Bird News Monday 31st December

The Spoonbill was on Ogilby Island off Rough Island, Strangford Lough at 11.30 (Dermot Hughes)

The two Waxwing were at the mouth of the river in Ballycastle, first thing this morning.

A Sandwich Tern was in Ballyholme Bay, Bangor at 10.40 today (Shane Wolsey)

Two female scaup were at Crom, Upper Lough Erne (Jamie Dillon)

A flock of 55 Pink-footed Geese and a female Merlin were at Myroe, Lough Foyle (David Nixon / Philip McHaffie)

Thanks to Lesley Barker for this pic of a Peregrine at Mount Stewart:

Bird News Sunday 30th December

This morning between 8:30 and 9, Whitehead seafront had 103 Red-throated Diver and 13 Great Northern Diver flying into Belfast Lough.  4 Twite were at Whitehead boat park (Ian Enlander)

Two Waxwings were still fly-catching from trees at the mouth of the river in Ballycastle (Neal Warnock/Michael Latham/Paul & Niall Mulvenna).

Several Brambling were in the Antrim hills. (Michael Latham).

A Brambling was at Glynn Station this afternoon. (Brian Halligan).

A 1st winter Little Gull and a 1st winter Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid were at Corbally Reservoir outside Portrush. (Neal Warnock).

7 Pink-footed Geese, 200 Greylag Geese and 300+ Whooper Swans were in several large flocks over a wide area around Aghagallon outside Lurgan. (Ed O'Hara).

A flock of 30 Greylag Geese was at Begney Lough near Dromara this afternoon. (Ian Jackson).

Thanks to Michael Latham for the first picture of the Waxwing, to Niall Mulvenna for the second Waxwing and Red-breasted Merganser pictures, to Mervyn Campbell for the picture of the Guillemot, to Brian Halligan for the picture of the Brambling, to Jeff Higgott for the picture of the Kumlien's Gull at Moville, to Ed O'Hara for the picture of Pink-feet with Greylags and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Tree Sparrow: 

Bird News Saturday 29th December.

2 Waxwings again catching insects, flying up from tree tops at the mouth of the River Tow, Ballycastle. (Patrick Barton).

A Barn Owl was over the staff car park at Sprucefield at approx 6.25am this morning flying in the direction of the dual carriageway. (Garry Wilkinson).

Inch Levels in Donegal had 2 Barnacle Geese and 10 Pink-feet and 450 Whoopers among 1,000+ Greylags and 180 Canada Geese. Big Isle had 32 Greenland White-fronts and a Peregrine. (Richard Grey).

The adult Kumlien's Gull was still at Moville in Donegal. (Jeff Higgott).

At Ballyquintin Point there were 3 Gannet and 1200 Kittiwake and a high count of 400 Black-tailed Godwit were at Quintin Bay. (Richard Weyl).

An Iceland Gull was in a field at Ballyrashane, just outside of Coleraine. 18 Sanderling, 61 Purple Sandpiper, 14 Redshank & 18 Ringed Plover, were at Landsdowne Crescent, Portrush. (Gareth Platt).

An escaped Mandarin Duck was at the WOW reserve this morning.(Robert Evans)see photo below.

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Sparrowhawk, to David Clarke for the picture of the Grey Wagtail and to Gareth Platt for the picture of the Iceland Gull:

Bird News Friday 28th December

2 Waxwings were fly catching on the Cushendall Road outside Ballycastle, last seen flying towards the town, see pictures below. (Ivan Quail & Nicky Lynn),

A Spoonbill was seen from Castle Espie this afternoon (Kenny Moore / Cameron Moore).

A Ruff was at Belfast WOW reserve this morning. (Garry Armstrong).

25 Tree Sparrows were now in a garden at Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney. (Derek McIntyre)

A male Ring-necked Duck was on Lough Beg this afternoon, off Mullagh. Also, a 1st-winter Little Gull was over the ponds at the south end and the Little Stint, 28 Ruff and the Great White Egret were also seen. (David Steele).

40+ Purple Sandpiper were at the back of Newcastle Pier, a Red-throated Diver and a small raft of Common Scoter were off the pier. (Michael Latham).

35 Slavonian Grebe and 4 Long-tailed Duck were off Myroe and 57 Pink-footed Geese were in nearby fields. An adult Kumlien's Gull was at Moville in Donegal. (Neal Warnock).

A pair of Brambling were in a north Antrim garden. (Dick Glasgow).

A Black Redstart was on the beach at Newcastle. (Birdguides).

Bird sightings on Newry Canal this morning included: - 3 Raven, 1 Snipe, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Redwing, 16 Cormorants and 30 Whooper Swan. (Fulton Somerville).

Thanks to Ivan Quail for the pictures of the Waxwings, to Kenny Moore for the picture of the Spoonbill, to Michael Latham for the picture of the Purple Sandpiper, to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Brambling and to Neal Warnock for the pictures of the Greenshank and the Pink-footed Geese:

Bird News Thursday 27th December

2 male Long-tailed Duck were at Loughshore, Belfast Lough. Glynn had 7 Greenshank and 2 Dippers on the adjoining river (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

A Common Sandpiper was in the small bay south of Garron point feeding on the wrack (Davy Hunter)

Killard Point Co.Down had..a female Merlin, huge mixed Sparrow flocks at least 70 Yellowhammer and 200  Skylark.(Dermot Hughes)

Bird News, Wednesday 26th December

Portmore Lough had the red head Smew, 200 Whooper Swan, 300 Pochard and 500 Teal (Ed O’Hara)

Yesterday a Woodcock was seen in Ormeau park (Dermot Hughes)

17 Tree Sparrows were visiting a garden at Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney (Derek McIntyre)

The juvenile / female Surf Scoter was still at the west end of Mountcharles, Donegal this morning feeding near green buoy and viewed from end house with white shutters (Gavin Thomas)

A Sandwich Tern was off Donaghadee marina (George Gordon)

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

Bird News Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December

A single Waxwing was around Toome Road, Ballymena (David Steele)

A male and female Brambling were visiting a garden in Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson)

The Goosander was still at Ballycarry and a Velvet Scoter Glynn. (Michael Latham)

Thanks to David Clarke for this pic of a male Blackcap:

Bird News, Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December

The Brambling was still showing this morning at the feeders at the Discovery Centre, Oxford Island (Garry Armstrong / Mick McLaughlin)

Three Crossbill flew over a garden at Fivemiletown (Colin Bell)

An adult Glaucous Gull was at Enniskillen dump along with a few argentatus Herring Gull (Brad Robson)

This afternoon, a juvenile Surf Scoter was off the west end of Mountcharles, Donegal, along with 20 Common Scoter (Gavin Thomas)

The south end of Lough Beg had the Great White Egret, a Little Stint, 23 Ruff and a Merlin (David Steele)

We wish all our contributors and readers a very Happy Christmas.

Thanks to Mike McLaughlin for this pic of the Brambling:

Bird News Sunday 23rd December

A Brambling was along the Lagan towpath in Lisburn this morning, just east of the Island Arts Centre. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

A first winter Laughing Gull was at the pier at Moville, Co Donegal this morning (Theo Campbell).

Blackcaps continue to move into gardens including a male in a garden in Hillsborough this morning. (Jeff Higgott).

The east shore of Strangford Lough had 15 Slavonian grebe (12 in Greyabbey Bay and 3 off Newtownards Sailing Club), 18 Great-northern Diver (11 south of Gransha Point and 7 off Kircubbin) and a Black-throated Diver south Gransha Point. (Richard Weyl).

Larne Lough still had a single Velvet Scoter and the female Goosander. A single Slavonian Grebe was off Hazelbank in Belfast Lough. (Ed O'Hara).

The Brambling was seen again at Oxford Island, see picture below. (Michael Latham).

Thanks to Neal Warnock for the picture of the female Scaup, to Michael Latham for the picture of the Brambling to Linda Thompson for the picture of the female Goosander and to Mark Killops for another picture of the Oxford Island Brambling:

Bird News Saturday 22nd December

The Brambling was showing well at the feeders at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island (Niall Mulvenna)

A Red Kite was at the junction of the Stang Road and the Bryansford Road just outside Hilltown. (Jim Wells)

The Hoopoe was looked for today without success.

Over 250 Scaup were at Ballyronan, Lough Neagh. A Ruff was the best at Lough Beg and a single Velvet Scoter was still at Larne Lough today (Neal Warnock)

Thanks to Ed O'Hara for this pic of the Oxford Island Brambling:

Bird News Friday 21st December

A Brambling was around the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island at lunchtime today, see picture below.(Dougie Gamble).

Unusually a Tree Sparrow was visiting a garden in Finaghy, Belfast. (Clive Mellon).

Thanks to Dougie Gamble for the picture of the Brambling, to Alastair McLean for the picture of the Jay, to Clive Mellon for the picture of the Tree Sparrow and to Michael Henderson for the picture of the male Sparrowhawk:

Bird News Thursday 20th December

Late News for yesterday were that two male Goodander and 4 Scaup were at Tully Castle, Lower Lough Erne (Jamie Dillon)

The Hoopoe was still in Donaghmore this morning again in the vicinity of st Patrick's Graveyard (Stephen McNally)

20+ Brambling were again today on the Antrim Hills in amongst Chaffinches. Tere was a Great Northern Diver at the back of Islandmagee Harbour. (Michael Latham)

Hoopoe, Stephen McNally:

Male Brambling, Michael Latham:

Bird News Wednesday 19th December

6 Pink-footed Geese were on Rathlin today (Ric Else / Hazel Watson)

The female Goosander was still at Ballycarry bridge, Larne lough (Cameron Moore).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the pictures of the Little Egret and the Brent Geese:

Bird News Monday 17th December

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Crom Estate, Upper Lough Erne (Jamie Dillon)

Bird News Sunday 16th December.

2 Velvet Scoter where off Glynn.(Neal Warnock)

A Black - throated Diver and 6 Slavonian Grebes where at Greyabbey Bay and another Black-throated Diver and Slav. Grebe where north of Horse Isalnd.(Richard Weyl)

72 Greylag Geese were with a Barnacle Goose at Islandmagee,6 Greenshank where at Lough Mourne.(Gerald McGeehan)

2 Long-tailed Duck off Giants Park, Dargan Bay.(Daniel Newton)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Woodcock were at Oxford Island.(Ed O'Hara)

3 Purple Sandpiper where off the promenade at Portstewart. (John Spottiswood)

6 Twite where at the boatyard in Whitehead.(Paul McCullough)

12 + Brambling where seen in the Antrim Hills amongst a flock of Chaffinches. (Michael Latham)see pic below.

Murlough had 3 Knot, (one of the Knot is tagged, anyone who has info. please let us know), 500 Common Scoter, 15 Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Great Northern Diver.(Mike McLaughlin)

Bird News Friday 14th December

A mixed flock of Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot were at Ballykelly Bank in Lough Foyle, see picture below. (David Hill).

42 Whooper Swans were in a part flooded potato field near the junction of the Straid Rd with the Moycraig Rd near Ballintoy. (Patrick Barton).

Lough Island Reavy had a male Goosander (Jim Wells)

Bird News Thursday 13th December

A Hoopoe was in Donaghamore, Co Tyrone. The bird was last seen in the vicinity of St Patrick’s Graveyard (Stephen McNally)

An adult Iceland Gull came in to roost at Belfast WoW this evening. (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

The Barnacle Goose at Islandmagee was ringed on Islay 2013. 5 Tree Sparrows were visiting a garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

Whitehill Road, Aghagallon. Co Armagh had 350+ Whooper Swans with c70 Greylag Geese. Dundalk Harbour had a Spotted Redshank. (Michael Richardson & Fulton Somerville)

3 Goosander (1m, 2f) were at Meenatully Lough on the Pettigoe Plateau, Co Fermanagh on Tuesday 11th. Yesterday two Goosanader (1m 1f) were on a lough north of Lough Shivnagh on the Pettigo plateau, south Donegal yesterday (Fionnbarr Cross)

Hoopoe, Stephen McNally:

Spotted Redshank, Fulton Sommerville:

Barnacle Goose, Cameron Moore:

Bird News Wednesday 12th December

The only news so far is of a male Blackcap visiting a garden in Coleraine this morning. (Gus Bowden).

WeBS Counter Needed

Shane Wolsey of BTO is looking for a volunteer WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) counter for the Macedon Point to River Lagan section of Belfast Lough. It’s a great section – lots to count!

Counts are once a month on nominated days September – March. Counts are sent to Shane who will enter them online.

If you are willing and able to take this section on, please contact Shane Wolsey

Bird News Monday 10th December

A Short-eared Owl was at Myroe this morning. (Brian Halligan).

A Tree Sparrow and a male Brambling were in a garden on the Kilraughts Rd. Ballymoney (Derek McIntyre).

The Barnacle Goose is still at Islandmagee, it has coloured leg rings. The redhead Goosander is still at Ballycarry. (Cameron Moore).

A redhead Smew was at Shallow Flat near Derrytrasna on the south shore of Lough Neagh. (Richard Weyl).

Lower Lough Erne islands RSPB reserve today had 13 Little Egrets and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on an island near Castlecaldwell. (Amy Burns & Fionnbarr Cross)

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the picture of the Barnacle Goose:


Bird News Sunday 9th December

A Barnacle Goose was feeding with Greylags at Islandmagee and the female Goosander was still at Ballycarry Bridge (Cameron Moore)

18 Stock Doves were at The Cairn outside Aghalee today. (Dermot Hughes)

Several Twite were at Sandy Bay, Larne (Linda Thompson)

10 Purple Sandpiper were at Groomsport (George Henderson)

Purple Sandpipers were off the prom opposite Molly Browns in Portstewart. (John Spottiswood)

An adult Littke Gull was seen from the Rathlin Ferry (Patrick Barton) and a Red-throated Diver was at Ballycastle Strand (Michael Latham)

Thanks to Linda Thompson for this pic of one of the Twite:

Bird News Saturday 8th December

A solitary Pink-footed Goose was seen at Drains Bay just in front of Carnfunnock Country Park on the foreshore. (Ken McAuley)

The female Goosander was still present at Ballycarry.(Michael Latham).

A Chiffchaff was seen along the Newry Canal, just north of Carnbane.(Frank Carroll) 

2 Pink-footed Geese were on the west side of upper Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh with Greylags and Whooper swans from Derrylin road this afternoon (Brad Robson)

Brian Halligan.

Bird News Friday 7th December

A female Goosander at Ballycarry bridge, Larne Lough. (Cameron Moore).

A Red-throated Diver flew into Belfast Lough this morning and was showing well offshore between Carnalea Golf Course and Crawfordsburn Country Park.(Ian McKee).

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Turnstones:

Bird News Thursday 6th December

3 Twite were at Whitehead Boatyard (Cameron Moore)

A juvenile Peregrine was at RSPB WoW (Derek Polley)

Thanks to Cameron for this pic of one of the Twite:

Bird News Tuesday 4th December

The Great White Egret was still at Lough Beg (Neal Warnock)

The red head Smew and 2 Pintail were at Portmore Lough (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop / Gary Wilkinson)

Three Snow Buntings were at the pitch and putt course at Royal Portrush Golf Course (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this pic of a male Sparrowhawk: