Bird News Tuesday 31st December

A male Lesser Scaup was among a flock of Tufted Duck and Pochard off the hide in Kinnegoe Bay at Oxford Island. At least two hybrids and a partial albino Pochard were also present. (Ed O'Hara).

The Water Pipit was still on the beach approximately 1 kilometer north of Portavogie. A Gannet was in Drumfad Bay, Millisle. (Guy Hamilton).

This afternoon there were 14 Twite and a Grey Wagtail at Millisle Beach. 10+ Linnet and a Whimbrel were at Drumfad Bay. (David McCormick).

The Red Kite was again at Shillnavogie, see pictures below. (Michael Latham).

The Water Pipit was still at Cushendun and the Black Redstart was at Bangor, see pictures below. (Ronald Surgenor)

A Happy New Year to all our readers.

Thanks to Michael Latham for the pictures of the Red Kite, to Alastair McLean for the picture of the Bullfinch and to Ronald Surgenor for the pictures of the Water Pipit and the Black Redstart:

Bird News Monday 30th December

The Water Pipit still showing at the north end of Cushendun beach(Paul, Niall, Cara Mulvenna./Michael Latham.)

 Snow Bunting at Kebble, Rathlin Island.(Ric Else/Hazel Watson)

 A Crossbill was at Woodburn Forest, Carrick.(Gerald McGeehan/Shirley Dunlop)

Our thanks to Michael Latham for the pic of the Cushendun Water Pipit. Also to Fulton Somerville for the Ringed Plover. Bottom pic is of the long-staying Common x Ring-billed Gull  at Millisle kindly sent in by Jeff Higgott. 

Bird News Sunday 29th December

The Water Pipit was still at Ballyfrench beach north of Portaferry. The hybrid Ring-billed Gull and 14 Twite were at Millisle and a Whimbrel and a Gannet at Drumfad Bay. (Richard Weyl).

The Water Pipit was still at Cushendun. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop, Tom Ennis, Tony Dodds).

The flock of 38 Waxwings were still around Barrack Street in Belfast but mobile. (Philip West, Stuart McKee).

A Glaucous Gull was at Carnlough. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).

Thanks to Tony Dodds for the picture of the Cushendun Water Pipit:

Bird News Saturday 28th December

The Water Pipit was still present at the north end of Cushendun beach, a Glaucous Gull was also seen. (Richard Hunter/Neal Warnock).

Yesterday a male Smew was at Ballycarry in Larne Lough. (Colin & Tony Waide).

Fifteen Crossbills were in Woodburn Forest, Carrickfergus this afternoon. (George & Oliver Stewart/Gerard McGeehan & Shirley Dunlop).

A single Great Northern Diver was at the entrance to Ardglass harbour, see picture below. (Michael Latham).

There was 75+ Whooper Swans in fields between Newtownards and Comber with at least 16 in fields near Island Hill. (David McCormick).

The juvenile Glaucous Gull was still on Rathlin. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

The Waxwing flock was seen in flight over the Westlink this afternoon. (Jeff Higgott).

The Spoonbill was at Anne’s Point and 16 Sandwich Tern and 3 Gannet were at Portaferry. (Richard Weyl).

A Gannet and a Long-tailed Duck were off Fisherman’s Pier, Carrickfergus; two Long-tailed Ducks were off Loughshore Park, Belfast Lough; two (only) Waxwings were in Barrack Street, Lower Divis c.1.30pm (Chris Murphy)

Thanks to Michael Latham for the picture of the Great Northern Diver and to Neal Warnock for the pictures of the Water Pipit and the Glaucous Gull:

Bird News Friday 27th December

The Waxwing flock of up to 38 birds was around St Mary's Primary School in Barrack Street in Belfast until at least 11.45am. (Ed O'Hara/Paul McCullough/Kevin Kirkham).

Yesterday a single Waxwing was in a garden in the Aghanloo area of Limavady, see pictures below. (John Pudney).

Corbet Lough this morning had 3 Goosanders, 2 male and 1 female, 6 Whooper Swans, 2 adults and 4 juveniles, a Red Kite and 300 Lapwing. (Mike McLaughlin).

The female type Black Redstart was still around Bangor lifeboat station. (Paul McCullough).

A single Slavonian Grebe was at Ardglass Harbour. (Kevin Kirkham).

A Glaucous Gull was on Rathlin Island.(Ric Else)

John Pudney
Glaucous Gull - Ric Else.

John Pudney

Greenfinch Sightings in the Lecale Area

Greenfinches seem to have become scarce in the Lecale area of South Down and Chris Murphy would appreciate any sightings within the area. You can send any Greenfinch sightings to Chris at

Bird News Thursday 26th December

The Waxwing flock remains at Barrack Street, Belfast at St Mary’s Primary School (Wilton Farrelly). The birds were still present this afternoon. (Michael Latham).

Yesterday a Red Kite was at Shilnavogie. (Michael Latham).

A Short-eared Owl was in the dunes at Murlough half way along beach towards Dundrum.(Garry, Gayle, Heather and Caroline Wilkinson).

Ballylig Road opposite the brickworks in Killough this afternoon had 1,000 Golden Plover, 500 Lapwing, 100 Curlew, 20 Black-tailed Godwits and a single Dunlin. (David Clarke & John Pyper).

Thanks to Michael Latham for the pictures of the Waxwings and the Red Kite and to Guy Hamilton for the picture of the Stonechat:

Bird News, Christmas Day, Wednesday 25th December

At Flatfield, River Lagan near Moira we’re 5 Pink Footed Geese, 5 Whooper Swans and 72 Greylag Geese. (Jim Wells)

This morning a male Hen Harrier and 4 Crossbills were at Murley Mountain nr Fivemiletown. (Colin Bell)

A flock of 35 Waxwings were high up in a tree opposite Belfast Met, on the corner of Barrack Street (Dave Weir). The Waxwing flock were subsequently in a beech tree at the back of Durham Court. They had been making periodic visits to a yellow berried Rowan Tree in neighbouring Barrack Street, off lower Divis Street (David Gotto)

60+ Whooper Swans were between Newtownards and Comber (Jonny Clark)

3,300 Common Scoters were in Dundrum Bay, also minimum counts of 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Red-throated Divers and 18 Great Northern Divers (Chris Murphy)

At least 3 Waxwings remain at Kirk Road, Ballymoney (Ian and Brian Rippey)

A Goosander was seen in flight at Murlough (Mike McLaughlin)

A Red Kite was near Broughshane (Michael Latham)

Waxwings, Dave Weir:

Waxwing, David Gotto:

Bird News Tuesday 24th December

A 4th winter Glaucous Gull, a juv Iceland Gill and the ad Glaucous hybrid were still at Enniskillen dump this morning (Brad Robson)

5 Goosander, (3 male and 2 female) were on Corbett lake this morning. (Garry Armstrong)

Newry canal, Poyntzpass to Scarva produced had 13 Whoopers, 24 Greylag, 25 Fieldfare and 10 Redwing (Fulton Somerville)

The Water Pipit was still at Cushendun (Neal Warnock)

We wish all our readers a Happy Christmas.

Bird News Monday 23rd December.

A Water Pipit was at the north end of Cushendun.(Ivan Quail / Nicky Lynn)

Yesterday a flock of 20 Waxwing where seen in Belfast just off the Westlink opposite the Belfast Metropolitan College.(Jonny Rosborough)

A juv.Iceland Gull and nr ad Glaucous Gull and probable returning ad Glaucous Gull hybrid where at E'killen dump.(Brad Robson)

A Red Kite was above the Shillanavogy Rd. nr. Broughshane (Ann Hill).

The female Smew and a Scaup were at Portmore and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over. (Jeff Higgott).

Our thanks to Paul Tout for the pic of the Ring-billed Gull seen to-day at Carrick. Also to Martina Boyle for the Brent Geese and bottom photo of the Water Pipit sent in by Ivan Quail.

Bird News Sunday 22nd December

The Red-necked Grebe was seen again early afternoon at Hazelbank and a Yellow-legged Gull was at Whitehouse lagoon. (Jeff Higgott)

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus Harbour (Michael Latham)

A female Smew was still at Portmore Lough (Karen Elliott)

A Red Kite was over the A26/ Ballywindelland Road junction, Ballymoney today at 2pm (Peter Hough)

The Waxwing flock remains at Kirk Road, Ballymoney.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Crocknagrally Forest near Fivemiletown this afternoon (Colin Bell)

2 Slavonian Grebes were still present at Hazelbank Park (Ed .O’Hara / C McQuillan)

The Water Pipit is still present at the beach at Ballyfrench north of Portavogie with a Gannet offshore. At Portavogie there were 8 Jack Snipe and at Kirkiston a Ruff and a Mediterranean Gull. (Richard Weyl)

The Black redstart was still at Portstewart seafront this morning (Brian Murphy)

Ring-billed Gull, Michael Latham:

Bird News Saturday 21st December

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus Harbour this morning (Richard Hunter)

A female Black Redstart was at Bangor lifeboat station, Belfast Lough (Paul McCullough)

The female King Eider and Red-necked Grebe were 500m north west of the point at Hazelbank Park, Whiteabbey both in the large 2000+ Eider flock.

Two Slavonian Grebes were off Macedon in Belfast Lough, five Common Scoter were also distantly offshore. The Red-necked Grebe was off Loughshore Park, drifting down the lough, feeding as it went. (Stuart McKee).

100+ Whooper Swans were in a stubble field between Newtownards and Comber. (Stephen Maxwell).

Two Red-throated divers were in the River Bann this afternoon. (John Clarke).

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the picture of the Whooper Swans, to Stuart McKee for the picture of the Slavonian Grebes, to John Clarke for the picture of the Red-throated Diver, to Ronnie Doggart for the picture of the male Sparrowhawk and to Jeff Higgott for the picture of the Ring-billed Gull:

Bird News Friday 20th December

The adult Ring-billed Gull is back at Carrickfergus Harbour, Co. Antrim. A boreal is Eider was also off Carrickfergus (Neal Warnock)

A Red Kite was seen near Armoy (Clive Mellon)

A Red-throated and 3 Great Northern Divers were in Killough Hbr; 4 Red-throated Divers were off Ballyhornan; 24 Gadwall, 150 Greylag and 6 Woodcock were at Castleward (Chris Murphy)

Three Slavonian Grebe were off Macedon Point, Belfast Lough (Chris Shaw / Stuart McKee)

Redshank, Guy Hamilton:

Bird News Thursday 19th December

In Greyabbey Bay there were 10 Slavonian Grebe and 2 Black-throated Diver and 3 Jack Snipe were between Horse Island and Kircubbin. (Richard Weyl).

The Dargan Bay to Greencastle sections of Belfast Lough had 330 Knot and a flock of 43 Scaup this morning. (Ian Enlander).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Lesser Redpoll, to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Curlew and to David Smylie for the picture of the Ringed Plovers:

Bird News Wednesday 18th December

A flock of Crossbill were seen at Woodburn, Carrickfergus (Dakota Reid)

Thanks to Kevin O'Grady for this picture of a Whooper Swan between Newtownards and Comber:

Bird News Tuesday 17th December.

A flock of around 30 Whooper where seen between N'ards and Comber.(Stephen Maxwell)

A Barn Owl was seen this morning in flight, just before Dickson's Garden Centre on the Belfast - Bangor Rd.(Ian Graham)

3 Long-tailed Duck and 3 Great Northern Diver,west end of Lower Lough Erne.(Brad Robson)

Bullfinch photo kindly sent in by Wilfred Swain 

Bird News Monday 16th December

A Red Kite was on the Castlewellan Road, Banbridge this afternoon. (Karen Elliott).

5 Whooper Swans were at Glynn in Larne Lough. (Sandra McDowell)

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the pictures of the Teal and the Peregrine and to Sandra McDowell for the picture of the Whooper Swans:

Bird News Sunday 15th December

A female type Black Redstart was at Portstewart, close to the bandstand on the promenade. (Nicky Lynn / Ivan Quail)

A pair of Red Grouse and a Crossbill were in the Antrim Hills (Michael Latham)

Kinnegar Shore had an adult Med Gull and Slavonian Grebe off shore (Stuart McKee)

A White-tailed Eagle was seen over The Back Lough, Lower Lough Erne this morning (Fionnbarr Cross)

A Ruff was at 40 Acres, Larne Lough today (Brian Sutton)

TheWaxwing flock were again at Kirk Road, Ballymoney (Ivan Quail / Nicky Lynn)

Black Redstart, Ivan Quail:

Red Grouse, Michael Latham:
Male Crossbill, Michael Latham:

Bird News Saturday 14th December

A pair of Goosander were on Altnahinch Dam this morning. (Richard Gray)

A juvenile Iceland Gill and a juvenile hybrid likely Glaucous x Herring Nelson's type were at Enniskillen dump (Brad Robson)

A Crossbill was at Woodburn, Carrickfergis (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

3 male and 5 female Goosander at Lough Island Reavy, Castlewellan.(James Rankin)

Our thanks to Thomas Campbell for this pic of a Black-tailed Godwit.

Bird News Friday 13th December

No news so far today.

Thanks to Thomas Campbell for te pictures of the Stonechat, Turnstone and Black-tailed Godwit:

Bird News Thursday 12th December

A Black Redstart was in a garden at Ailesbury Crescent off the Ormeau Road, Belfast this morning. (Jeanette and Robert Scott)

RSPB WoW was quiet, best was 21 Snipe (Derek Polley)

Blackcaps continue to be seen in local gardens.

Black Redstart, Robert Scott:

Tree Sparrow, Thomas Campbell:

Bird News Wednesday 11th December

Two Slavonian Grebes were off Macedon Point in Belfast Lough. (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to David Gotto for the picture of the Waxwings in Ballymoney taken on Monday: