Bird News Sunday 21st October

A Marsh Harrier was at Reedy Flats, Lough Neagh (Ed O’Hara)

Inch, Co Donegal had a female Ring-necked Duck, 40+ Pink-feet and six Ruff (Brian Murphy)

A Water Rail was heard calling along the Newry Canal about two miles north of Scava this morning (Sharon Carroll)

The hybrid Ring-billed Gull was at Millisle and a late Manx Shearwater was at Burial Island. (Richard Weyl)

60 Whooper Swans were at Kearney along with 2 Twite (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop / Carol Gillespie / Ray Bennett)

Thanks to Ed O'Hara for this pic of the Marsh Harrier:

Bird News Saturday 20th October.

2 American Golden Plover, 3 White-rumped Sandpiper and a Curlew Sandpiper where at the Roe estuary.(Birdguides)

Slightly further afield...The Little Bunting was still on show at Malin Beg Co.Donegal

Malin Head had 285 Barnacle Geese.(Christine Cassidy/Dermot McLaughlin)

Dundalk has a Spotted Redshank and around 15 Ruff.(M.Richardson/R.Hart/F.Somerville)
Spotted Redshank - Fulton Somerville.(left hand bird)

Bird News Friday 19th October

A Great White Egret was at Duross Point, Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve, Co Fermanagh (Fionnbarr Cross).

A single Raven was in the car park of Tesco Ballygomartin Road, Belfast, this morning at 8:30, being mobbed by other birds. (Ivan Dalglish)

A Little Bunting was at Malin Beg, Co Donegal (Robert Vaughan).

Ajuvenile or female Marsh Harrier, Merlin and juvenile Peregrine were at Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara).

Three Whooper Swans flew over Portavo Reservoir this morning coming from the direction of the Copeland Islands. (Ian McKee).

Approx 800 Whooper Swans were at Station Road & 300 Whooper Swans at Maydown, Derry (Christine Cassidy & Marlene Dunnage).

A Wheatear and three Tree Sparrows were at St John's Point. (Fulton & Janet Somerville).

29 Whooper Swans flew west over Portstewart Head in two lots of 13 and 16. Also a Merlin made a brief appearance chasing a Rock Pipit (Sean Hickey).

Thanks to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Wheatear:

Bird News Thursday 18th October

A Dotterel was at Scawt Hill, Antrim Plateau (above Cairncastle north of Larne) this afternoon: it was a flyover, calling, heading north (bird also seen). Also there was a flyover Snow Bunting and 15 Twite. (David Steele)

A Buff breasted Sandpiper was showing well but fair distance out from the viewpoint at Inch (Nigel Moore / Garry Wilkinson / Richard Smith)

Unusually, 20 Whooper Swans were on the north foreshore of Belfast Lough (Roberta McKee)

A Twite was at Portstewart Strand and over 250 Whoopers were seen (Richard Donaghey)

Two Brambling were on Rathlin. Also present were a Bullfinch and a Treecreeper as well as small numbers of Barnacles (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Myroe had 21 Pink-footed Geese (Ken Perry/ Peter Robinson/Hill Dick)

Wilf Swain, Grey Heron:

Bird News Wednesday 17th October

There was a Short-eared Owl today at stubble fields beside the car park at Islandhill, Strangford Lough (Harry Byron)

At Ligoniel Dams around midday, flocks of fieldfare 200+ were flying west (Larry Toal)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Ballycrune Road, Hillsborough (Richard Warner)

Thomas Campbell, Sanderling:

Wilf Swain, Little Egrets:

Bird News Tuesday 16th October

The Black Tern is still at Lough Shark today. (Joe Devlin).

A large feeding flock of Kittwakes and other gulls between Rathlin and Ballycastle today contained 2 Little Gulls (adult and 2CY), 1 Arctic Tern, and 2 Arctic Skuas. Also the first Fieldfare of the autumn  were on Rathlin today. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

70+ Ringed Plover, 5 Purple Sandpiper plus Turnstone and Dunlin were at Seacliff Road high tide roost in Bangor. (Derek Polley).

Thanks to Ian Jackson for the picture of the Greenshank and to Derek Polley for the picture of the Ringed Plover:

Bird News Monday 15th October

A White-rumped Sandpiper was seen at Myroe, it was seen in the channel near the Roe river end.
(Patrick  & Michael Barton)

A Black Tern was at Lough Shark, County Armagh today. (Joe Devlin).

A Great White Egret was seen on Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB reserve nr. Killadeas.(Peter Taylor)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Cairn Wood.(Geoff Jones)

6 White Wagtails, 6 Whooper Swans and 2  Twite where at Portstewart back strand.(David/Naomi Morrow)

Slightly further afield... a Baird's Sandpiper was seen at Inch Lake Co.Donegal.(Robert Vaughan).

The south end of Lough Beg had the Great White Egret, a Goosander, 13 Ruff and a Greenshank. (Matthew Tickner).

Our thanks to Joe Devlin for the two pictures below showing the Black Tern at Lough Shark. 

Bird News Sunday 14th October

A Yellow-browed Warbler was next to The Lighthouse Tavern, Fanad Head (Robert Vaughan).

The Stilt Sandpiper was again at Inch Island in Donegal. (Birdguides).

A Yellow-browed Warbler was behind the chapel on Rathlin. Also a Snow Bunting was extremely approachable at Keeble. (Ric Else & Neal Warnock).

A Great White Egret was on the western shore of Lough Beg this afternoon. (David Steele).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was offshore at Drumfad Bay, Millisle at 3.30 today. (Guy Hamilton)

Two Twite where on the beach at Larne leisure centre.(Ed O'Hara/Comghal McQuillan)

Ballyquintin Point, Ards peninsula had 55 Great Northern Divers, 6 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver and a Great Skua seen between 8.45 - 10.45 ..also a Storm Petrel was feeding offshore and also a Whimbrel. Another 2 Whimbrel where at Orlock Point.(Richard Weyl)

A Med Gull was at Whitehead.(Ian Enlander)

500 Common Scoter where of Murlough Strand, 8 Fieldfare where seen near Banbridge.(Mike McLaughlin)
Yellow -browed Warbler - Hazel Watson.

Twite - Ed O'Hara.

Bird News Saturday 13th October

A very wet Rathlin had a Snow Bunting, Merlin, Redwing and a Wheatear. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

A ring-tailed Hen Harrier and a Short-eared Owl were at Copeland Bird Observatory. (David Stirling).

Thanks to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Little Egret, Dunlin and partial albino Rook, to Michael Latham for the picture of the Snipe and to Ric Else for the picture of the Snow Bunting:

Bird News Friday 12th October

No news so far today.

Thanks to David Steele for the picture of the Yellow Wagtail from Lough Beg yesterday, to Mike Pringle for the picture of the juvenile Peregrine from Belfast WOW yesterday and to Mervyn Campbell for the picture of the Sanderling:

Bird News Thursday 11th October

Yesterday a probable Turtle Dove was near the large house at St John’s Point, Co Down (Des Loughridge)

Lough Beg late afternoon had a Yellow Wagtail at Mullagh and a Little Stint in the southwest corner. (David Steele)

A high count of at least 170 Red-breasted Mergansers were off Kinnegar (Derek Polley)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen near Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson)

Portavoe, North Down had a group of 20+ Jays flew. Millisle between 11:30 and 12:45 - had flying south, 30+ Great Northern Divers, mostly in summer plumage, 4 Red Throated Divers (only one in winter plumage) and 2 Scoter. (Robert Hart, Michael Richardson & Fulton Somerville)

9 Pink-footed Geese were still around Larne Lough. 2 Whooper Swans flew south past Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

8 Whooper Swans flew over the Bann Estuary, also present were 2 Whimbrel (Sean Hickey)

Inch Lake,Co.Donegal had 57 Pink-footed Geese (Ken Perry/Hill Dick)

Pink-footed Goose, Cameron Moore:

Bird News Wednesday 10th October

A male Hen Harrier was in the Antrim Hills today (Cameron Moore)

Today Rathlin had 29 Crossbills, 4 Whooper Swans, a Hen Harrier and a Jackdaw (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Three Mediterranean Gulls were at Ballykelly this afternoon (Brian Murphy)

The high tide roost today at Seacliff Road Bangor had Ringed plover 74, Turnstone 18 and Purple Sandpipers 5 (Derek Polley)

There were 12 pink footed geese briefly in a field at Myroe this evening around 6pm (Lindsay Hodges)

An Albatross species was seen heading west at lunchtime today at Malin Head (John Clarke)

Thanks to Ric and Hazel for this pic of the Crossbill:

Pink-footed Geese, Lindsay Hodges:

Bird News Tuesday 9th October

Two Crossbills and a Pink-footed Goose were on Rathlin and a Little Egret was seen flying south over the sea. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Thanks to Mervyn Campbell for the pictures of the 1st year Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling and Sandwich Tern and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Little Egret:

Bird News Sunday 7th October

A Short-eared Owl was seen at Magheralave Road / Fairfield’s Glen, outside Lisburn, this morning (Desmond Hassett)

8 Pink-footed Geese were seen flying east at Ramore Head (Brian Murphy)

Desmond Hassett, video still of Short-eared Owl:

Bird News Saturday 6th October

A Blyth's Reed Warbler was at the east end of Tory Island (Anton Meenan)

12 Pink-footed aGeese were with with c500 Brent off Ballykelly this morning (Michael Savage)

9 Pink-footed Geese were with 40+ Greylags in Larne Lough today (Linda Thompson)

Rathlin had its first Redwings of the autumn, a couple of Merlins and Wheatear. Also 5 species of goose including 22 Barnacle Geese flying past, 11 Greenland White-fronts, a Pink-foot and a Brent (Ric Else / Hazel Watson et al)

Sightings in and around the Sperrins today included  a Hen Harrier (Male), 
3 Peregrine Falcon, 3 Kestrel, 3 Buzzards and 4 Ravens (Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges)

On Rathlin yesterday ( Friday) there was a Hen Harrier, 2 Peregrines, a Wheatear and a flock of 21 Twite. (Clive Mellon / Jim Wells)

Thanks to our photographers today:

Mervyn Campbell, Arctic Skua:

Mervyn Campbell, Sanderling:

Linda Thompson, Pink-footed Geese:

Chris Babes, Buzzard:

Christine Cassidy, Hen Harrier:

Bird News Friday 5th October

55 Pink-feet and a Barnacle Goose were in the Roe estuary area, 18 more Pink-feet, a Mediterranean Gull, Merlin and 2 Twite were at Ballykelly. (Matthew Tickner).

Lough Beg late this afternoon had a female Goosander, a juvenile Hen Harrier, juvenile Merlin and 2 Ruff. (David Steele).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the portrait of the Hooded Crow and to Mervyn Guthrie for the picture of the skein of Pink-footed Geese over the Roe estuary:

Bird News Thursday 4th October

A Spotted Redshank and a Carrion Crow were on the Portstewart side of the Bann Estuary this morning. (John Clarke)

RSPB WoW was still dry but had 3 Raven, a pair of Stonechat and a Jay. Kinnegar shore had a Sanderling and 20+ Knot with 60+ Red-breasted Merganser offshore (Derek Polley)

7 Crossbill were in a garden at Monea, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

Rathlin had a Crossbill and single Barnacle, Pink Foot and Brent Geese on Keeble lake (Jim Wells et al)

19 Pink-footed Geese were with c250 Brent Geese at Ballykelly; 220 Whooper Swans at Myroe; and 2 Curlew Sandpipers at Bann Estuary (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

Thanks to Hill Dick for this pic of the Pink-footed Geese:

Bird News Wednesday 3rd October

No news so far today.

Thanks to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Merlin, to Jonathan Clark for the picture of of the juvenile Greenland Wheatear, to Mervyn Campbell for the picture of the Red-throated Diver and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Buzzard:

Rathlin Bird Week


We're looking for any birders who would like to stay on Rathlin during the first week or so of October to help us find and record birds on the island. Cheap accommodation is available for up to eight birders each night in return for birding the island and contributing sightings.
Further information and the relevant contact details can be found here:

Ric & Hazel

Bird News Tuesday 2nd October

A Purple Sandpiper was at Seacliff Road, Bangor (Derek Polley)

Ramore Head for a few hours this morning had Great Skua 33, Arctic Skua 6, Pomarine Skua 3, Sabine’s Gull 1 juv, Little Gull 1 juv, Sooty Shearwater 6, Arctic Tern 7, Leach’s Petrel 3, Storm Petrel 2 and Whooper Swan 21 (Neal Warnock)

The Eastern type Jackdaw was still at Groomsport on the grass in front of the Schomberg memorial. (George Gordon)

Swallows continue to be widely reported.

Thanks to Linda Thompson for this pic of the Pink-footed Geese at Larne yesterday:

Arctic Skua, Mervyn Campbell:

Bird News Monday 1st October

The Baird's Sandpiper and the White-rumped Sandpiper where seen at Balls Point, Lough Foyle this morning, 9 Pink footed Geese were also seen. (Neal Warnock)

Fifteen plus Pink-footed Geese were in a field along Larne Lough near Magheramorne (Linda Thompson)

Sanderling - David Hill.

Pink-footed Geese - Neal Warnock

Stonechat - Thomas Campbell.

Bird News Sunday 30th September

Highlights from Ramore Head from 07:15-14:00 were Great Northern Diver 8, Sooty Shearwater 45, Barnacle Goose 52, Leach’s Petrel 1, Grey Phalarope 1, Pomarine Skua 1, Arctic Skua 4, Great Skua 23, Pintail 18 and Scaup 4 (Neal Warnock).

Also seen at Ramore this morning were ten Puffin and a single Storm Petrel that was taken by a Peregrine. (Stuart McKee).

Fanad Head from 7:30 to 10am had 3 Leaches Petrels, 150+ Sooties, 6 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua, 3 Arctic Tern, 16 Great Northern Divers and 2 Red-throated Divers. Small flocks of Barnacles were also seen heading west. (Robert Vaughan / Wilton Farrelly)

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was at the north end of Strangford Lough (Richard Weyl)

2 Med Gulls were in the car park at Antrim KFC (Gareth Platt)

Ramore Head this evening had 19 Sooty Shearwater, 5 Leach's Petrel, 6 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua, 6 Barnacle Geese, 4 Red-throated Divers and circa 150 Kittiwake. (Matthew Tickner)

Yesterday a Hen Harrier was seen near Pontzpass (Alan McDonnell)

Thanks to Thomas Campbell for this pic of a Dunlin with a flock of Sanderling:

Med Gull, Gareth Platt:

Great Northern Diver, Thomas Campbell: 

Bird News Saturday 29th September

The Bairds Sandpiper was still at Myroe (Richard Donaghey)

The second year Little Gull was at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

A White Wagtail was at Portavogie. (Richard Weyl).

An "Eastern" Jackdaw was in the harbour area of Groomsport. (John Edwards).

For anyone interested the escaped Mandarin Duck remains around Shaw's Bridge in Belfast. (Alan Godfrey).

Thanks to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Peregrine, Ringed Plover & Greenshank and to Ian Jackson for the pictures of the Sanderling and the Turnstone: