Bird News Sunday 31st December

Yesterday a Goosander was at Corbet Lake and 2 were at Lough Island Reavy. (Joe Furphy)

Two Twite were seen at railings on the Seacliff Road, Bangor. (Helen Clarke)

There are now three 1st winter Iceland Gulls in the field near the Causeway Hotel (Colin Guy)

The drake Smew was still at Inch, Co Donegal. Malin Head had 600 Barnacle Geese, an adult Iceland Gull, Merlin 2 Great Northern Divers, a Red-throated Diver (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

A male Brambling was visiting a garden at Glenwherry, Ballymena (Greg Moorehead)

We would like to thank all contributors and blog users for their sightings, pics and news throughout 2017. We do wish everyone a happy new year and happy birding in 2018.

Thanks to Greg Moorehead for this pic of the Brambling, feeding with Chaffinches and to Wilf Swain for the Little Egret:

Bird News Saturday 30th December

A Peregrine was at Castle Espie this afternoon. (Lesley Barker).

Yesterday 2 Long-tailed Ducks were seen off Groomsport, flying into Belfast Lough. (George Henderson).

Thanks to Lesley Barker for the picture of the Peregrine and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Long-tailed Tit:


Bird News Friday 29th December

The female Scaup is still in Larne Lough, see picture below. (Linda Thompson).

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the Purple Sandpiper and to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Scaup:


Bird News Thursday 28th December

A juv Glaucous Gull was at Enniskillen dump, Co Fermanagh this morning (Brad Robson)

A female Hen Harrier and 7 Twite were at Copeland (David Galbraith / Copeland CBO)

The drake Green-winged Teal was still at the Ecos centre this morning. Also a Dipper on the stream. A pair of Goosanders were at Randalstown. (Dermot Hughes)

A Black-throated Diver was at Murvagh beach, Co Donegal (Brad Robson)

Two 1st winter Iceland Gulls were in a field near the Causeway Hotel, Co Antrim (Colin Guy / Martin McCurry)

Bird News Boxing Day

A redhead Smew was at Portmore Lough RSPB reserve. (Birdguides).

A Brambling was visiting a garden in Whitehead, see picture below. (Cameron Moore).

About 50 Twite were at Patton's Marsh, Newtownards this afternoon. (Denis Chambers).

A Ruff, a Greenshank and 58 Whooper Swan were in flooded fields north of Kirkiston. Another Ruff was at Cloughy Bay and 2 Jack Snipe and 40 Snipe at Portavogie. (Richard Weyl).

The Black-throated Diver was again off the old boathouse in Dundrum Inner Bay, there may have been more than one diver present, see picture below. (Wilf Swain)

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the picture of the Brambling, to John Moore for the picture of the Bullfinch and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Little Egret and the Black-throated Diver:


Bird News Christmas Day

We wish all our readers and contributors, a Happy Christmas and New Year. 

Bird News Sunday 24th December

A Merlin was in the Ballymccormick area of Bangor. (Derek Polley).

The two female Goosanders were still at Loughbrickland Lough. (Mike McLaughlin).

A leucistic "speckled" Jackdaw was at Glenarm.(Paul Tout).

Two small flocks of Whooper Swans were in fields near Kearney and a Merlin was on the Barrhall Road. (John Moore).

Late news from yesterday was a 3rd year Glaucous Gull flying past the White Rocks at Portrush. (Colin Guy).

12 Purple Sandpipers were at Pickie Park, Bangor and 100+ Whooper Swans were at Craigantlet (Wilton Farrelly)

Thanks to John Moore for the picture of a Goldcrest:

Bird News Saturday 23rd December

The drake American Wigeon was again at Dundrum on the Moneycarragh river. (Brian Halligan)

An adult Iceland Gull was at Cloughy, Co Down. Portavogie had a first winter Iceland Gull and 2 Purple Sandpipers (Wilton Farrelly)

A Black-throated Diver and a Slavonian Grebe were seen from Kirkcubbin Yacht Club. Three Mediterranean Gulls were at Newtownards Yacht Club and two Ruff at Cloughy (Garry Armstrong)

2 female Goosanders were on Loughbrickland Lake this afternoon. Also present were 220 Golden plover and over 200 Lapwing (Mike McLaughlin)

2 Slavonian Grebe, a Great Northern Diver and 2 Red-throated Divers were at Macedon Point (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

The adult Black-throated Diver was still off Groomsport (George Gordon)

The Glossy Ibis was still at Mullagh, Lough Beg this afternoon, also three Little Stints and 16 Ruff. The Great White Egret was at Paddy's Dub (David Steele)

The Mediterranean Gull was still at Enniskillen dump. A Snow Bunting was along the clifftop path at Bundoran, Co Donegal (Brad Robson)

Purple Sandpipers, Whitehead - Christine Beggs:

Bird News Friday 22nd December

Two Slavonian Grebes and four Long-tailed Duck were still off Macedon Point, Belfast Lough. (Stuart McKee).

A 2nd calendar year Mediterranean Gull was at Enniskillen Dump (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Little Egret:

Bird News Thursday 21st December

The American Wigeon was back at the Moneycarragh river, Dundrum.(David Nixon)

Our thanks to David for the pic of the Am. Wigeon(foreground bird) shows nicely the comparison with Eurasian Wigeon.


Bird News Wednesday 20th December

This afternoon, Portmuck had a Little Auk (flying south), 14 Red-throated Diver and 23 Harbour Porpoise (Ian Enlander)

Two Slavonian Grebes,  four Long Tailed Duck and ten Common Scoter (all females / immatures) were off Macedon Point, Belfast Lough (Stuart McKee)

18 Pink-footed Geese were at Blanket Nook, Co Donegal today (Richard Hunter)

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for this pic of a Jay:

Bird News Tuesday 19th December

A Slavonian Grebe was off Macadon point today and also a high count of 58 Ringed Plover there (Stuart McKee)

Bird News Monday 18th December

A female type Marsh Harrier was at the Knockninny area of upper Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

The Green-winged Teal was still at the Ecos Park, Ballymena, with a Water Rail also showing well (Jeff Larkin).

Three Little Stints were at Mullagh, Lough Beg, today, and the Glossy Ibis was also still present. The Great Egret was south of Paddy's Dub. (David Steele).

A Barn Owl was seen at Drumcairne Forest, Stewartstown this evening (Tony McCormick),

A Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon at 1pm. (Suzanne Belshaw)

Thanks to Denis Chambers for the picture of the Stonechat and to Suzanne Belshaw for the picture of the Mediterranean Gull:


Bird News Sunday 17th December

The Iceland Gull was seen again at the harbour, Rathlin Island (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

The Great White Egret was seen again at Lough Beg (Daniel Newton)

Circa 45 Twite were at the Chaine Memorial Tower beach today (Paul Tout)

Bird News Saturday 16th December

The Glossy Ibis was still at Lough Beg this morning (Richard Hunter)

An Iceland Gull was seen on Rathlin Island. (Ric Else/Hazel Watson)

The 11 Pink-footed Geese were still in the back fields at Murlough today. 2 Stock Doves were there too, feeding with Wood Pigeons (David Nixon)

18 Twite where at Kilroot and 2 Long-tailed Duck of Carrickfergus.(Brian Sutton)

Pink-footed Geese - Angus Kennedy.

Bird News Friday 15th December

Yesterday a Common Scoter and a Long-tailed Duck were with 70 Scaup at the mouth of Dargan Bay in Belfast Lough, another Long-tailed Duck was off Lough Shore Park. Today a Jack Snipe was on the waste ground beside Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Stuart McKee).

The Glossy Ibis and Great White Egret were both still at the south end of Lough Beg this afternoon and a Crossbill flew west over Mullagh. (David Steele).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Buzzard:

Bird News Thursday 14th December

A Black-throated and Red-throated Diver were off Groomsport, Co Down (Brian Murphy)

Thanks to Wilf Swain for this pic of a pair of Wigeon:

Bird News Wednesday 13th December

An immature Black-throated Diver was close to shore at Strickland's Glen, Bangor this afternoon.(Philip Watson).

A female Brambling is visiting a garden at the Spa outside Ballynahinch. (David Nixon).

Thanks to Paul Mulvenna for the picture of the Redwing and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Kestrel:

Bird News Tuesday 12th December

5 Twite were at Whitehead Boatyard (Cameron Moore)

11 Pink-footed Geese were at Dundrum Inner Bay (David Nixon)

The Black-throated Diver was still showing off Groomsport (Richard Hunter)

Thanks to David Nixon for this pic of part of the Pink-footed Geese flock and Cameron Moore for a Twite:

Bird News Monday 11th December.

42 Twite were on Tyrella beach. (Tim Murphy)

A Pied Wheatear was seen at Ballymacoda, Co Cork, yesterday. (A Malcolm)

Curlew - John Moore.

Bird News Sunday 10th December

An adult winter plumaged Bonaparte's Gull was seen briefly at Dargan Bay early this afternoon but not seen subsequently at either Dargan or Whitehouse. (Daniel Newton).

7 Whooper Swans flew over Dundrum Inner Bay south. A Red Kite was at Ballyward. (Mike McLaughlin.

Thanks to Mike McLaughlin for the picture of the Tree Sparrow:

Bird News Saturday 9th December

A Woodcock was in the snow at side of upper Ballynahinch Road close to Waterloo Road near Annahilt at 2.30pm approx. (Garry Wilkinson).

2 male Brambling were on the Grangefoyle Road near Donemana, County Tyrone, see picture below. (Brian Hegarty).

Thanks to John Moore for the picture of the Mistle Thrush and to Brian Hegarty for the picture of the Bramblings:


Bird News Friday 8th December.

2 Peregrine and a Woodcock where at Cairn Wood this morning.(Denis Chambers)

The Black-throated Diver was off the car park at Groomsport (George Gordon)

Our  thanks to Wilfred Swain, whose photo captures how tough it is for birds in these harsh conditions. Also to Jeff Silvers for his Little Egret.
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Bird News Thursday 7th December

The drake American Wigeon was still at Ardalee, Dundrum Inner Bay. (Richard Hunter)

There were 20+ Snow Buntings on top of Slieve Comedagh in the Mournes, today. (Fergal O’Connor)

A Little Auk was found dead at West Strand, Portrush this morning (Paul Quinn)

Thanks to Rathlin Walking Tours for this pic of the Little Auk:

Bird News Wednesday 6th December

A Common Sandpiper was observed on the banks of the River Lagan near Cutter’s Wharf, Stranmillis.

A large flock of 100-120 Siskins were feeding on Birches and Alders in the car park at SuperValu in Comber at 11.30.(Chris Shaw).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Cormorant:

Bird News Tuesday 5th December

The drake American Wigeon was at Ardilea around lunch time but there was no sign of the diver at Dundrum (Tom Ennis and Carol Gillespie)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for this pic of a female Scaup in Larne Lough:

Bird News Monday 4th December.

Late news from yesterday was of a Black-throated Diver at Groomsport.(George Henderson)

Bird News Sunday 3rd December

The drake American Wigeon was still at Ardilea, Co Down (Garry Armstrong)

The drake Green-winged Teal was still at the Ecos Centre, Ballymena (Jeff Larkin)

The juvenile diver was on show again at Dundrum, off the Quay. It does not seem to show a white flank typical of Black-throated Diver. (Tim Murphy, Philip West, et al). Any further pictures of the bird would be appreciated. The bird flew off into Dundrum Outer Bay at 3.55p.m.

Dargan Bay / Giants Park early afternoon had 3 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Red-throated Diver and c140 Greater Scaup. (Daniel Newton)

A Hen Harrier was at Portmore Lough (Linda Thompson)

Two Greenland White-fronted Geese were at The Quoile (Wilton Farrelly)

Six Goosander were at Lough Island Reevy, Castlewellan (Garry Armstrong).

Three Red-throated Divers were off the Boathouse in Helen's Bay. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown, Dot Blakely, Caroline & Stanley Carson).

Ten Whooper Swans flew south over Dundrum and a Ruff was in Dundrum Inner Bay. (Tim Murphy).

3 no.Twite where at Glenarm harbour car park this afternoon.(Pauline Majury). 

Hen Harrier, Lind Thompson:

Red Kite, Armoy, Dick Glasgow:
Twite, Kenny Majury:

Bird News Saturday 2nd December

Circa 70 Twite were at Pattons Marsh, Newtownards (Noeni Bryars and Suzanne Belshaw)

A drake Smew was seen off the Farland Embankment, Inch, Co Donegal (Paul McSwiggan)

Thanks to Paul for this pic of the drake Smew:

Bird News Friday 1st December

An adult female Whooper Swan was 200m north of the base of Killard Point. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and an adult Lesser Black Backed Gull were at Ardglass. An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Killough Harbour. (Tim Murphy).

A female Brambling was visiting a garden near Annahilt outside Lisburn. (Garry Wilkinson).

A Black-throated Diver was in Dundrum Inner Bay, see picture below. (Wilf Swain).

4 Long-tailed Ducks were off Fishermans Quay in Carrickfergus. (Gerard McGeehan).

Thanks to David Hill for the picture of the Shag and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Black-throated Diver: