Bird News Tuesday 2nd September

2 Little Gull were at Sandy Bay in Larne. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull Gull was at Whitehead with a good movement of Common Guillemot, Manx Shearwater and Razorbill also noted off Whitehead (Cameron Moore)

8 Ruff and a Curlew Sandpiper were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (despite the  ongoing work). An adult Mediterranean Gull with a green ring ATBC was at Carrickfergus Harbour (Stuart McKee).

A Whimbrel was at Groomsport (George Henderson)

You can share rare or scarce bird news at or on twitter @nibirds

Thanks to Dessie Loughrey for this pic of a Buzzard:

Owl Talk

Ballymena BirdWatching Club are holding a talk tomorrow evening:

Bird News Monday 1st September.

A Ruff and a Curlew Sandpiper were at the Bann Estuary.(Colin Guy)

An adult Little Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne tonight (Neal Warnock)

The Cattle Egret was roosting on the island at Hillsborough Lake this evening(18.30) (Garry Armstrong)

100/120 Goldfinch where feeding in a stubble field nr Giants Ring, Belfast.(Derek Polley)

Yesterday a 1st winter Med. Gull was at Whitehead.(Stephen Foster) see pic. below.

Wren - Dick Glasgow

Med. Gull - Stephen Foster.

Charity Night

There is a charity film night in Strand Cinema, Belfast on 18th September.
The film is Superman (1978) & funds raised after screen hire go to RSPB.
PRICE: £5 Per Seat
Popcorn / drink: £3 (optional)
If you wish to support this event, contact Jim McKeown:

Islay Boat Trips

The weather conditions for the incoming week are to improve significantly and the boat trips from Ballycastle to Islay will run from Wednesday until Sunday.

Seats can be booked by contacting Jim Wells on

Bird News Sunday 31st August

The Little Stint, 6 Curlew Sandpiper and 8 Ruff were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve this morning. (Ian Graham, Philip West, Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).

Two Ruff were at Lough Mourne, Carrickfergus, but there was no sign of the Little Stint this morning. (Ian Graham, Philip West).

At Portmuck this morning a feeding seabird flock had approximately 1,500 Kittiwake, 1,200 Manx Shearwater, 500 auks, 100 Gannet, 1 Great Skua with a minimum 28 Harbour Porpoise. (Ian Enlander).

A Whimbrel was in the lagoon at Ballymacormick Point near Groomsport this afternoon. (David McCormick)

2 White Wagtail were the best at Lough Beg, Co Derry (Richard Hunter).

 4 Pale-bellied Brent, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, 5 Greenshank and 11 Little Egret were at Islandhill at the north end of Strangford Lough (Shirley Dunlop, Gerard McGeehan).

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was at Ballycastle seafront this afternoon. (Colin Guy).

A Common Sandpiper was at Kinnegar Pool (Joe Lamont)

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still at Blanketnook (Wilton Farrelly)

Thanks to David McCormick for the picture of the Whimbrel.

Willow Warbler

Bird News Saturday 30th August

Lough Mourne this morning still had the. Little Stint + 140 Black-tailed Godwit (Ian Enlander)

6 Curlew Sandpiper, 10 Ruff and a juvenile Little Stint were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon this morning. (Stuart McKee). Water levels have fallen and the site is attracting a lot more waders.

A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper is at Blanket Nook, Co Donegal. 15 Ruff and a Little Stint were also present (Brad Robson)

The immature Spoonbill was seen off the embankment, about 1.5miles west of the Floodgates car park at Newtownards. A Little Stint and 11 Wheatear were also present. (Wilton Farrelly)

Whitehead had a dark phase Arctic Skua. Ballycarry Bridge had 7 Little Egret, a Whimbrel and a GreenshankHelens Bay had an adult Med Gull and 2 Hoodie/Carrion hybrids (Ian Enlander)

A Great Skua was seen from a fishing boat in Belfast Lough off Grey Point/Helen's Bay (Brian Meharg)

As well as the Curlew Sandpiper and the Little Stint, 7 Knot (one in summer plumage) and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit in summer plumage were present at the Belfast Harbour Estate (Joe Lamont, Tom Ennis)

An Osprey from Scotland has migrated over NI in the last few days. See:

Below is a pic of the Spoonbill from Wilton Farrelly:

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)

You can share bird news at or on Twitter @NIbirds


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 Common 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 Willow Warbler:


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: