Bird News Wednesday 18th September

The Spotted Redshank, a Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff and 2 Grey Plover were at RSPB WoW (Gerard McGeehan)

An adult American Golden Plover was at Blanketnook along with 300 Golden Plover and four Ruff (Chris Ingram)

The juvenile Long-tailed Skua was at Grey Point early afternoon (Paul McCullough)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this picture of a male Merlin:

Bird News Tuesday 17th September

The Spotted Redshank, 3 Ruff and 50 Knot were at RSPB WoW (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

A Reed Warbler was at the hide at Portmore lough this afternoon (Mark Elliott)

Reed Warbler - Mark Elliott

Bird News Monday 16th September.

The Spotted Redshank and a Curlew Sandpiper are still present at the RSPB WoW reserve.(Jonathan Clark)

A Whimbrel and several Carrion Crow where at Ballyquinton Point.(Mark Elliott)

Grey Point late afternoon / early evening had a Long-tailed Skua, four Arctic Skua, three Bonxies, 5 Roseate Terns, three Mediterranean Gulls and the leucistic Herring or Lesser Black-backed Gull. (Paul McCullough / Stuart McKee / Wilton Farrelly)

Our thanks to Jonathan Clark for the photo of the Curlew Sandpiper(left) and the Spotted Redshank in the same shot. Also to Mark Elliott for the Sparrowhawk.

Long-tailed Skua - Paul McCullough

Leucistic Gull

This leucistic Gull, either a Herring Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull, was close in off Grey Point this evening. At any distance it could be mistaken for an Iceland Gull. (Stuart McKee).

Bird News Sunday 15th September

Belfast Lough RSPB WOW reserve this morning between 8.30 and 12.30 had the Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 9 Ruff and 3 Whimbrel, there was no sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper. (Ed O'Hara, Comghal McQuillan, Michael Latham).

The Pectoral Sandpiper was again at Belfast WOW reserve this afternoon along with the Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Ruff, 12 Knot and a Peregrine. (Derek Polley),

An adult Roseate Tern was at Crawfordsburn and Burial Island on the Outer Ards had an Arctic Skua and 4 Red-throated Divers. (Richard Weyl).

Between Swineley Point Bangor and Carrickfergus this afternoon there were: feeding flocks of c500 Gannets, 1500+ auks (Razorbill. and Guillemot.), 2000+ Herring Gulls, 1 2nd winter Iceland Gull, 35 Arctic terns and 6 Sandwich Terns. (Philip Watson).

Off Grey Point in calm conditions there was a Sabine's Gull, 1800 Gannets, 2500 - 3000 Auks mostly Razorbill, 2000+ Kittiwakes,  two adult and a 1st year Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Arctic Terns and 120 Sandwich Terns. Roosting on the rocks were 12 Roseate Terns and 120 Common Terns. Also nearby was a leucistic Herring/Lesser Black-backed Gull. (Stuart McKee).

At Ballykelly a Yellow Wagtail of the flava race dropped into the salt marsh; also seen were: 1 Whooper Swan, two Peregrines (ad and juvenile), 10 Wheatears and a pair of Stock Dove. Waders in the fields behind Ballykelly Bank included small numbers only of Ringed Plover, Golden Plover and Dunlin. There was no sign of the American Golden Plover (Chris Murphy et al).

The Bann Estuary had 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Little Stint. A Peregrine was also present.(Hill Dick).

Great Skuas were seen off Ramore ahead and Portstewart (Chris Rankin)

Curlew Sandpiper

Spotted Redshank - Michael Latham
Roseate & Common Terns - Stuart McKee

Bird News Saturday 14th September

The Pectoral Sandpiper & Spotted Redshank were both seen at RSPB WOW from Hide 2, this morning along with 2 Curlew Sandpipers (Ed O’Hara & Kevin Kirkham)

The Subalpine Warbler (possibly Eastern) was still present, although elusive, on Tory Island for its third day (Derek Brennan)

An adult American Golden Plover is at Ballykelly, Lough Foyle (Neal Warnock)

A 2nd calendar year Ring-billed Gull was at the Roe Estuary this evening (Neal Warnock).

The Little Stint was still at Myroe (John Qzak).

St John’s Point this morning had 34 Red-throated Divers and 1 Great Northern Diver flying south into Dundrum Bay, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Arctic Skuas, and many skeins of Brent Goose. Tyrella had 134 Sanderling; several thousand auks (mostly Razorbill) were between Killough and Ballykinker. Quoile Pondage had 3 Ruff, 1 Pintail; Comber Est. had 3,000 Brent Geese, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Ruff and 2 Curlew Sandpipers; Maltings to Greyabbbey had c. 9,000 Brent Geese; Inch Church near Downpatrick had 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a pair of Stock Dove (Chris Murphy et al)

American Golden Plover - Neal Warnock

Red-throated Diver - Thomas Campbell

Sanderling & Dunlin - Thomas Campbell

Buzzard - Wilf Swain
Wheatear - David Miller

Bird News Friday 13th September

A Long-tailed Skua and a Sabine's Gull were in Belfast Lough this afternoon, see pictures below. (Ronald Surgenor).

A Subalpine Warbler is on Tory Island (Anton Meenan)

A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper is at RSPB WoW reserve (Stuart McKee)

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still at Belfast WOW reserve this evening with at least 10 Curlew Sandpipers and 3 Ruff. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop, Ivan Quail & Nicky Lynn).

Myroe this morning had a juvenile Little Stint, Whooper Swan and Carrion Crow (Robert Vaughan).

A White-tailed Eagle was at Magho Cliffs in Co. Fermanagh. (Adam Butler)

4 Whoopers were at Ballyronan this afternoon. (Brenda Campbell & Ray Bennett).

4 Wheatear were on the National Trust walk up to Divis above Belfast. (Derek Polley).

Long-tailed Skua - Ronald Surgenor

Sabine's Gull - Ronald Surgenor

Pectoral Sandpiper - Stuart McKee

Little Stint - Robert Vaughan

Wheatear - David Clarke

Whoopers - Brenda Campbell

Bird News Thursday 12th September.

RSPB WOW reserve had... 1Knot, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Sandwich Tern, 3 Ruff, 26 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Swift and still 50+ Common Tern, no sign of Spotted Redshank.(Derek Polley)

An Osprey was at Lough Beg this evening and at dusk a Green Sandpiper was calling at  Slaght nr. Ballymena.(David Steele)

Our thanks to everyone who has reported Brent Geese arriving over the last few days.

Our thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the photo's of a Knot and a Dunlin.  

Bird News Wednesday 11th September

The Spotted Redshank is still at RSPB WoW this morning. 5 Ruff and 2 Curlew Sandpipers were also present (Gerard McGeehan).

An Iceland Gull was on Cockle Island in Groomsport this morning. (Ian Enlander).

Bird News Tuesday 10th September

A Lesser Whitethroat was seen at 10.30 this morning at St Cooeys Wells near Portaferry, in bushes just north of the trees. (Dermot Hughes)

A juvenile Spotted Redshank and two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers are at RSPB WoW (Stuart McKee)

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was showing well in Belvoir Forest (Peter McErlean)

Spotted Redshank - Stuart McKee
Great Spotted Woodpecker - Philip McErlean

Bird News Monday 9th September.

20 Scaup where off Hazelbank, Belfast Lough.(Paul McCullough)

Late news from yesterday was of 200 + feral Barnacle Geese seen in a field in Ardmillan, Co Down.(Wallis Jefferson)

Bird News Sunday 8th September

Rathlin today had a Wood Warbler & Spotted Flycatcher at Kinramer, plus a few other migrant Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs (Ric Else and Hazel Watson)

The best at RSPB WoW this morning was a Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Ruff (Wilton Farrelly)

A Lapland Bunting was on the coastal path between Portstewart and Portrush (about a mile from Portstewart). (John Clarke).

An Arctic Skua, Mediterranean Gull and a Wheatear were at Whitehead. (Ed O'Hara).

An estimated 5,000 auks, Guillemots and Razorbills, were in Dundrum Bay between Newcastle and Ballykinler. (Stephen Foster).

A dark phase Arctic Skua and two Wheatear were at St John's Point. (Michael Latham).

An adult Hobby was feeding on dragonflies on the west shore of Lough Beg at lunchtime today. (Godfrey McRoberts).

2 or 3 Lapland Buntings were on Tory Island. The Orca known as John Coe was also photographed heading east (Brad Robson)
Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of the Lapland Bunting, to Ric Else for the pictures of the Wood Warbler and the Spotted Flycatcher and to Michael Latham for the picture of the Wheatear:

Bird News Saturday 7th September

The Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail is still at Oxford Island. A Spotted Flycatcher was also there (Michael Henderson)

A Great Skua was at St Johns Point, Co Down (Chris Rankin)

Two Lapland Buntings were at the east end of Tory Island (Brad Robson)

Thansk to Mervyn Campbell for this pic of a juvenile Sabines Gull heading up Lough Foyle:

Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern, Stephen Dunbar:


The recent westerly \ north westerly winds have seen some good seabird movements around the coast. There are four species of Skua and Thomas and Mervyn Campbell managed to get superb photographs of all four around Magilligan Point this week:

Great Skua - Thomas Campbell
Juvenile Long-tailed Skua - Thomas Campbell
Juvenile Arctic Skua - Mervyn Campbell
Pomarine Skua - Mervyn Campbell

Bird News Friday 6th September

Ramore Head this morning had 2 Leach's Petrel, 2 Bonxie and 2 Wheatear. This evening in 40 minutes there were 8 Bonxie and 6 Grey Phalarope (Dennis Weir). Between 11.30 and 4.45 Ramore had a Pomarine Skua, 6 Leach's Petrels, 8 Sabine's Gulls, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 32 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua and a Great Northern Diver. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop & Stuart McKee). This evening Ramore had a Sabine's Gull, 3 Leach's Petrel, 7 bonxie and 3 Arctic Skua (Matthew Tickner)

An Osprey and a Swift were at Lough Beg. (David Steele).

A Yellowhammer was visiting a garden in Annahilt. (Garry Wilkinson).

A Wheatear was along the coast near Pickie in Bangor. (Derek Polley).

A Long-tailed Skua was at Magilligan (Thomas Campbell) and a juvenile Sabines Gull was also seen there (Mervyn Campbell)

Thanks to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Kingfisher and to Thomas Campbell for the pictures of the Long-tailed Skua, Bonxie and Sanderling:

Bird News Thursday 5th September

Yesterday Rocky Point, Malin Beg, Co Donegal had 85 Great Skua, 15 Arctic Skua, 2 Pomarine Skua, 14 Leach's Petrel, 13 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Sabine's Gull (juvs) and 2 Grey Phalarope. There were 11 Chough in the area and a Ruff was feeding on the headland (Stephen Foster)

A Cattle Egret was at the south end of Lough Beg this evening, it was mobile over the area but settled for a while in the southwest corner, associating quite closely with two Little Egrets. A Garganey was also seen. (David Steele)

Two Curlew Sandpipers were at RSPB WoW (Stephen Maxwell / Ian Enlander)

50 Brent Geese were seen between Castle Espie and Island hill this afternoon (Ross McIlrath)

Black Tern - Mervyn Campbell

Leaches Petrel - Mervyn Campbell

Bird News Wednesday 4th September

Ramore Head this morning from 07:00 to 11:00 had a  juvenile Long Tailed Skua, 4 Great Skua, 3 Arctic Skua, 2 Whimbrel and a Red-throated Diver (Richard Hunter)
Ramore Head had over the day (some overlap with the above) 2 Long Tails Skuas, 11 Sabines, 31 Arctic Skuas 54 Bonxies, 22 Leaches, 90 Arctic Terns, 400 Manx, 4 juv/duck Pintail and 2 Whimbrel (Stuart McKee / Dennis Weir)

Further records from Ramore later in the day were 20 Leaches, 1 European Storm Petrel, 1 Little Auk, 1 Pomerine Skua, 8 Bonxies, 5 Arctic Skua, 2 juvenile Sabines Gulls, 3 Common Tern, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Sooty Shearwaters and a Grey Phalarope. (Ian Enlander & Brian Sutton/Hill Dick).

The rough weather brought a Little Tern, possibly the 1st record, a Storm Petrel, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Tern, a Red-throated Diver and large numbers of Gannets to Rathlin. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).

RSPB WoW had 2 Little Stint, 3Curlew Sandpiper and 6 Ruff (Gerard McGeehan)

A Long-eared Owl was at Monea, Co. Fermanagh this morning. (Brad Robson).

Large numbers of seabirds were in Helen's Bay this afternoon including between 1,500 - 2,000 terns, mostly Sandwich Terns, hundreds of Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills and three Arctic Skua. (Philip Watson).

5 Wheatear were along the Foyle estuary this morning. (Lindsay Hodges).

Magillifan had three Black Terns and a Leaches Petrel (Mervyn Campbell)

Thanks to Ian Enlander for the picture of the juvenile Sabines Gull and Leaches Petrels, to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of the Wheatear, to Kevin Kirkham for the picture of the Ruff and to Ric Else for the picture of the Gannet:

Bird News Tuesday 3rd September

RSPB WoW had 2 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers and 2 Roseate Terns (BirdGuides)

The final total for Northern Ireland Peregrines for 2019 was 56 successful pairs with a total of 143 young. (NIRSG)

Thanks to Ian Jackson for this picture of a Razorbill:

Bird News Monday 2nd September

The Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail was still at Oxford Island this afternoon (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop).

The Little Stint was still at Belfast WOW reserve this evening, several Swift were also present. (Daniel Newton).

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of the juvenile Cuckoo and to Stephen Dunbar for the picture of the Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern:

Bird News Sunday 1st September

The Little Stint, 4 Curlew Sandpipers, an adult and a juvenile Roseate Tern and 6 Ruff were at RSPB WoW this morning (Garry Armstrong/Billy Miskelly)

A 3 hrs seawatch at Melmore Head this morning had 2 Long-tail Skias, 4 Arctic Skuas,24 Bonxies, 4 Arctic Tern, 1 Storm Petrel, 3 Great Northern Divers, 2 Red-throated Diver and 5 Common Scoter. (Eric Randall)

Ramore Head this morning (0715-0915) had Leach’s Petrel and Pomarine Skua as they tracked close-in west, along with 6 Bonxies, 4 Arctic Skua and a Great Northern Diver. A Curlew Sandpiper was at Myroe. (Daniel Newton)

A Little Stint was at Kinnegar Pools this afternoon (Kevin Kirkham)

An Osprey and 12 Ruff were at Lough Beg this morning. (David Steele)

2 Black Terns and 4 Arctic Skuas were off Magilligan Point (Jeff Larkin)

A Curlew Sandpiper was at Millin Bay near Portaferry this morning. (Dermot Hughes)

The Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail was again at Oxford Island today. Circa 20 Ruff were at Lady Bay, Lough Neagh (Michael Latham)

Mediterranean Gulls seen today included a colour-ringed bird, (ringed in Germany in 2017), was at Sandy Bay, Larne, an un-ringed juvenile was at Whitehead and an un-ringed adult was on the beach at Kinnegar. (Gareth Platt). A adult Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon (Gerard McGeehan / Shirley Dunlop)

Thanks to Michael Latham for the pictures of the Ruff and the Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail: