Bird News Thursday 23rd October

Yesterday there were  3 Red Kites flying over Tyrella.15-20 Twite were also present. (Noeni Bryars)

A drake Pintail was at Portmore lLugh today. (Anne Guichard)

Circa 150 Whooper Swans and 150 Linnets were at Runkerry, close to the Giants Causeway (Dick Glasgow)

You can share rare / scarce birds news via , Twitter: @nibirds or text: 07973 403146.

Thanks to Noeni Bryars for these pics of a Red Kite and Sanderling and Anne Guichard for the Pintail:

Bird News Wednesday 22nd October

A 1st winter Glaucous Gull was near Dunseverick harbour. 2 Barnacle Geese and 9 White fronted Geese were seen flying past. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was at Marconi’s outfall at Ballycastle. 35 Whooper Swans were seen flying along the coast with another 50 in a field near Runkerry, Bushmills. (Colin Guy).

St John’s Point between 8.30 and 9.00 had 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Divers, otherwise very small numbers of seabirds. 1500 Golden Plover are still in the area.
Also, for the record, a drake Ring-necked Duck in eclipse was at Inch Lake on 13th October when 84 species were recorded on Inch Island (including a pair of Black Swans with a cygnet, Pheasant and a lone Feral/Racing Pigeon). 100 species might be possible on the island at this time of year. (Chris Murphy).

3 Red Kite, 20 Sanderling, 16 Common Scoter, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Great Northern Diver were at Tyrella. (George Gordon).

A Snow Bunting was at Castlerock and a 1st winter Iceland Gull at the Barmouth. (Birdguides).

Tory Island had a Northwestern Redpoll, a Lapland Bunting and a Pomarine Skua. (Birdguides).

Bird news Tuesday 21st October.

This morning between in very windy conditions 0830 and 1100 hours Ramore Head had 8 Pomarine Skuas ,7 Great Skuas (all in one  flock) , 4 Arctic Skuas , 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Leach’s Petrels, 1 juvenile Sabine’s Gull, 1 “small” Canada Goose,6 Barnacle Geese,37 Brent Geese, 8 Tufted Ducks,9 Wigeon, 2 Red breasted Mergansers, 6 Teal, 2 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red Throated Divers,1 Snow Bunting and 2 Redwings (Colin Guy)

Addional news from Ramore from 11.00 am until dusk produced 32 Pom Skuas, 2Great Skua, 2 Leach's Petrel, 3 Canada Geese,25 White fronted Geese,9 Whooper Swan,53 Brent Geese, 3 Red breasted Mergansers, 8 Widgeon and 4 Great Nothern Diver (Colin Guy, Ronald Surgeoner, Ian Dickey)

St Johns Point Co.Down in the morning had 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, 40 Twite,6 Goldfinch,100 Skylark,60 Linnet, 1500 Golden Plover, 1 Buzzard, 1 Little Egret. Killough in the evening had 1 adult Mediterrean Gull (Chris&Tim Murphy)

Melmore Head Co.Donegal had 33 Pomarine Skua, 8 Great Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 4 Grey Phalarope, 12 Barnacle Geese, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Great Northern Diver.(Eric Randall)

Rock Pipit - Stephen McMillan

Bird News Monday 20th October.

The Snow Bunting was still at Ramore Head along with a Wheatear. The long staying Ring-billed Gull remains at East Strand car park, Portrush. (Christine Cassidy/Lindsay Hodges.)

2 Snow Bunting where on the road down to White Rocks, Portrush. The flock of Whooper Swan nr Runkerry, Bushmills now exceed 100 birds. (Colin Guy)

7 Raven were over Castle/Ward Park in Bangor (Derek Polley). A pale phase Arctic Skua, Black-throated Diver and 6 Pale-bellied Brent were at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

 2 Mediterranean Gull (adult, first-winter), 7 Little Egret and 4 pale-bellied Brent were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

St John's Point for an hour this morning produced a Great Northern Diver,7 Red-throated Diver, 3 Brent Geese, 1 Red-breasted Merganser,1 Great-crested Grebe, 20 Twite, 30 Goldfinch, 30 Linnet, (Tim Murphy)

Wheatear - Christine Cassidy.
Snow Bunting - Christine Cassidy. 
Curlew - David Hill.

Bird News Sunday 19th October

A Glaucous Gull flew south at Kirkiston on the Outer Ards, 420 Golden Plover and 2 Swallow were also present. (Richard Weyl).

4 Barnacle Geese and 2 Whoopers flew past Ramore Head at dusk. (Colin Guy).

60+ Whoopers Swans were at Island Hill on Strangford Lough this evening. (Chris Henry).

2 Raven and 5 Swallow were at the Gobbins on Island Magee (Billy Hamilton, Cameron Moore). 

12 Swallow and 8 Twite were at Whitehead (Gerard McGeehan).  

16 Whooper Swan (12 adult and 6 juvenile) were at Strand Lough and a Merlin, 12 Linnet, 4 Little Egret, 15 Grey Heron and 3 Carrion Crow at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).   

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head and the adult Ring-billed Gull at Portrush East Strand (Brian Halligan).  

Yesterday amongst other birds a Wheatear, 4 Little Egret, Kestrel and several hundred Golden Plover were at the Floodgates in Strangford Lough (Andy Elliott).

An Arctic Tern in Rathlin Harbour this morning Sunday 19th October 2014 at 11:15am. (Patrick Barton)
Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Sanderling, Turnstone and Ringed Plover and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Buzzard and the Goldfinch.

Bird News Saturday 18th October

A drake American Wigeon is at Tullaghan on the Sligo/Leitrim border. (Fionnbarr Cross).

A Long-eared Owl was along the M1 east of Ballygawley at 4.10 this morning. An adult Mediterranean Gull and a Great Skua were between Rossnowlagh and Murvagh in Donegal. (Brad Robson).

Yesterday approximately 50 Whooper Swans and a Kestrel were at Runkerry near Bushmills. (Dick Glasgow).

An Arctic Tern was at Orlock Point. (Richard Weyl).

A Little Egret was at the Floodgates at Newtownards. (David McCormick).

A Kingfisher was at Glynn in Larne Lough (Brian Halligan).  

250 Golden Plover, 50 Lapwing and 3 Skylark were at Flatfield along the River Lagan (David Clarke).

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Whoopers and the Stonechat and to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the Kingfisher.


Bird News Friday 17th October

A Tree Pipit, 30 Redwing, 47 Whooper Swan, 3 Barnacle Geese, a Merlin, Arctic Tern, 5 Chough and 20 Twite were on Rathlin. (Neal Warnock).

A Carrion Crow was on Castlerock beach and a juvenile Little Stint at the Barmouth (Theo Campbell).

3 Red-throated Divers flew past Briggs Rocks this morning. Yesterday Briggs had 4 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver,1 adult Mediterranean Gull,4 Wheatears and a Canada Goose of unknown origin. (Colin Guy).

Bird News Thursday 16th September

A Honey Buzzard was seen today on the Straid Road, east of Bushmills and south of Whitepark Bay. It was last seen heading south after being harassed by a Rook (Dick Glasgow).

A Brambling was at Monea in Co. Fermanagh and a flock of 300 Redwing flew over. (Brad Robson).

The Snow Bunting, a Wheatear and a flock of Twite were at Ramore Head, Portrush. (Christine Cassidy/Ray Brogan).

The Ring-billed Gull was still at the East Strand car-park in Portrush. (Birdguides).

At Larne Lough 21 Little Egret, 3 Greenshank, 2 Dipper and a Kingfisher were at Glynn (Gerard McGeehan).
A Goldcrest was in a garden in Coleraine (W Hiles).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Snow Bunting, Wheatear and Twite, to David Hill for the picture of the Curlew and to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Wren.


Bird News Wednesday 15th October

Portrush, Ramore Head had 1 Snow Bunting and 1 Wheatear. The East Strand Car Park had the "resident" Ring-billed Gull.  Bushmills had 38 Whooper Swans in stubble fields; Larrybane had 2 Buzzards and 3 Ravens. (Hill Dick / Peter Robinson)

Rough Island, Strangford Lough had over 1100 Golden Plover (Dot Blakely)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pics of a Stonechat and Buzzard and Robin Cunningham for the Whooper:

Bird News Tuesday 14th October

Two small flocks of Redwing flew west over Divis Mountain, Belfast this morning. Also present were 8 Ravens, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard (Larry Toal).

The American Wigeon was still at the Culdaff Estuary, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. Also present were 53 Chough, 2 Raven and a Buzzard. (Christine Cassidy & Diana Stevenson).

Late news from the 9th was of a probable Littoralis Rock Pipit at Ballywalter Pier, a Mediterranean Gull was at Ballyholme. (Norman Milligan).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the American Wigeon and the Stonechat, to Norman Milligan for the pictures of the probable Littoralis Rock Pipit and the Mediterranean Gull and to Christine Cunningham for the pictures of the Whooper Swans.



Bird News Monday 13th October.

A Slavonian Grebe was at Sandy Bay, Lough Neagh.(Nigel Ireland)

A Barn Owl was over Riverdale Primary School at Legarcurry.(Garry Wilkinson)

In Donegal an American Wigeon was at Culdaff estuary.(Michael McLaughlin)

Yesterday a Barn Owl was 2 miles south of Portrush.(Matthew Tickner)

Our thanks to (from the top) Dessie Loughrey for the Sanderling. Martin Lamb for the Reed Bunting. Margaret Adamson for the Black Guillemot in winter plumage.


Bird News Sunday 12th October

A Lapland Bunting was at Castlerock in the dunes beyond the 2nd lifeguard marker (Birdguides)

A female Hen Harrier was hunting adjacent to the M1 yesterday near the Dungannon off slip. (Fergal O'Connor)

110 Pale-bellied Brent, several Wigeon, 200 Golden Plover, 14 Twite, a Buzzard, and 10 Greenshank were at the Roe Estuary. 10 Whooper Swan flew past (C Stewart)

There was no sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler at Kearney but several Tree Sparrow were present (Warren Fowles)

Tory Island had a Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Short-eared Owl, a Yellow-Browed Warbler, 10 Snow Buming and 30 Brambling (Victor Caschera et al)

Thanks to Mark Elliott for the picture below of a male Stonechat:

Bird News Saturday 11th October

A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Kearney (Richard Weyl). The bird was showing and calling in the dense scrub next to the car park at 1pm.

A Pomarine Skua was seen at Ramore Head,9 Tufted Duck flew overhead. 18 Twite and 3 Wheatear where also present.14 Whooper Swan flew over Portrush Golf Club and another 8 flew east nr Ballycastle, a 1st winter Med Gull was at Ballycastle seafront 39 Golden Plover were at Portballintrae, a Great Northern Diver flew south at Torr Head.(Colin Guy)

A Snow Bunting was at Ramore Head, Portrush.(Matthew Tickner)

21 Buzzards were seen around the Myroe area, 2 Kestrels also seen.(Christine Cassidy, Dermot McLaughlin,George McDermot,Lindsay Hodges.)

A Whooper and a Merlin where at Ladys Bay Lough Neagh.(James O'Neil)

Tory Island had a Garden Warbler, 12 Brambling, 4 Snow Bunting, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff and Blackcap, 100+ Barnacle & 27 Whoopers (Neal Warnock)

Our thanks to Christine Cassidy for the pic of a Wheatear.

Bird News Friday 10th October

Tory Island today had 50 Barnacles, 5 Greylags, a Merlin, a Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrushes, 20 Redwings, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Bramblings, 5 Robins (Chris Ingram) also a Yellow-Browed Warbler (around the beach) and a Snow Bunting (Neal Warnock).

30 Whooper Swans just flew over Prehen Park, Derry heading in the direction of Inch Wildfowl Reserve, Inishowen, County Donegal. (Christine Cassidy).

15 Whooper Swans flew west past Magilligan Point. (Colin Guy).

A Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, a Water Rail, Ruff and 2 Golden Plover were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Joe Lamont).  

A Kingfisher was at Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough (Billie Hamilton).  

Yesterday Church Island at Lough Beg had 8 Ruff, a Greenshank, 4 Dunlin, a Jack Snipe, 2 Little Egret and a Peregrine. Also present were 1,000's of mainly Mallard and Teal but with some Wigeon and small numbers of Shoveler and Gadwall (Godfrey McRoberts).

Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of a Brent Goose and to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Twite, Rock Pipit and Meadow Pipit.



Bird News Thursday 9th October

31 Pink-footed Geese and a first-winter Little Gull flew east in calm conditions at Ramore Head in the morning. 7 Twite and a White Wagtail were on the headland and 49 Purple Sandpiper at Portandoo. The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park (Matthew Tickner)

8 Whooper Swan flew west over Derry towards Inch (Brian Hegarty)

Portmuck Islandmagee this morning  had 800+ kittiwake feeding with 300+ gannet offshore. 2 Red-throated Diver + 1 Black-throated Diver flew south close inshore as did 2 Common Scoter (Ian Enlander)

The Snowbunting was at Castlerock beach, (Christine Cassidy & Lindsay Hodges)

3 Redwings were this morning in Portadown (James O'Neill)

A flock of 10 Redwings flew over Dunmurry this morning at 9.00am, a couple of them calling.  (Chris Acheson)

Two Great Northern Divers flew high near Ramore Head this afternoon.  A single Arctic Skua was chasing Kittiwakes near Dunseverick Harbour (Colin Guy)

Circa 45 Twite were at Ballintoy Harbour this morning including at least 2 colour ringed individuals + 34 Greylag and 8 Whooper Swan in off the sea.  There were also 10 Crossbill in Davagh Forest yesterday (Richard Donaghey)

A second-winter male Hen Harrier, 13 Ruff, 20 Swallow, a White Wagtail and Redwing were at Lough Beg (David Steele)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Ballyholme and a Manx Shearwater at Groomsport (Norman Milligan)

St John's Point, 8am-9am, migrating south were: 115 skylarks, 150 linnet, 60 meadow pipit and 25 'alba' wagtails. Seawatching produced 4 manx shearwater,100 razorbill, 20 common guillemot, 1 black guillemot,1 juv artic tern, 4 red-throated divers, 1 scoter, 5 sandwich tern and 200 kittiwake
Killough Harbour in the last few days had 2 Med Gulls and 7 Little Egret (Murphy, Chris Murphy)

Today, Tory Island had 1 chiffchaff,1 blackcap 3+ Yello-Browed Warblers, 2 goldcrest, 40 redwing, 1 song thrush 1 blackbird  and10 brambling (Chris Ingram)

RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve: As construction work progresses at pace, the roadside hide will be closed from the middle of next week until further notice. The RSPB thanks everyone for their ongoing patience.

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for the Snow Bunting pics and Stephen McMillan for the feeding Black-tailed Godwit: