Bird News Friday 29th August

A Whinchat was at the Colebrooke River mouth, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson).

Two Swifts were over Templepatrick at 10 am this morning. (Sandy McWilliams).

Seven Swifts were over Newcastle Main Street, with about 150 Swallows. (Peter Casey).

200 Sandwich Tern were on the rocks at Ballymacormick Point. Another 50 Sandwich Tern and 3 Turnstone were on Cockle Island and a Wheatear on the way down to the Watch House. (George Gordon).

Thanks to Karl Martin for the Kestrel pictures.

Bird News Thursday 28th August

Approximately 800 seabirds were feeding/roosting on Briggs Rocks this morning consisting of adult and juvenile 
Common Terns, Arctic Terns and Kittiwakes. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was present within the flock. (Colin Guy)

2 Swift flew south over Islandhill about 11am (Dick Haydon)

The Little Stint, although elusive, was seen again at Lough Mourne near Carrickfergus. 2 Ruff were also present (Stuart McKee)

At about 7:45pm this evening there was 7 swifts flying over the Hogstown Road near Donaghadee. (David McCormick)

Many thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of a Wren and Stuart McKee for the Little Stint. You can see more bird pics at :

Bird News Wednesday 27th August

2-3 Arctic Skuas were chasing terns off Kearney, Outer Ards, this evening. (Keith Bennett)

Two late Swift were over the County Hall, Coleraine this morning. (Jim Flanagan)

A very late Goldfinch nest was found in a garden at Kilmore, Lurgan. It had three large chicks which were just about to fledge. (Jim Wells)

A Swift was today over Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)

200 Sandwich Tern (4 of them colour-ringed), 50 Common Tern and a Greenshank were at the west end of Ballymacormick Point in Belfast Lough. A Whimbrel was at the lagoon at the east end (George Henderson)

An Arctic Skua offshore at Barr Hall Bay, at about 4pm this afternoon (David McCormick)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of Siskins:

Bird News Tuesday 26th August.

A Reed Warbler was in the reed bed at Carrick Leisure centre this evening, obviously a bird migrating as they do not breed there. (Paul McCullough)

Yesterday a Little Gull was at Killough harbour. (David Clarke/John Pyper)

6 juvenile ruff with 5 black-tailed godwit using shallow, temporary, pool at edge of field on Longfield Level, Lough Foyle. (Gareth Bareham and Philip Carson)

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Swallow - Christine Cassidy.

Bird News Monday 25th August

A Great Skua went past Kearney (Outer Ards) this morning, heading south. (Keith Bennett)

This morning Manx Shearwater movement past Donaghadee was at about 700 per hour (Richard Haydon)

Yesterday there was a passage of 50 House Martin over McArts Fort on Cavehill. (Andy Elliott)

Our thanks to Ginny McKee for the pics. below. The top is a Sandwich Tern and below that an Arctic Tern. Also to Rob McAllister for the Black-headed Gull. 

Bird News Sunday 24th August

An Osprey was at Eshywulligan near Rosslea in Fermanagh heading south-west just after 9am (Clive Mellon)

4 Ruff, 3 Dunlin, 160+ Black-tailed Godwits and a Wheatear were at Lough Mourne (Wilton Farrelly)

A Ruff was at Whitehouse Lagoon (Wilton Farrelly)

Two Common Sandpiper were seen along the Clanrye River this morning. (Frank Carroll)

18 Ruff, 10 Greenshank, 95 Black-tailed Godwit and a juvenile Sanderling (rare there) were along the  western shore of Lough Beg. Seven Little Egret (a site record) were also seen (David Steele)

A Whimbrel was feeding near Cockle Island in Groomsport (William Smiton)

Blanket Nook had 12 Ruff, 1 juv Little Egret, 1 juv Water Rail, 2 Pintail and 3 White Wagtail. Inch Lough had a Water Rail, 1 Pintail and a Spotted Flycatcher. Myroe had 9 White Wagtails (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of a male Sparrowhawk:

Bird News Saturday 23rd August

A Long-tailed Skua, 2 Pomarine Skua and a Grey Phalarope  were seen from Bloody Foreland this morning (Chris Ingram)

A juvenile Little Gull was at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve (Wilton Farrelly)

2 Ruff, a Greenshank and 100 Golden Plover and were at Myroe Levels. 3 Ruff, 3 Sanderling and a Common Sandpiper were at the Bann Estuary (Gerard McGeehan)

Below is a pic of the juvenile Little Gull. Thanks to Karl Martin for the Curlew:

Bird News Friday 22nd August

A Ruff and a Spotted Redshank were at Kinnegar Pools this morning. (Adam McClure)

A few Swifts are still lingering. Three swifts were at Tesco, Carrickfergus at 9:10 (Chris Shaw) and a Swift was with House Martins on Church street, Cookstown (Tony Mc Cormick)

A flock of 12 Buzzard were east of Lough Shark this morning.(Fulton Somerville)

Lough Mourne had the same wader count as yesterday, but no trace of the Green Sandpiper. (David Clarke/John Pyper) 

10 swifts and a Ruff were at Reedy Flat (James O'Neill)

Five pairs of adult Swifts continue to roost every night in swift boxes in Brookeborough. (John Young)

Thanks to Tony Donaldson for this pic of a Chiffchaff:


Islay Boat Trips

Two boat trips to Islay will leave Ballycastle at 10am this Sunday 24th August and Tuesday 26th August.

About 40 people have already been out to Islay and everyone saw Golden Eagle and most also had good views of Chough and Peregrine.

If you are interested is either trip please contact 
Jim Wells on 07856235144

Bird News Thursday 21st August

A Long-eared Owl was seen at Castlebawn waste grounds heading towards the airfield at around10:30pm last night (Adam Middleton)

A Cuckoo was just off exit 6 / B95 on the M2 on the outskirts of Antrim (Mark Smyth)

2 Garganey, 28 Ruff, a Green Sandpiper and 6 Little Egret were at Lough Beg (David Steele)

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast (Stuart McKee)

A short seawatch at Ramore head this evening produced 3 Great Skuas, along with 250 Manx Shearwaters. Earlier another Great Skua was seen flying along cliffs east of Ballintoy Church (Colin Guy)

At Lough Mourne were 3 Sanderling, 6 Redshank, 14 Ringed Plover, 4 Ruff, 130 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 1 Green 
Sandpiper. and a couple of White Wagtail. (Stuart McKee)

You can report rare and scarce bird news to or Twitter @nibirds

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for the pic of the Sparrowhawk, William Smiton for the Fulmar and Stuart McKee for the Green Sandpiper. You can see more bird pics at

Bird News Wednesday 20th August

A Ruff, a Common Sandpiper and a Wheatear were at Kinnegar Pool, Belfast (Wilton Farrelly)

At least 16 Little Egret and 4 Wigeon were seen around Castle Espie \ Comber Estuary \ Newtownards Floodgates (Brian Murphy)

At Lough Mourne near Carrickfergus which is partially drained, were a little stint, a green sandpiper, 4 ruff, 144 black tailed godwit, 2 common sandpiper, 8 ringed plover, 3 dunlin, a redshank, 18 teal and a white wagtail. (Richard Weyl)

A Jay, Kingfisher and 2 Common Sandpiper were at Blackers Rock along the Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh (Godfrey McRoberts)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for this pic of a group of four Buzzards over a garden in Derry:

Bird News Tuesday 19th August.

The Garganey were still showing at Reedy Flats, Lough Neagh this afternoon. (Birdguides)

4 White Wagtail were at the Gobbins and a Swift over Carrick. (Kerry Leonard)

A Whimbrel was in flight over Ballyholme, Bangor. (George Henderson)

Meadow Pipit.

Bird News Monday 18th August

Three 'tame' and watchable Garganey are still at the east of Reedy Flats this afternoon. Emerson's had 12 Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, Peregrine hunting Lapwing and 2 Goldeneye. Yesterday at Oxford Island, the winds forced down 5 Turnstone, one Knot and 6 Black-tailed Godwits. (Oscar Campbell)

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for this pic of a Turnstone:

New Arrivals

Two new arrivals in time for the Birdfair this weekend and which may be of interest to local birders are:

The Collins Bird Guide App
A long time in the making but worth the wait! This smartphone App of the leading field guide is sure to be a hit. You can see more at:

The Challenge Series
The first of a series from Martin Garner that looks at identification of autumn migrants, residents and vagrants. You can see further details at:

Bird News Sunday 17th August

Ramore Head had in ten hours 1 ad Sabine's Gull, 38 Great Skua, 3 Arctic Skua,19 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Storm Petrel, 5 Common Scoter, 1750 Manx Shearwater, 14 Whimbrel, 79 Sandwich Tern,21 Arctic Tern. (Neal Warnock)
Also a Cory's Shearwater seen there in the morning. (Stuart McKee)

The Bann Estuary had a Little Egret and 2 Ruff, 4 Knot along with 2 Greenshank at Whitehouse Lagoon.(Stuart McKee)

5 Little Egret where roosting at Paddy's Dub, Lough Beg.(Godfrey McRoberts)

Malin Head Co.Donegal this morning had a Cory's Shearwater, 2 Great Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Long-tailed Skua, 47 Sooty Shearwater, 13 Great Skua, 7 Arctic Skua and 2 Pomarine Skua. (Ronan McLaughlin)

Melmore Head Co.Donegal had... 2 Great Shearwater, 61 Sooty Shearwater 13 Great Skua, 5 Arctic Skua  3 Arctic Tern and a Storm Petrel.(Eric Randal)

Glenoo Mountain nr Fivemiletown had 2 Crossbill, 9 Jay and a Buzzard.(Colin Bell)

Below is a video link taken in Dick Glasgow garden of a Buzzard.

Lapwing - Karl Martin.

Med. Gull - Cameron Moore.

Bird News Saturday 16th August

Bloody Foreland this morning between 0630-0900 had 8 Cory Shearwaters, 1 Balearic, 254 Manx, 6  Storm Petrels, 1 Bonxie and 4 Red-throated Divers (Chris Ingram)

Three Garganey were very close and watchable at the east end of Reedy Flats; also 12 Ruff, 5 Goldeneye, a Wigeon and 10 Common Swift there. Oxford Island had 2 Reed Warblers showing; also one Ruff and 20 Common Terns. (Oscar Campbell)

Three Ruff and a Little Egret were at Belfast Harbour estate (Wilton Farrelly)

A Spotted Redshank was at Whitehouse Lagoon. 4 Swift were over Skegoneill Avenue in Belfast (Stuart McKee)

The immature Spoonbill was at the Quoile Pondage. In Strangford Narrows 3 Little Egret were at Cloghy Rocks and a juvenile Ruff, 200 Sandwich Tern, a Greenshank, Peregrine, 30 Dunlin and 70 Ringed Plover at Kilclief (Gerard McGeehan)

Two Ruff were at Lough Mourne (Neal Warnock)

Conditions look excellent for a sea watch on the north coast tomorrow, particularly with the possibility of an elusive NI Cory's.

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for this pic of a Purple Sandpiper: