Bird News Thursday 27th November

5 Goosander and a Long-tailed Duck were at Portmore Lough RSPB Reserve. 249 Whoppers were also present. (Simon Gray)

Northern Ireland Ornithologists Club Photographic Competition


Bird News Wednesday 26th November

Late news from yesterday, a Black-throated Diver and two Great Northern Divers were in Ballygally Bay on the Co. Antrim coast. (Robert Scott).

Also yesterday 3 Long-tailed Duck, 4 Red-throated Diver and 11 Snipe were at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan). 130 Eider, 35 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Great Crested Grebe were between there and Seahill (Derek Polley).

Killough Harbour had a Long-tailed Duck, 2 Great Northern Divers, Tyrella/Dundrum Bay had 2,100 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great-crested Grebe, 1 Red-breasted Merganser (unusually low numbers of fish-eating seafowl - may be weather-related, with these birds moving into sheltered sea loughs following spell of rough seas), 1Merlin, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Stonechats, 60 Twite, c.100 Linnet, 90 Sanderling, 100 Curlew, 80 Redshanks, 10 Golden Plover, 12 Ringed Plover, 250 Dunlin (Chris and Tim Murphy).

A Pink-footed Goose was with 30 Greylag at Hillsborough Park Lake (Dot Blakely).

Thanks to Chris Murphy for the picture of the Merlin from Tyrella.

Bird News Tuesday 25th November.

A Grey Phalarope and dark phase Arctic Skua where off Fair Head.(Kerry Leonard/David Galbraith)

A Green-winged Teal,16 Whooper Swan 4 Pintail and a Kingfisher where at the Quiole Pondage, 3 Little Egret at Killough Harbour.(Tim Murphy)

At Larne Lough a Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Diver and a Greenshank where at Glynn, 2 White-fronted Geese where seen overhead.(Stuart McKee)

Outer Ards between Ballyquintin Point and  Millen Bay had 26 Great Northern Diver and 2 Sandwich Tern, the Pintail count at the Maltings was 203.(Ian Enlander)

Anne's Point,Strangford Lough  had 10 Greenshank, 2 Slavonian Grebe where at Greyabbey Bay South and a Great Northern Diver at Kircubbin.(Joe Lamont)

A Kingfisher was on the River Maine at Galgorm.(Irene Millar/John Loughlin)

Tony Donaldson contacted us concerning a solitary  Whooper Swan at the Quoile pondage which appears to be constantly agitated with one of it's legs, Tony cannot make out whether it's tangled fishing line or something of that nature. If anyone is around that area Tony would be grateful on any news of the welfare of the bird.     

Our thanks to Cameron Moore who kindly sent in these two photos showing three different species of Grebe. The top photo shows a Great Crested Grebe (left bird) and a Slavonian Grebe. The second photo is of a Little Grebe. 

Bird News Monday 24th November

RSPB Portmore Lough had 218 Whooper Swans this morning on the flooded fields either side of the lough itself. (Simon Gray)

The Snow Bunting was still at Briggs Rocks today feeding along the shoreline (Colin Guy)

A Brambling was in a garden in Castlerock (Mervyn Guthrie)

At the north end of Strangford Lough 9 Little Egret and a female Sparrowhawk were at Patton's Marsh and 12 Pintail nearby at the Floodgates (Ian McKee)

350 Golden Plover and a Merlin were at Islandhill, Strangford Lough (Margaret Adamson). Readers of this blog may be interested in this link from Margaret:

Late news from yesterday was a Short-eared Owl, the Snow Bunting and a Sandwich Tern flew past Brigg's Rocks (Colin Guy)

Many thanks to Alistiar Prentice for this pic of a female Kestrel:

Bird News Sunday 23rd November

Late news for yesterday was that  a first year Iceland Gull flew past Cushendall Harbour (Colin Guy)

A Northern Wheatear and a Red Kite were at Tyrella (Philip West)

The wintering Sandwich Terns are again at Portaferry marina with 7 present yesterday (John Wilson Foster)

Blackcaps have started to be seen in gardens. A male Blackcap was feeding on a fat ball in a garden in Templepatrick. (Sandy McWilliams) and 3 Blackcaps were ringed in a Whitehead garden today (Brian Sutton)

A short-eared owl was at Ballyquintin Point (Richard Weyl)

A flock of 44 Snow Bunting were along the Antrim Hills Way above Ballygally this morning (Richard Donaghey)

4 Twite, 9 Red-throated Diver, 7 Great Northern Diver and a Common Scoter were at Carnlough (Neal Warnock)

The two female Pintail were still at Glynn (Linda Thompson)

A Merlin was seen at Tyrella beach this afternoon (Tim Ryan)

The Bramblings were still at Lough Fea near the second car park at the landscaped garden (Shane McGarvey)

80 Gadwall were at Mount Stewart lake (Andrew Upton)

A pair of Pintail was at Quoile Pondage (Vernon Carter)

You can share rare and scarce bird news at or via Twitter @nibirds 

Thanks to Richard Donaghey for this pic of the Lesser Whitethroat which was at Portstewart Strand, Noeni Bryars for the male Bullfinch and Cecil Smyth for the Little Egret. You can see more bird pics at :

Bird News Saturday 22nd November

A Slavonian Grebe was off Glynn Station, reasonably close in, looking towards Mill Bay. (Neal Warnock).

A Sparrowhawk was being mobbed by Rooks at Galgorm Castle, Ballymena at lunchtime. (John Loughlin & Irene Miller).

Today Outer and Inner Dundrum Bay produced the following birds: - 50+ mix of Red-throated, Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, 30+ Common Scoter, 6 Purple Sandpiper, Kingfisher, 3 Jacksnipe, 5 Little Egret, 9 Whopper, Kestrel and Bullfinch. ( RSPB Bangor Local Group).

3 Great Northern Diver (2 in flight and one on the water), 2 Red-throated Diver, a Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 55 House Sparrow, 10 Tree Sparrow, 200 Skylark and 1,000 Starling were at St John's Point. 40 Twite and 10 Stonechat were between St John's and Tyrella and 2,000 Golden Plover at Tyrella beach (Tim Murphy).

8 Redwing were at Sion Mills (Brian Hegarty).

2 Red Kite, 4 Great Northern Divers and 61 Twite were at Tyrella this afternoon and a male Merlin was at St.John's Point. (Ronnie Milligan).

A female Brambling was near Ballintoy. (Alex McCooke).

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for the pictures of the Bar-tailed Godwit and the Linnet, to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Mediterranean Gull and the Red-throated Diver, to Margaret Adamson for the pictures of the Purple Sandpipers and the, unfortunately injured, Common Scoter and to Alex McCooke for the picture of the female Brambling.




Bird News Friday 21st November

The Cattle Egret was on the island at Hillsborough Park Lake (Garry Wilkinson)

A Little Egret has been seen on the reservoir at Carryduff for the last few days.(Kevin O'G) 

Our thanks to Cameron Moore for the Whooper Swans, also to Richard Hunter for the Rock Pipit. 

Bird News Thursday 20th November

A juvenile Lesser Whitethroat was in the scrub of Portstewart Strand dunes this morning. (Richard Donaghey)

At least 22 Twite were seen this morning at Tyrella beach, Co Down. (Brian Murphy)

Spotted Redshank was at Dargan, Belfast Lough this afternoon (Adam McClure)

95 Twite were between Ramore Head and Portandoo in Portrush (Matthew Tickner)

Killough Harbour had a Long-tailed Duck and Carrion Crow; Tyrella had 3 Purple Sandpiper, 1,700 Golden Plover, 20 Ringed Plover, 6 Sanderling, 8 Great Northern Diver, 4 Red-throated Diver, 50 Scoter and 8 Red-breasted Merganser (Tim Murphy)

Thanks to Neil Cartmill for this pic of a Water Rail:

Bird News Wednesday 19th November

A drake Long-tailed Duck was in the bay opposite the York Hotel, Portstewart.  The Barmouth had 8 Red-throated Divers and 4 Great Crested Grebes (Colin Guy)

Humphrey's Island, RSPB Lower Lough Erne Islands Reserve had a single Jack Snipe (Brad Robson)

A White-tailed Eagle (from the Kerry release scheme) seems to have settled in the area of Upper Lough Erne.

A Carrion Crow paired with a Hooded Crow and young were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy)

6 Brambling (2 male/4 female) were feeding on Beech mast with c45 Chaffinch at Lough Fea near Cookstown this afternoon (Richard Donaghey)

Whitehouse Lagoon and Belfast Lough this morning had 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 50+Knot, Little Egret, 6 Sanderling, 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Red-throated Divers and 1000+ Eider at mid-lough.  At Glynn was a Kingfisher, a Little Egret, and a Pintail. At Ballycarry Bridge were 4 Little Egret and a Carrion Crow. (James Whitla, Michael Richardson and Fulton Somerville)

Thanks to David McCormick for the pic of a Little Egret at Newtownards and Christine Cunningham for the Blackbird:

Bird News Tuesday 18th November

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at the East Strand car park, Portrush. (Richard Hunter).

19 Whooper Swan were along Ballyhenry Road outside Comber (Wilby Hawthorne).

Killough Harbour had an adult Mediterranean Gull, male Pintail and 8 Skylark in flight (Tim Murphy).

A large flock of at least 150 Twite were at the Landsdowne side of Ramore Head, Portrush today. (Colin Guy/Iris Miller).

A morning walk from Scarva to Poyntzpass produced 40 species which included: - 11 Bullfinch, 20 Fieldfare, c80 Redwing, Goldcrest, Jay, 12 Linnet, 16 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Raven, 4 Siskin, 6 Skylark and 2 Water Rails. (Fulton Somerville).

Visit for recent bird pics. You can also share you sightings of rare / scarce birds at:

Thanks to Michael Mayes, c/o RSPB, for the picture of the Hoopoe recently fould dead near Castlesawson, to Iris Millar for the pictures of the Twite from Ramore and to Eric Phillips for the picture of the Mistle Thrushs:



Bird News Monday 17th November.

A Long-tailed Duck, Pintail, 5 Little Egret and 10 Snipe were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

19 Red-breasted Merganser were at Kinnegar shore in Belfast and a Raven over Queen's Parade in Bangor (Derek Polley).

As well as the Spotted Redshank an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast yesterday (Stuart McKee).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was today at Waterworks Park, Belfast. (David Knight)

Our thanks to David Hill for the two pics below of the Redshanks and the Purple Sandpiper. Also to Bobby Moffett for the Whooper Swans. The Carrion Crow pic is from Peter Casey. The adult Med Gull is by David Knight:

Bird News Sunday 16th November

A female Brambling and Redwing wee with Chaffinches near Trassey Rd car park, Tollymore (west end), Co Down. A female Great Spotted Woodpecker was also in Tollymore. (Keith Bennett)

Circa 60 Twite were at Tyrella and a Red Kite was also present (Ian Graham / Garry Armstrong)

An adult Med Gull was in Ardglass Harbour (Wilton Farrelly)

On Strangford Lough at Greyabbey Bay were 2 Black-throated Diver and at Marlfield, 5 Great-northern Diver (Richard Weyl)

The Spotted Redshank was in Whitehouse Lagoon today (Stuart McKee)

2 Crossbills were at Capanagh along with 2 Red Grouse (Gerard McGeehan)

A male Hen Harrier was quartering over the flooded fields (with Golden Plover circa 300, Lapwing circa 500+) to the north of Portmore Lough, Co Antrim (Kevin Kirkham-Brown)

3 Pintail, 5 Whooper Swan, 2 Greenshank, 20 Snipe and a Red-throated Diver were at Glynn in Larne Lough (Stuart McKee / Linda Thompson)

A Black Redstart was on the rocks past the Rock Pool in Newcastle (Leonard Charles)

Killough Harbour had a male Pintail, 6 Little Egret, 3 Greenshank, 5 Snipe, 9 Pale-bellied Brent, 50 Wigeon, 36 Teal and 7 Shelduck (in flight) Tim Murphy

Late afternoon, Newry Canal Poyntzpass to Scarva had 40+ Redwing & a Kingfisher. (Fulton Somerville & Janet McKevitt)

The American Wigeon was still at Culdaff Estuary in Donegal (Michael McLoughlin)

Lough Swilly had 2 Little Egret, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 4 Barnacle Geese and a Long Tailed Duck. Durnesh lough, Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal had a hybrid Ring-necked duck x Tufty/Scaup (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the Tree Sparrows on a garden feeder and Stuart McKee for the Spooted Redshank and the first year Med Gull. You can see more pics at :

Dick Glasgow, Tree Sparrows:

Stuart McKee, Spotted Redshank:

Stuart McKee, Mediteranean Gull:

Bird News Saturday 15th November

A Chiffchaff was on the shore at Ballyfrench north off Portavogie. (Richard Weyl)

A group of Crossbills and 15 Raven were at Bessy Belle Mountain, Co Tyrone this morning. (Colin Bell)

A female Snow Bunting was on Ramore Head today (Colin Guy)

A Jack Snipe was with 32 Snipe at Glynn, Larne Lough (Neal Warnock)

66 Purple Sandpiper were on the rocks at Lansdowne Crescent in Portrush (Derek McIntyre)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this close up of a Rook and Margaret Adamson for the Jackdaw:

Bird News Friday 14th November

At least 20 Little Egret and 19 Whooper Swan were around Larne Lough. 3 Pintail, 2 Greenshank and 7 Snipe were at Glynn and a Pink-footed Goose with 23 Greylag at Old Church Bay (Cameron Moore).    

In calm conditions 34 Red-throated Diver, 5 Great Northern and a Sandwich Tern were between Groomsport and Briggs Rocks (Stuart McKee, George Gordon).

Over 30 Whooper Swans were on flooded land between the River Lagan and Blaris Road at Lisburn, several more Whoopers were on fields near by feeding on root crops today. (David Smylie)

Ballyboley Forest, Larne,  this morning had a Kestrel, 2 Raven, 2 Buzzard, 3 Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldcrests, Longtail Tits, Wrens, and Bluetits. (John Loughlin and Irene Miller).

On the Antrim side of Belfast Lough 2 female Long-tailed Duck, a Pochard, 30 Scaup and 6 Red-throated Diver were off Loughshore Park (Stuart McKee).  

This evening at 5pm a Woodcock flew over Tempo Road, Enniskillen, just on outskirts of town. (Colin Bell).  

A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at Marconi’s outlet, Ballycastle. (Colin Guy)