Bird News Wednesday 4th March

The Ring-billed Gull, a Carrion Crow and 3 Twite were at Carrickfergus harbour this afternoon. (Paul McCullough).

A Red-throated Diver, in transition to breeding plumage, was close to the shore at the Seaside Road on the northern edge of Killyleagh this morning. (Ron Price).

5 Buzzard were soaring over Gilnahirk Road in East Belfast. (Derek Polley).

At Lough Beg 2 Greenland White-fronted Geese were at Mullagh. 600 Black-tailed Godwit and a Ruff were along the western shore and 3 Little Egret and 10 Pintail at Paddy's Dub (David Steele). 

At Strangford Narrows 400 Golden Plover, 180 Dunlin and a Greenshank were at Kilclief (Dot Blakely).

Three Mediteranean Gulls were on a slurries field south of Enniskillen along the A4 (Brad Robson)

Thanks to James O'Neill for the pictures of the Black Guillemot and the Black-tailed Godwit.

Barn Owls in Ireland

John Lusby and Michael O'Cleary have recently published a free 32-page booklet, 'Barn Owls in Ireland - Information on the ecology of Barn Owls and their conservation in Ireland'. It is full colour throughout, and has a huge amount of easily accessible information on the lives of this iconic species, with details on habitat, nesting, chick development, nest boxes and much more. There is a download link (below), to download the PDF version, but if you prefer a copy of the printed version for free, send a stamped addressed envelope and they will post one to you. All information is on the link below.

Bird News Monday 2nd March

A first Winter Glaucous Gull was at Groomsport this morning. (David Nixon and Philip McHaffie)

The Green-winged Teal and 5 Little Egret were on the north side of Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough (Cameron Moore).

A second-winter Iceland Gull was at the car park at Landsdowne Crescent in Portrush near the lifeboat station (Derek McKintyre)

Thanks to Noeni Bryars for this pic of a female Reed Bunting:

Bird News Sunday 1st March

A Slavonian Grebe was at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan)

At Fanad Head, Co Donegal were a 1w and 2w Kumliens Gull, three 1w Iceland Gulls and a 1w Glaucous Gull (Wilton Farrelly).

The 1st winter Iceland Gull was still at Larne Harbour. (Ian Graham/Philip West).

The 1st winter Iceland Gull was at Belfast Lough WOW Reserve and the Spotted Redshank was at Kinnegar Lagoon. (Philip West/Ian Graham/Tom Ennis).

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Tolllymore Forest Park (Frank Carroll).  

A first-winter Iceland Gull was at Ballintoy Harbour and a first-winter Glaucous Gull near the harbour at Portballintrae. The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand. 2 first-winter Mediterranean Gull were also at Portrush - one at the East Strand and one near the lifeboat station (Tom Ennis. Allan Gillespie).

3 Whimbrel were together at Orlock Point. (Richard Weyl).

The drake Smew, Glaucous Gull and first winter Ring-billed Gulls were still at Inch in Donegal. (John Loughlin/Irene Miller)

Below is the 1st winter Iceland Gull at Larne and thanks to Cecil Smyth for the picture of the Black-tailed Godwit


Bird News Saturday 28th February

An adult Ring-billed Gull was off Glynn Station (Neal Warnock)

The Spotted Redshank was again seen at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate.(Irishbirding)

The Little Egret was in the stream running alongside the Knock golf club on the N'Ards Road in Dundonald around 10am this morning.(Conrad Watson)

At Inch, Co Donegal were 6 Pintail 2, Gadwall, 2 Scaup, the drake Smew, a 1st yr Glaucous Gull and two 1st yr Ring-billed Gulls.  Blanketnook had a 2nd yr Glaucous Gull along with 3 Slavonian Grebes (Chris Ingram, Theo Campbell and Richard Smith)

Fanad Head had four 1st winter Iceland Gulls, a 1w Glaucous Gull and a 1w Kumliens Gull (Wilton Farrelly)
Barnacle Geese - Christine Cassidy

Male Blackcap - Linda Thompson.

Bird News Friday 27th February

This morning a Red Kite flew above the Ballyblack Road towards Knockinelder Bay, Portaferry. (Rachel Hart).

The 2 Iceland Gull (first and second-winter) were still at the mouth of the bush at Portballintrae. - feeding on a dead dog (Derek McIntyre). 

A Spotted Redshank was at Kinnegar Pool (Joe Lamont).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the female Blackcap from her garden and to Karl Martin for the pictures of the Reed Bunting and Redpoll from Belfast Lough WOW Reserve.

Bird News Thursday 26th February

Late news for yesterday was the male Smew was at the Farland Bank Hide, Inch Island. (Peter Robinson+Coleraine RSPB group)

The Little Egret was at Moat Park Dundonald this morning (Rhona Galway)

The first winter Iceland Gull was again at the RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve (Derek Polley)

A second-winter Iceland Gull was still at the mouth of the Bush at Portballintrae (Derek McIntyre)

At Larne Lough the Green-wiged Teal and 2 Little Egret were at Ballycarry Bridge. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull and 2 Gadwall were at Glynn (Cameron Moore)

Thanks to Jane McLaughlin for the pic of the flock of Knot at Whitehouse Lagoon, Bert Montgomery for the drake Smew at Inch and Christine Cassidy for the Buzzard:

Knot, Jane McLaughlin

Smew, Bert Montgomery

Buzzard, Christine Cassidy

Bird News Wednesday 25th February

The Iceland Gull was at RSPB Belfast Harbour WOW reserve. The Little Egret was at Kinnegar (Derek Polley)

2 Iceland Gull (first-winter and second-winter) were at the mouth of the River Bush at Portballintrae (Derek McKintyre)

The White-tailed Eagle known as Ingar and which had been frequenting the area around upper Lough Erne, has been found dead. The PSNI are investigating the cause of death. (NIRSG). See:

Thanks to Ian Jackson for this pic of a Long-tailed Tit:

Bird News Tuesday 24th February

The female Goosander was still at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the female Sparrowhawk and to Robin Cunningham for the picture of the Wigeon.

Bird News Monday 23rd February

The 1st winter Glaucous Gull was still at Portavogie harbour , Co Down (Keith Bennett)

Tyrella Co.Down ...has a Merlin,800 Golden Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 350 Linnets a Twite,50 Tree Sparrow,... Comber Estuary had 100 Whooper Swan and the 1st winter Iceland Gull still present at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate.(Chris & Tim Murphy, Mark Wotham)

The Spoonbill was at Castle Espie today.

Late news from yesterday that a report of a Hawfinch was seen at Oxford Island, we have no further information (Irishbirding)

Our thanks to Christine Cassidy for the photo of three Black-tailed Godwits taken at the new RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve, just a quick note for those who have not visited yet, the new main building will be closed on Tuesday's but the lagoon can still be viewed from the roadside hide and the lane hide. Also to Stephen Maxwell for the Buzzard in flight and the Goldfinch. 

Bird News Sunday 22nd February

The Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus Harbour this morning. (Adam McClure)

A first winter Iceland Gull was at Belfast Harbour RSPB WOW reserve this morning (Garry Armstrong)

There are now two 1st winter Iceland Gulls in Larne Harbour (Neal Warnock)

On Strangford Lough at Horse Island 5 Slavonian Grebe and a Jack Snipe (Richard Weyl)

A Black-throated Diver and 8 Red-throated Diver were at Portmuck on Island Magee (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop)

You can email your rare and scarce bird news to

Thanks to Linda Thompson for this pic of the female Goosander at Glynn Halt (taken yesterday):

Bird News Saturday 21st February

Two Glaucous Gulls were in Portrush today, at the car park beside Ramore Head (John Clarke).

The female Goosander still present at Craigavon South Lake. (David Knight).

A male Smew was on Inch Lake in Donegal. (Robin Cunningham).

The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at Carrickfergus Marina. (Birdguides).

A male Hen Harrier flew NE over the Collin Road, Ballyclare at around 4.30 this afternoon. (Thom Shannon).

Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of one of the Ramore Head Glaucous Gulls, to David Knight for the picture of the female Goosander, to Angus Kennedy for the pictures of the Ringed Plover and the Teal and to Robin Cunningham for the picture of the male Smew:



Bird News Friday 20th February.

The adult Mediterranean Gull was still at Newcastle (Leonard Charles).

 5 Crossbill were with Siskin and Lesser Redpoll at Woodburn Forest. An adult Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher and 15 Snipe were at Whitehouse and 200 Knot at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Gerard McGeehan).
Song Thrush - Tony Donaldson.

Widgeon - Stephen Maxwell.

NIRSG Conference - Sat 7th March

Bird News Thursday 19th February

An Iceland Gull was at the weir in Newcastle Boating Pond (Leonard Charles)

A first-winter Iceland Gull was at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan)

Portmuck, Islandmagee this afternoon had a male Hen hHrrier, a Buzzard, a Red-throated Diver and 9 Great Northern Divers. (Robert McDowell)

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Thanks to William Smiton for this pic of a Wigeon flock and Tony Donaldson for the Little Egret with the Grey Heron (from the Quoile):