimum of 350 on Green Island, Block House and associated reefs near Greencastle) and Great Black-backed Gull (minimum 120 in south-east side of Mill Bay) were seen (Ian Enlander)

A Hen Harrier was hunting along the Quoile River, Downpatrick (Michael O'Dwyer)

Over 80 Red Breasted Mergansers were off Whiteabbey this morning (Gerard McLaughlin)

Lurgangreen, Co Louth had 1500 + Golden Plover, 60 Grey Plover, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 130 Ruff & 3 Swallows. (Fulton Somerville)

Many thanks to David for this pic of the Yellow-browed Warbler and Michael for the Hen Harrier:

Yellow-browed Warbler, David Galbraith:

Hen Harrier, Michael O'Dwyer:

Bird News Wednesday 11th October

Approx 1200 Whooper Swans and a Merlin were at Inch levels. (Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges).

Yesterday 39 Whooper Swans were in a stubble field at Dunseverick. (Dougie Gamble).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of part of the Whooper Swan flock at Inch, to Rod Gillan for the pictures of the Wheatear and the Rock Pipit and to Dougie Gamble for the picture of the Whoopers from Dunseverick.

Bird News Tuesday 10th October

Off Ramore Head, Portrush this morning were 22 Pink-footed Geese, 11 Purple Sandpiper, 13 Golden Plover, 2 Raven and a Peregrine (Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges)

An adult Med Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne today (Joe Lamont)

The Bann Estuary had 4 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Little Stint, 2 Ruff and c400 Golden Plover (Hill Dick)

A Little Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne (Lillian Cummings)

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for this pic of a colour ringed Sanderling and Lilian Cummings for the juvenile Little Gull:

Sanderling, Lindsay Hodges:

Little Gull, Lilian Cummings:

Bird News Monday 9th October.

48 Whooper Swans and 7 Pink Footed Geese were in a field opposite Dunseverick  Castle .  2 Wheatears were at Ballintoy. Yesterday 38 Barnacle Geese and 3 Great Northern Divers flew past Ramore Head. (Colin Guy)

Rathlin had a Lapland Bunting, one Iceland Gull, 5 Arctic Skuas a Great Skua, 4 Twite, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Wheatear.(Neal Warnock)

Bird News Sunday 8th October

A Wryneck was on Copeland Bird Observatory this morning.(CBO) This is only the second record for the Observatory and only the fourth record for Northern Ireland  

A Yellow- browed Warbler was at the small pine wood on the southern side of Kearney (Garry Armstrong)

Ramore Head this morning had 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 3 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Divers and 17 Whoopers (Daniel Newton)

7 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay. 4 Swallow and 14 Red-throated Diver were at Ballyquintin Point. A Whimbrel was at Orlock Point and a Merlin was seen flying from Big Copeland to Donaghadee. (Richard Weyl)

The Snow Bunting was at Ramore head at 2.20 pm (Denver Shiels).

4 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 adults and a 1st winter, were at Ballywalter, another Mediterranean Gull, a 2nd year bird was at Lough Cowie. (Garry Armstrong, Wilton Farrelly & Ian Graham).

A pair of Red Kite were over a field on the main Rostrevor to Hilltown Road this afternoon. (Michael Holgate).

Mullagh, Lough Beg this afternoon had a Green Sandpiper, Little Stint and 90 Ruff, also two Chiffchaffs and 25 Swallows. (David Steele).

A Red Kite was on Lighthouse Road outside Leitrim, Co. Down. The bird had a green wingtag, possibly number 34. (Bill Guiller).

Many thanks to CBO for the picture of the Wyneck, to Cecil Smyth for the picture of the Buzzard and to Bill Guiller for the picture of the Red Kite:

Bird News Saturday 7th October

An adult Little Gull and an Arctic Tern were at Ballyhalbert, Co Down (Richard Weyl)

7 Chough were at Malin Head, Inishowen. (Dermot Mc Laughlin, Philip O' Doherty and Christine Cassidy)

A Pink-footed Goose was on Mew Island (CBO)

Yesterday 5 Wheatear were on Slieve Donard, near the summit (Roger Woodward)

Many thanks to Christine Cassidy for this pic of a female Kestrel:

James O'Neill Art

This Sandwich Tern picture is by local birdwatcher and artist James O'Neill.
 Painted in Acrylics on 50 x 20cm canvas.

Bird News Friday 6th October

A Garden Warbler was trapped and ringed at Portstewart dunes this morning. (Richard Donaghey, John Clarke).

Black Head had 1 Chiffchaff in mixed flock with 40 Goldcrest and 25 Long-tailed Tit. Total of 18 Harbour Porpoise between Black Head and Portmuck. (Ian Enlander.

The juvenile Black Tern was still at Mullagh, Lough Beg today. Also present was a Little Stint, a new bird, up to 80 Ruff and 41 Swallows. (David Steele).

4 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay, 300+ Skylark were at Kirkiston and 14 Red-throated Diver flying south at Burial Island. (Richard Wiel).

The female Snow Bunting is still at Ramore Head. (Colin Guy).

This afternoon there was 20 adult Whooper Swans flying over Portavoe Resovoir heading south over the Warren Road in Donaghadee. (David McCormick).

A 1st winter Little Gull, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 15 Manx Shearwater, 5 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Goldcrest, 6 Redpoll, 7 Reed Bunting, 10 Tree Sparrow and 300 Linnet were at St John's Point. 2 Yellowhammer and 250 Linnet were in fields 500m south of Killough. (Tim Murphy).

Thanks to John Clarke for the first picture of the Garden Warbler and to Richard Donaghey for the second picture.


Bird News Thursday 5th October

9 Ruff remain at the RSPB WOW reserve.(Derek Polley)

6 Whooper Swans all adults, were at Corbet Lough, Banbridge this morning. 4 Buzzard and 2 Red Kite also present. (David McCreedy)

10 Ruff were at Bann Estuary and c275 Brent at Ballykelly. A Myroe stubble field held c100 Skylarks and 25 Tree Sparrows. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

Ramore Head and Portrush Area  up to 1300hrs had at least 6 Leach's Petrels, 6 Bonxies, 5 Great Northern Divers, 1 Sabine's Gull 35 Barnacle Geese, 1 Snow Bunting,1 Arctic Skua, 24 Brent Geese, 8 Teal, 17 Tufted Ducks (Colin Guy, Ian Dickey et. al. ) Another 47 Barnacle Geese were seen at Dunseverick . An evening sea watch from Ramore Head  between 1800 and 1900 hrs produced 5 Bonxies, 2 Arctic Skuas, 9 Red throated Divers, 16 Barnacle Geese.(Colin Guy)

This interesting Goose was photographed at Dundrum Inner bay this morning by David Nixon. It is presumably a Pink-foot due to the bill colour and the leg colour but the head shape seems a bit strange and it looks quite large - you can also that the bird has damage on it's belly (possibly from a gun shot?). Any comments or other sightings of this bird would be most welcome. You can see David's pics below.

Robin Cunningham: Freshly arrived Whooper Swans at Inch Levels Co.Donegal

Bird News Wednesday 4th October

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head this morning (Matthew Tickner). The Snow Bunting was still present early this afternoon along with a Lapland Bunting (John Clarke)

Late news for yesterday was that a juvenile American Golden Plover was at the Myroe Lawn fields (David Nixon / Trevor Wilkinson)

Thanks to Trevor Wilkinson for this pic of the juvenile American Golden Plover (centre):

Bird News Tuesday 3rd October

A juvenile Black Tern, 2 Little Stint and 75 Ruff were at Mullagh, Lough Beg this evening. (David Steele).

8 Whooper Swans flew west over the Skerries, Portrush at 1200 hrs. (Colin Guy).

A 2 hour sea-watch at Ramore this morning produced 11 Bonxie, 5 Arctic Skua, 5 Leach's Petrel, 58 Barnacle Geese, 7 Red-throated Diver, 18 Great Northern Diver, 3 Common Scoter, 43 Wigeon, 29 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 36 Brent Geese and a single Manx Shearwater. Large numbers of Auks were heading west. (Matthew Tickner & Colin Guy).

Four Greenland-type Wheatears were at Ballykinler beach today. (James O'Neill)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Gannet, to James O'Neill for the picture of the Wheatear and to David Hill for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Whooper Swans.