Bird News Tuesday 31st July

The juvenile Mediterranean Gull with the yellow leg ring AYLT seen at Victoria Park in Belfast on Sunday was ringed near Leipzig, Germany on 8th June and was last seen there on 3rd July so it traveled west 1,272 kms in 27 days. (Ian Enlander).

Unusually a pair of Sand Martins are nesting in a sand dune at Murlough. (Garry Wilkinson).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Grey Herons and Little Egrets:

Bird News Monday 30th July

A Red Kite was seen at  10.34 over the M1 at Saintfield roundabout, Lisburn.(Gary Wilkinson)

Polish Med. Gull.

A juv.Med Gull was photographed at Castle Espie yesterday and had a red leg ring. The readable ring was traced back to Poland, it was ringed on the 6th June as a chick at Rybical. The distance covered was 1,757kms in 57 days since been ringed, just proves what incredible journeys birds undertake. Our thanks to Gareth Platt for providing the information.

Bird News Sunday 29th July

A probable adult Honey Buzzard drifted south over Ballyboley forest near Larne, early afternoon. It was different to David Steele’s bird on Friday. (Davy Hunter)

Belfast WOW reserve this morning had the returning Ruff now in winter plumage, single Whimbrel, Sanderling and Knot and 4 summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwits. (Ed O'Hara, Stuart McKee).

2 Crossbills and a Cuckoo were at Clabby Mountain, Co Fermanagh ths morning. (Colin Bell).

Victoria Park, Sydenham this afternoon had 1 ad Med Gull + 2 juv Med Gull. Both juv Med Gulls had colour rings - 1 was from German study yellow ring AYLT and the others origin was unclear but likely to be France/Belgium/Netherlands white ring 339J. A Common Sandpiper also present (Ian Enlander)

Following on from the recent sightings of two young colour-ringed Med Gulls from Germany, a further young colour-ringed Med Gull from Poland, was at Castle Espie today (Gareth Platt)

A flock of 13 Whimbrel was seen at the Barmouth. The Estuary had a summer plumaged Knot, summer Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Sanderling and a Greenshank (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Thomas Campbell for this pic of a Common Sandpiper and Gareth Platt for the juvenile Med Gull:

Bird News Saturday 28th July

A single Whimbrel was the best at Ballymacormick Point this morning (Richard Hunter).

4 Sanderling and the juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were still at Belfast WOW reserve, two Red Knot were at Kinnegar shore. (Stuart McKee).

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull, another German ringed bird with a yellow ring AYKY, was at Loughshore Park in Antrim, see picture below. (Stephen Foster)

Thanks to Jonny Andrews for the picture of the Yellowhammer, to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Kestrel, to Stuart McKee for the pictures of the Knot and the juvenile Mediterranean Gull predating a tern chick and to Stephen Foster for the ringed juvenile Mediterranean Gull:

Bird News Friday 27th July

A Honey Buzzard (female pale-type with extensively white underparts), was seen at Banagher Glen near Dungiven, Co. Derry, it seemed to be on the move, watched for 15 minutes around 2pm drifting, flapping and  gliding  east / southeast along the full length of the glen. It was eventually lost in view over forestry beyond the reservoir. Briefly interacting with common buzzards and ravens (David Steele)

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was in a garden at Upper Ballinderry, Lisburn, this morning. (Robin Brown) see pic. below.

A single Whimbrel was at Belfast WOW reserve, four Red Knot were at Kinnegar Pool, see picture below. (Stuart McKee).

Bird News Thursday 26th July

Belfast WOW reserve had a Peregrine, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, 60 Curlew, 2 Arctic and a Sandwich Terns. One of the Mediterranean Gulls was observed eating a tern chick. (Derek Polley).

Thanks to Ric Else and Hazel Watson for the pictures of the Hen Harrier and the neck-collared Greylag that arrived on Rathlin yesterday and to Derek Polley for the picture of the juvenile Mediterranean Gull attacking a tern chick:

Bird News Wednesday 25th July

An adult Curlew Sandpiper was at the Bann Estuary and also a 2nd year Mediterranean Gull there with a dark morph Arctic Skua off Castlerock beach (Jeff Larkin / Hill Dick)

An Osprey was seen on the River Foyle this morning near Burndennet, Co. Tyrone (Brian Hegarty)

A Hen Harrier was seen on Rathlin today (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

Thanks to Brian for a pic of the Osprey and Hill for the Curlew Sandpiper:

Bird News Tuesday 24th July

5 Whooper Swans were at Lough Beg, east of Church Island. Also around Church Island were 3 Ruff, 3 Greenshank and 63 Black-Tailed Godwit. (Dougie Gamble)

Thanks to Dougie Gamble for this pic of two Whoopers:

Bird News Monday 23rd July

Linnet - Alistair McLean
A 2nd calendar year Med Gull was on Rathlin today (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

Bird News Sunday 22nd July

An eclipse male Garganey was in the southwest corner of Lough Beg today, also now 25 Ruff (mostly moulting males) on the western shoreline and further Greenshank passage with 14 today, mostly juveniles. (David Steele).

A ringed Common Gull with the number 5182366 was at Millisle yesterday, this bird was ringed as a chick in Rogaland, Norway on 9th July 2016. (Gareth Platt).

Up to 40 Puffins along with Manx Shearwaters were around Mew Island of the County Down coast today. (Michael Latham).

A Storm Petrel was at Burial Island on the Outer Ards. (Richard Weyl).

Thanks to Michael for the pictures of the Puffin and Manx Shearwater and to Gareth for the picture of the ringed Common Gull:

Bird News Saturday 21st July

This morning a juvenile and two adult Reed Warblers were in the reed bed around Kinnegoe hide at Oxford Island. (Garry Armstrong).

A single Mediterranean Gull was at KFC in Antrim, see picture below. (Gareth Platt).

A second German ringed juvenile Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehead on 17th, the ring was Yellow AY.KA. (Gareth Platt/Cameron Moore).

Thanks to Stuart McKee for the picture of the German ringed juvenile Mediterranean Gull at Belfast WOW, to Mark Elliott for the picture of the juvenile Sedge Warbler and to Gareth Platt for the picture of the Mediterranean Gull:


Bird News Friday 20th July

Yesterday a male Hen Harrier was in the Fivemiletown area. (Colin Bell).

Also yesterday a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was on Rathlin, see picture below. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

Six juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were at Belfast WOW reserve including one bird that had been ringed in Germany. (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to Ric Else for the picture of the juvenile Mediterranean Gull:

Bird News Thursday 19th July

Yesterday a Marsh Harrier was seen over Minerstown beach (Dan Dempsey).

Our thanks to Gavin Ferguson for his pic of this Cuckoo and Meadow Pipit and to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Common Tern and the Black Guillemot:



Bird News Wednesday 18th July

A high tide count at Belfast WOW reserve between 17.15 and 17.45 produced: 320+ Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 30 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 in summer plumage the rest were probably a mixture of juveniles and 1st summers. 6 Dunlin, all were adults in summer plumage, 1 Roseate Tern, an adult in breeding plumage. Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwits were still arriving at 17.45. (Tom Ennis).

Approximately 12 Yellowhammers were outside Ardglass this evening, see picture below. (Michael Latham).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Swift over his garden, to Michael Latham for the picture of the Yellowhammer and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Sparrowhawk:

Bird News Tuesday 17th July

11 Common Sandpipers were at Dargan today (Adam McClure)

Thanks to Rob McAllister for the picture of the Whitethroat and to Linda Thompson for the picture of the Common Sandpiper:


Bird News Monday 16th July.

22 Ruff were on the western shoreline of Lough Beg this evening, also 3 Greenshank and the first returning Dunlin of the season.(David Steele).

2 Great Spotted Wooodpecker were heard tonight at Fardross Glen, near Fivemiletown/Clogher Co Tyrone. (Colin Bell). 

Bird News Sunday 15th July

Three Roseate Terns, all ringed on both legs, were at RSPB WoW this morning (Garry Armstrong) The terns were still present at 4p.m. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown). A fourth, unringed, Roseate was at the reserve this afternoon along with a summer plumaged Grey Plover, the Ruff, a Turnstone and 4 Knot. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop & Carole Gillespie).

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in Kilclief, Co Down (Simon Rodgers).

A Long-Eared Owl was calling on the Moss Road near Ballycopeland Windmill in Millisle on Thursday and Friday night. (David McCormick).

A young Long-eared Owl was at the Argory in Co. Armagh. (Mark Elliott).

A mixed pair of Mediterranean and Common Gulls have raised two chicks on a rooftop in Antrim. (Gareth Platt).

Thanks to Stuart McKee for the first picture of two of the Roseate Terns, to Comghal McQuillan for the second Roseate Tern picture and to Mark Elliott for the picture of the Jay:


Bird News Saturday 14th July

An adult Med Gull was at the south end of Kilhorne Bay, Annalong this morning. (Richard Gray)

Yesterday two Mediterranean Gulls, an adult and a 2nd summer, were at Antrim Lough Shore Park. (Stephen Foster). Today two Mediterranean Gulls, at least one a different bird from yesterday, were in the KFC car-park in Antrim. (Gareth Platt).

A Spotted Flycatcher was at Palace Demesne Park in Armagh City this afternoon. (Colin Bell).

Thanks to Stephen for this picture of the Mediterranean Gulls from yesterday and to Gareth Platt for the picture of another Mediterranean Gull from today:


Bird News Friday 13th July

The single Roseate Tern, Ruff, 3 summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwits and a Common Sandpiper were at Belfast Lough WOW reserve. (Garry Armstrong, Ed O'Hara).

Quite a few Yellowhammers were singing, as well as 2 Tree Sparrows on the Buskhill road just off the A1 near Newry (Karen Elliott)

Yesterday a male Great-spotted Woodpecker was in a garden in Bessbrook (Alan Synnot).

Reedy Flat on the south shore of Lough Neagh had a Greenshank, a Peregrine and a female Shoveler with a brood of 5 young. (James O'Neill).

The Ruff and Common Sandpiper at Belfast WOW reserve:

Bangor Boat Trips

There are various boat trips happening over the next month to see Puffins, Manx Shearwaters and other birds around the Copelands and Gobbins. You can see details of the trips at:

Bird News Thursday 12th July

An adult Rose-coloured Starling has been reported feeding in a garden in the Bangor Spectator (per Kerry Leonard).

Two Common Sandpipers were at Lady Bay, Lough Neagh. (Richard Caves).

3 Crossbills weee at west Fermanagh scarplands, west of Derrygonnelly (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Kerry for this picture from the paper:

Bird News Wednesday 11th July

A Roseate Tern was at the Belfast WOW reserve briefly before flying out to Belfast Lough, also present three summer plumaged Bar-Tailed Godwits, two Common Sandpipers and a new Ruff. (Stuart McKee)

For anyone interested there is a boat trip planned for Ailsa Craig for Monday (10am). The Gannet nesting season is now in full swing. The trip will be in a 12 seat covered rib which can also facilitate photography if the weather is good. For more information contact Jim Wells on ‭07856 235144‬.

Thanks to Stuart for the pictures of the Ruff and the Common Sandpiper:

Bird News Tuesday 10th July

No news so far today.

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this picture of a Swift with a full crop:

Bird News Monday 9th July

Two Great Skua were seen in Rathlin Sound (Martin Murphy)

A dark phase Arctic Skua was near the Barmouth this afternoon (Colin Guy)

Thanks to David Hill for this pic of a Reed Bunting:

Bird News Sunday 8th July

The Ruff and three Common Sandpiper were at RSPB WoW this morning (Garry Armstrong)

A Reed Warbler was singing along the Quoile river near the countryside centre, Downpatrick this afternoon. (Karen Elliott)

2 Whimbrel were at Murvagh, Co Donegal (Brad Robson)

Bird News Saturday 7th July

A singing Stock Dove was at Clandeboye Estate, Bangor. Yesterday a Short-eared Owl was at Tara Bay near Portaferry. (Dermot Hughes).

6 Common Sandpiper were along the Newry Estuary/ River this morning. (Frank Carroll).

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the juvenile Whinchat and to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Peregrine and the Kestrel and to Jonny Rosborough for the picture of the Puffins:


Bird News Friday 6th July

No news so far today.

Thanks to Jeff Silvers for the picture of a Herring Gull:

Bird News Thursday 5th July

The Corncrake was heard calling today on Rathlin (Ken Moore)

Crossbills seem to be on the move. Yesterday 5 were at Kinramer, Rathlin (Ric Else / Hazel Watson) and good numbers have been seen in North Donegal in recent days (Robert Vaughan)

There was a high count of a minimum of 51 Black Guillimots at Glenarm harbour yesterday (Garry Wilkinson)

Also, for anyone who's interested: 
The first Guillemot and Razorbill chicks are already leaving the cliffs now, so there's just a few weeks left for anyone to come and see the spectacle of Rathlin's breeding auk colony at its peak. The 'jumplings' will be making their thrilling leaps from the cliffs at dusk every night throughout this month, and a special late night viewing session will be organised on Saturday 14th July. It may also be possible to arrange viewing on other nights - contact the RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre on 02820760062 to enquire.

Thanks to Wilf Swain for this pic of a Wren: