Bird News Monday 30th April

 A pair of Dotterel were with a flock of Golden Plover on the fields at Myroe Levels this morning (Mervyn and Susanne Guthrie). Both birds were still showing early this evening (Brian McCloskey).

Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were observed flying over a house in Antrim (Davy Hunter)

A White-tailed Eagle was on the shores of Lough Neagh not far from Ardboe, Co.Tyrone. The bird has no wing tags. (Clare Bell) The bird was then seen at Reedy Flats this afternoon (Mark Killops)

A Ring Ouzel was on Rathlin (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Our thanks to Ric/Hazel for the photo of the Ring Ouzel and to Clare who sent in the photo of the White-tailed Eagle. Also to Mervyn for the pics of  the two Dotterel. Another pic of the White-tailed Eagle seen at Reedy Flats kindly sent in by Mark Killops

Bird News Sunday 29th April

An untagged sub-adult White-tailed Eagle was at Glenarriff  today, last seen heading towards Martinstown (Mervyn Campbell)

A Little Gull, 9 Mediterranean Gulls and a Ruff were at RSPB WoW (Garry Armstrong) Later in the afternoon At Belfast Harbour Reserve this afternoon I had a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and 2 adult Little Gulls (Tom Ennis)

A juv White-tailed Eagle was at Blackers rock Lough Neagh (Godfrey McRoberts)

A Whinchat along with a good fall of Greenland Wheatears were at Rue Point, Rathlin (Hazel Watson / Ric Else)

A Whinchat was in the Antrim Hills (Daniel Newton)

6 Crossbill were at Glenshane Forest (Lindsay Hodges)

The drake Ring-necked Duck was still at The Quoile (Kevin Kirkham-Brown)

An untagged Red Kite was on Acre Road, Magheralin (Brian Boyce)

Garron Point, Co Antrim had a 1st year and adult Iceland Gull (Ian Enlander)

13 Crossbill were at Lough Navar Forest Park feeding on Larch. 6 Whimbrel were seen at Portadown flying north (Brian Nelson)

Cuckoos, Grasshopper Warblers, Whitethroats, Swifts and Sedge Warblers are now widely reported. Thanks to everyone for their sightings.

Many thanks to Mervyn Campbell for this pic of the White-tailed Eagle:

Male Crossbill, Lindsay Hodges:

Bird News Saturday 28th April

A sub-adult Little Gull was at RSPB WoW this morning (Daniel Newton)

Two Little Gulls were seen heading over Lurgan towards Craigavon Lakes (Noel Austin)

Four Avocets were at the Barmouth this morning (Theo Campbell).

14 Whimbrel were on the shore north of Ballygalley and 18 Bottlenose Dolphin inshore. (Ian Enlander)

A Corncrake is calling on Rathlin, in the same location as last year (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Thanks to Neal Warnock for the picture of the Avocets:


Bird News Friday 27th April.

Around 35-40  Whimbrel were between Sandeel Bay and Briggs Rocks on the North Down coast this morning.(Ron Price)

Late news from yesterday a Golden Eagle was spotted on the Garron plateau.(Katy Bell)

Bird News Thursday 26th April

RSPB WoW today had a pair of Gadwall, 4 Common Tern and a male Ruff. Also a Drake Pintail and two pairs of Mediterranean Gull (Tom Ennis)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Mount Stewart (Lesley Barker)

Yesterday Killard had 16 Sandwich Tern, circa 80 Brent Goose and 1 Whimbrel (Tom Ennis / Tony Dodds).

22 Whimbrel, 36 White Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and a House Martin were at Lower Lough Erne RSPB reserve. (Brad Robson).

Thanks to Michael Henderson for the picture of the Song Thrush:


Bird News Wednesday 25th April

A Tree Pipit was on Rathlin this morning, also a Mediterranean Gull was at Rue Point and there was a good passage of Whimbrel. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

A Whitethroat was at Oxford Island. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

A Ruff, Pintail and 8 Mediterranean Gulls were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Gerard McGeehan).

Two Cuckoo were at Murlough this afternoon, see picture below. (Annette Elkin)

Swifts have now been reported from sites across the country.

Thanks to Ric Else for the picture of the Tree Pipit, to Annette Elkin for the picture of the Cuckoo and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Kestrel:

Bird News Tuesday 24th April

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard at Hillsborough Forest (Garry Wilkinson)

A Cuckoo was seen near Strabane (Alison McCool)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Craigagh Wood, Cushendun (James McDowell \ Hill Dick)

Thanks to Alison for this pic of the Cuckoo:

Bird News Monday 23rd April.

A Dark-bellied Brent was with 250 Pale-bellied Brent at Dundrum Inner bay. (David Nixon)

A Common Swift, 42 White Wagtails and 13 Whimbrel were at Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB Reserve (Brad Robson)

A Cuckoo was calling at Lough Fea today (Shane McGarvey)

Dark bellied Brent(right hand bird) - David Nixon

Fulmar - Angus Kennedy.

Bird News Sunday 22nd April

The drake Ring-necked Duck was still still at the Quoike. A Ruff was also present. (Wilton Farrelly / Michael Latham)

A Glaucous Gull was at Killard (David Stirling)

At Lough Beg, a Little Ringed Plover was at Paddy’s Dubh and 300+ White Wagtail were also present. (David Steele)

Yesterday a Red kite was over Annacloy at 19.30pm (Garry Wilkinson) and late news was of a Barn Owl near Crossgar on Wednesday morning (Cynthia Rice)

A Red Kite was along the Dromara Road, Dundrum (Wilf Swain)

A first year Little gull was at Cloughey Bay (Richard Weyl)

Glaucous Gull - David Stirling:

Red Kite, Wilf Swain:

Bird News Saturday 21st April

A Blue-headed Wagtail was present at Rathmore Pitch and Putt Course,Portrush For a short time this morning before being disturbed by golfers. A Short-eared Owl was being mobbed in a field on Dunseverick – Causeway coastal path. (Colin Guy).

An adult Ring-billed Gull and a possible first winter Kumliens Gull were at Kinnegar shore this morning (Daniel Newton)

Swifts are now widely reported.

12 White Wagtails and a Wheatear were around the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island this morning. (Garry Armstrong).

A Glaucous Gull was still present on Rathlin, see picture below. (John Parkinson)

30 White Wagtails and 15 Whimbrel were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB reserve Fermanagh (Amy Burns)

Thanks to Daniel Newton for the picture of the presumed Kumliens Gull and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Kestrel, to Colin Guy for the record shot of the Blue-headed Wagtail and to John Parkinson for the picture of the Glaucous Gull:


Bird News Friday 20th April

Lower lough Erne Islands RSPB reserve Co Fermanagh this morning had 39 Whimbrel 36 Black-tailed Godwits and 9 White Wagtails. 2 singing Grasshopper Warblers were at upper lough erne (Brad Robson, Amy Burns, Sarah McCaffrey)

Unusually a Bullfinch was on Rathlin (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Two Whimbrel were in Kinnegar shore this morning (Daniel Newton)

A Cuckoo was at Murlough Co Down.(Philip McErlean)

4 Purple Sandpiper west of Pickie and a Wheatear at Sticklands.(Derek Polley)

Cuckoo - Philip McErlean.

Bird News Thursday 19th April

A Cuckoo has been calling for the last couple of days at Ballee on the outskirts of Ballymena, Co. Antrim. (David Morrow)

Four Mediterranean Gulls and a Ruff were at RSPB WoW (Derek Polley)

An adult Dark-bellied Brent was with around 250 Brent in Dundrum South Inner Bay today (David Nixon)

The south end of Lough Beg this evening had a significant arrival of 250+ White Wagtails and the Green-winged Teal was seen again (David Steele)

At Belfast Harbour Reserve today were a Common Tern, 2 Ruff (both adult Males) and 2 pairs of Med Gull (Tom Ennis & Stephen Maxwell). Also present were 30 Tufted Duck (Tom Ennis)

Ballykelly today had c200 Sanderling, c100 Ringed Plover; Myroe had 16 Whooper Swan and 1 White Wagtail; Bann Estuary had 190 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Grey Plover. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

Yesterday an adult Summer Plumage Med Gull was at Victoria Park (Tom Ennis & Tony Dodds) 

Not a rarity but a very unusual sight, Brian Hegarty photographed this presumed leucistic Chaffinch:

Bird News Wednesday 18th April

A Little Gull and 2 Little Egrets were of the hide at the Quoile Pondage, good numbers of common migrants were also present. (Spencer & Joan Marshall).

A 2nd calendar year Iceland Gull was at Whiteabbey yesterday afternoon, see picture below. (Suzanne Belshaw).

5 Mediterranean Gull and a Ruff were at RSPB WoW (Gerard McGeehan)

A Cuckoo has been reported from Murlough.

The Green-winged Teal was seen again at the south end of Lough Beg this evening, also present were 6 Whimbrel (first of the spring at the Beg) and 40+ White Wagtails. (David Steele).

The drake Ring-necked Duck, 10 Common Terns and 3 Little Egret were at the Quoile, 250 Brent Geese were grazing in a field north of Portavogie and 6 Sandwich Terns were at Groomsport. (Tom Ennis, Tony Dodds & Tony Donaldson).

Iceland Gull - Suzanne Belshaw

Bird News Tuesday 17th April

A different 2CY Glaucous Gull was in Rathlin's harbour today, plus 3 Common Sandpipers, White Wagtail, & Brambling still present (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was in Victoria Park, Belfast. (Tony Dodds)

A Cuckoo was at Clabby Mountain, Co Fermanagh this evening (Colin Bell)

Migrants arriving in Lower Lough Erne today included a Common Tern, 2 White Wagtails and a Sedge Warbler (Brad Robson)

A single Mediterranean Gull remains at Castle Espie (Derek Polley)

Yesterday a pair of Mandarin duck were in the Broughshane area yesterday (Ronald Surgenor)

Glaucous Gull - Ric Else \ Hazel Watson:

Drake Mandarin - Ronald Surgenor:

Bird News Monday 16th April.

The Ring-necked Duck and female Goosander where still present at the Quoile pondage.(David Nixon)

The south end of Lough Beg this evening had a rare inland Kittiwake, a Green-winged Teal, 22 Ruff and 20 White Wagtails (David Steele)

The Ballintoy large flock of Twites have moved to Dunseverick Harbour area (Colin Guy)

5 Brambling were on Rathlin (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Bird News Sunday 15th April

A moulting White-billed Diver was seen from Melmore Head, Co Donegal, looking west this evening (Robert Vaughan)

5 summer plumage Slavonian Grebes were at Greyabbey Bay south. A 1st year Iceland Gull was at Portavogie and 1st year Glaucous at Cloughy. (Garry Armstrong/ Stuart McKee)

Yesterday a Little Gull and two Manx Shearwaters were on Belfast Lough this offshore from Carrickfergus - seen from a boat (Roger Woodward)

The drake Ring-necked Duck was at the Quoile with a female Goosander also there. (Stuart McKee)

A Spotted Flycatcher and two Yellowhammer were at the back of Cairn Wood, Craigantlet (Ronald Surgenor)

A Red Kite was over Glenhead Road, Glenwherry Ballymena today (Gregory Moorehead)

8 Mediterranean Gulls and a Ruff were at RSPB WoW (Stuart McKee / Garry Armstrong).

A White Wagtail and a few Twite were at Sandy Bay, Larne (Kevin Kirkham).

An adult and a 2nd calendar year Mediterranean Gull were at Sandy Bay in Larne, see picture below. (Neal Warnock).

A Stock Dove, possibly the first island record was on Rathlin. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Glaucous Gull Cloghey

Mediterranean Gull - Neal Warnock

Bird News Saturday 14th April

A Common Sandpiper was on the Clanrye River at Newry Estuary this morning. (Frank Carroll)

3 Common Sandpipers were at Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB Reserve Fermanagh this morning (Brad Robson)

6 Crossbill were at Altnahinch Dam this morning (Richard Hunter)

Two White Wagtails were visible this morning from the Visitors Centre, RSPB WoW (Daniel Newton)

A 4CY Iceland Gull was at Whiteabbey (Paul McCullough).

A small flock of 10 White Wagtails were in a stubble field in Ballintoy this afternoon near the Church along the upper path leading to the Rope Bridge. (Robert Plant)

Many common migrants are now being widely reported including Blackcaps, Sedge Warblers, Wheatears, House Martins and Common Terns.

Thanks to Jonathan Clark for the picture of the Mediterranean Gull, to Paul McCullough for the picture of the Iceland Gull, to Martina Boyal for the picture of the Sparrowhawk and to Robert Plant for the picture of the White Wagtail:


Bird News Friday 13th April.

The 1w Iceland Gull was still present at Killough today, Brents were up to 938 and Golden Plover down to c.500. (Chris Murphy)

A Little Gull was at Ballycarry bridge. (Cameron Moore) see pic below:

There were 3 Ruff, a Greenshank, three Kestrel and an adult male Merlin at Reedy Flats today.(James O'Neill)

Bird News Thursday 12th April

A 1st winter Iceland Gull, 710 Brent Geese and 1,000 Golden Plover were in Killough Harbour. (Chris Murphy)

A Ruff and 2 Mediterranean Gull were at Belfast Lough WOW reserve. (Derek Polley).

Thanks to Noel Austin for the picture of the Jay:

Bird News Wednesday 11th April

The drake Green-winged Teal was still at Ballycarry. A first winter Iceland Gull was still at Whitehead. (Cameron Moore / Tom Ennis / Tony Dodds)

A Mandarin Duck was on the River Lagan at Belvoir Waste Water Treatment plant (Angus Kennedy / Tim Murphy)

Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins are now widely reported. Thanks to all for sightings.

A 2nd year Iceland Gull was seen flying near the Giants Causeway (Colin Guy)

Tardree Forest, Co Antrim, this afternoon had 2 Crossbills (Philip McErlean)

Two Tree Sparrows were back feeding on a garden feeder in Portstewart this afternoon. (Sean Hickey)

Iceland Gull, Cameron Moore:

Mandarin, Angus Kennedy:

Crossbill, Philip McErlean:

Bird News Tuesday 10th April

Two Tree Sparrows were on a feeder in a garden in Portstewart today. (Sean Hickey).

Two Brambling and three Yellowhammers were on Rathlin. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

A pair of Tree Sparrows were at Maghery, Co. Armagh. (Michael O'Reilly).

Bird News Monday 9th April.

The south end of Lough Beg this evening had the Great White Egret and 38 Ruff in Paddy's Dub area. A 1st winter Med.Gull over the beg and 65 White Wagtail at Mullagh.(David Steele)

A Whimbrel was seen on Belfast Lough. (Linda Thompson)

An Iceland Gull was St Columbs Park, Derry (Michael Savage)

The Green winged Teal remains at Ballycarry.(Cameron Moore) see pic below.

Fields on Moss Road in Millisle, this afternoon had a Snipe, several Skylark, 2 Ravens and 2 Yellowhammer.(David McCormick)

2 House Martin were at Tullybrannigan, Newcastle (Anne NcCombe)

2 Reed Warblers were at Victoria Park, Belfast (Margaret Adamson)

An Osprey flew over Coalisland (BirdGuides)

Late news from yesterday and Blacker's Rock, Lough Neagh, Co. Tyrone had 1 Swallow, 2 Willow w’Warbler, 150 Black tailed godwit, 50 Golden plover, 20 Curlew, 10 Common snipe, 4 pairs Gadwall, 2 pairs Shelduck and 1 pair of Stonechat. (Godfrey McRoberts)

Med Gull from Castle Espie.

Whimbrel - Linda Thompson

Bird News Sunday 8th April

A minimum of 80 Whooper Swans remain on the Toome Complex; Also present were the Great White Egret, 10 Little Egret, 13 Ruff, 2 Greenshank and 30 Pintail. 540 Brent Geese were at Killough Harbour (Chris Murphy)

A drake Ring-necked Duck was off Milltown (Maghery), Lough Neagh, Co. Armagh. (David Knight)

A third year Iceland Gull and a first year Med Gull were at Kinnegar. A Ruff was at the RSPB WoW Reserve (Stuart McKee)

A male brambling was feeding in a garden at Mountsandel, Coleraine, this morning (Eddie Manthorpe)

Circa 50 Twite were at Ballykelly/ Myroe near the footbridge. (Michael Savage)

A Red Kite was at Lough Aghery, Annahilt this afternoon (Gerard McLaughlin)

A Carrion Crow was on the edge of Belvoir Estate and a pair of summer plumage adult Mediterranean Gulls at Kinnegar Pool (Clive Mellon)

A female Brambling was in a garden at Richhill this morning (Andrew Poots)

Portavogie had a 1st year Iceland Gull and 4 White Wagtail (Richard Weyl)

Many thanks to Andrew Poots for this pic of the Brambling:

Bird News Saturday 7th April

A Slavonian Grebe was on Belfast Lough next to RSPB WoW (Kevin Kirkham-Brown)

A Great-Spotted Woodpecker and 15 Jays were seen at Florencecourt, Co Fermanagh (George Stewart)

A Brambling was seen again on the Dunminning Rd, Cullybackey (Jeff Larkin)

10 Twite still at Beach Road, Whitehead (Ian Enlander)

At least 150 Twite are still present at the stubble field on Ballintoy upper walk (Colin Guy)

Wheatears, Sandwich Terns, Chiffchaffs, Sand Martins and Swallows are now widely reported. Thanks to everyone for sharing sightings.

Thanks to Ian Enlander for the picture of a Twite and to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Willow Warbler:


Bird News Friday 6th April.

Late news from yesterday of a Little Gull seen at Cloughey Bay.(Richard Weyl)
Also from yesterday 11 Crossbills where seen at Glenarriff (Ronald Surgenor)

Our thanks to Ian Jackson for the photo of the Sandwich Tern.

Breeding Curlews

Curlews have become very scarce breeding birds in Northern Ireland. The Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) are interested in any records of Curlews in possible breeding habitat.

Curlews breed on open moorland, rough and damp pastures, unimproved hay meadows and boggy ground. They occasionally use arable crops and silage fields.

If you see Curlews in possible breeding habitat please report your sighting online at:

Bird News Thursday 5th April

The Green-winged Teal was still at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore)

A Swift was seen at Craigavon Balancing Lakes this morning near the Civic Centre building (Lynn Hughes)

This morning Newry Canal from Poyntzpass to Scarva had 13 Sand Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff and 14 Redwing (Fulton Somerville)

Chiffchaffs are now been widely reported whilst Whoopers continue to leave.

Swallows were in Kinnegoe Bay, Oxford Island this evening. (Paul & Niall Mulvenna).

This evening Lough Shark had 100+ Sand Martin, 9 Swallow, 2 House Martin and 10 Whooper Swan. (Robert Somerville).

An Osprey was fishing on Lower Lough Erne today. (Peter Taylor).

Thanks to cameron Moore for this pic of the Green-winged Teal:

Bird News Wednesday 4th April

A pair of Goosander were in Victoria Park in Belfast. (Walter Veale).

Whitehead seafront between 06.45 and 07.45 this morning had 63 Red-throated Diver fly past into Belfast Lough, 4 Red-throated Diver inshore, 2 Black-throated Diver fly past into Belfast Lough, 2 Black-throated Diver inshore, 5 Great Northern Diver fly past into Belfast Lough, 8 Sandwich Tern foraging inshore and 7 Manx Shearwater offshore. (Ian Enlander).

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in Derrymore Wood, Bessbrook this morning. (Frank Carroll)

A male Brambling fleetingly came into a garden in Carrickfergus (Marty Mcclenaghan)

Thanks to Harry Byron for the picture of a Sparrowhawk and to Cameron Moore for the picture of the 1st year Iceland Gull:


2018 Cuckoo Records


Submit Cuckoo Records Online.
  Mark the return of Spring by listening out for the cuckoo!

Help in recording what is for many the distinctive sound of Spring – the call of the cuckoo. If you see or hear a cuckoo please submit your record online .

  The Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) is asking for people to report when they see or hear a Cuckoo using the newly launched online recording facility.

The Cuckoo is a rapidly declining species Red Listed as a bird of conservation concern in the UK. They arrive from Africa in April and May and sing throughout the Spring. They are much more likely to heard than seen. Their calls are distinctive but can be mistaken for Collared Dove and Woodpigeon .

  More information on the Cuckoo can be found on the Priority Species of Northern Ireland website.

If you see or hear a Cuckoo then please visit and submit your record.
CEDaR Online Recording –


Habitas –

Damian McFerran
Record Centre Manager,
National Museums Northern Ireland
Cultra, Holywood,
 Co. Down, BT18 0EU

T - 028 9039 5256
E -

Bird News Tuesday 3rd April

The Green-winged Teal was still at Ballycarry (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

Lough Beg this afternoon a Gannet was resting in the southwest corner at 4pm (see attached shot) - very unusual at this location, presumably it took a wrong-turn at the Bar Mouth! It appeared to have gone by 6pm. Also, the three over-wintering Little Stints were seen again, two Sand Martins were over the Beg and a Chiffchaff was at Mullagh. (David Steele)

A Wheatear was at Portmuck (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

Our thanks to David Stirling who provided the photo of the Green-winged Teal at Ballycarry. Gannet photo from David Steele.