Happy New Year

Happy New Year From NI Birds.

And thanks to Stephen Maxwell for these two pictures, including one of the birds of 2011.

Bird News 31st December

2 1st w Iceland gulls were at Corbally Resevoir. A 1st w Glaucous Gull was at Ramore Head and the adult Ring-billed Gull at east strand car park, Portrush (Neal Warnock)

A Curlew Sandpiper was at Mullagh, Lough Beg. (David Steele).

The immature Marsh Harrier was seen again at Portmore. (Ed O'Hara).

A 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was at Drains Bay. (Joe Lamont).

The Pink Footed Goose was still at Anne's Point, 4 Sandwich Tern were at Marlfield with another at Portaferry. (Richard Weyl).

A Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon, a Great Northern Diver was off Lough Shore Park and 4 Gadwall were at Dargan Road shore. (Stuart McKee).

A Carrion Crow was at Crawfordsburn beach. (Ian Enlander).

The 2nd winter Ring Billed Gull was again at Groomsport.

Yesterday morning a dead Barn Owl was on the road between Lisnaskea and Maguiresbridge in Co. Fermanagh. (John Young).

Thanks to Richie Lort, Joe Lamont, Stuart McKee and Alistair Prentice for todays pictures.

Dunlin - Richie Lort

Dunlin - Richie Lort

Great Northern Diver - Stuart McKee

Mediterranean Gull - Stuart McKee

Mediterranean Gull - Joe Lamont

Tree Sparrow - Alistair Prentice

Bird News for Friday 30th December.

The adult Bonaparte's Gull was at the outfall at Drains Bay. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was at the shore opposite the campus at Jordanstown (Walter and Christopher Veale).

The second winter Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport

10 Slav. Grebes, 3 Long-tailed Duck and 30 Yellowhammer were at Greyabbey Bay.(R.Weyl)

Yesterday 10 Little Egret were on the marsh at Ballykelly Point, Lough Foyle.

Our thanks to Jeff Silvers who kindly sent in this photo of a party of Pale bellied Brent Geese at Millisle.

Bird News for Thursday 29th December.

The Bonapartes Gull was seen at Sandy Bay, Larne Lough (N.Warnock) It was also reported from Drains Bay this morning.(R.Price/M.Taylor)

A 1st winter Med gull (no ring) was at Ganaway Bay,which is located north of Ballywalter (R.Weyl).

1000 Golden Plover were at Kirkistown and 3 Purple Sandpiper at Portavogie.(K.Bennett).

200 Pale-bellied Brent were at Roe Estuary. 75 Brent, 600 Whooper Swan, 500 Golden Plover, 200 Lapwing and a Greenshank were at Myroe Levels (C Stewart).

Bird News Wednesday 28th December

The Bonapartes Gull was still at the outflow at Black Arch, Drains Bay, Co. Antrim (Neal Warnock) At Groomsport the Ring-billed Gull was still present along with 2 Gannet and 16 Red-throated Diver. At Orlock Point a first winter Med gull, a Gannet and 3 Red-throated diver were present. A Peregrine was on Big Copeland (Richard Weyl)
A drake Goosander was still at Begney Lough, Co. Down (David Nixon)
A Buzzard was at Finnebrogue. (Stephen Maxwell).
The Long Tailed Duck has been seen again at Lagan Weir in Belfast.
An immature Glaucous Gull was at Ardglass. (Tom Ennis).

Many thanks to Cameron Moore for this excellent picture of a Jay:

Bird News Tuesday 27th December

A Grey Phalarope was seen today along the Seacliff Road in Bangor, down to a range of 5 metres. Sighting and picture by John McClean.

The Bonaparte's Gull and a 2nd w Med Gull were at Black Arch, Drains Bay, Co. Antrim (Neal Warnock)
The male Smew was at Portmore Lough and 2 Pink-footed Geese in the fields north of there (Jeff Larkin).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport and a female Brambling in a garden in Ballyholme. (George Gordon)

13 Purple Sandpiper were in Newcastle Harbour (Ian Jackson)
Purple Sandpiper - Ian Jackson
Many thanks to all for the recent photographs of scarce and common birds. We have added a number to our 'Recent Photographs' page (you can click on this page by selecting it from the menu bar). Please send contributions to nibirds@live.co.uk

Bird News Monday 26th December

The Cattle Egret flew into its roost at Hillsborough lake this evening. (Eric Randall)
The Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport (Stephen Maxwell)
The Pink-footed Goose was still at Anne's Point also a White-fronted Goose was there. The hybrid Ring-billed Gull was seen again at Millisle and a Little Egret was at Dumfad Bay, Co Down. (Richard Weyl)
A juvenile Marsh Harrier and a wayward Kittiwake were at Lough Beg (David Steele)
In south Down 6 Greenshank were at Dundrum Inner Bay South and another 5 Greenshank at Ardilea at the North Bay. 11 Pink-footed Geese were in a potato field between Kelly's Wood and Killough and 2 Iceland Gull at Ardglass (David Clarke, John Pyper).
A wing-tagged Buzzard was at the Comber River Estuary near the service station along Killinchy Road. (Higgins).

Bird News Christmas Day 2011

No positive news on the probable House Crow seen yesterday on the Lisburn Road.
The Bonaparte's Gull was this morning feeding at the outflow at the Black Arch, Drains Bay, Co. Antrim (Neal Warnock). It was then back at Ballygalley at 4pm (Stephen Foster).
A Carrion Crow was at Crawfordsburn County Park (Vernon Carter).
A pair of Raven were at Belvoir Park in Belfast (Ricky McQuillan).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport (George Gordon)
A ring-tailed Hen Harrier was on Big Copeland (Richard Weyl)


The NIBIRDS team would like to wish all of you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. We would like to thank everyone who take's the trouble to send us information/photo's/sightings - without you then this blog would not be possible. 2011 has been an excellent year for rare and scarce birds in NI so hopefully 2012 will be just as exciting as 2011.

Bird News Christmas Eve

Amazingly, a probable House Crow, was at Tates Avenue, Lisburn Road, Belfast (Dave Allen)
The adult Bonaparte's Gull has been relocated at Ballygally, Co. Antrim, feeding at the outflow at the southern car park. (Neal Warnock)
On the outer Ards today, ca 30 Whooper Swan at Ann's Point; 1 Great northern Diver Monaghan bank (Kircubbin); 1 Gannet (ad) off Ballyquintin, also 1 Grey Plover there; 5 Sandwich Tern Portaferry marina, and at least 2 Carrion Crow near the town. (Keith Bennett)
At Larne Lough a second winter Mediterranean Gull and 2 Purple Sandpiper were at Sandy Bay. A Great Northern Diver was off Glynn and another Great Northern off the sewage station at Larne (Cameron Moore).
The male Goosander was still at Begny Lake in County Down (David Nixon).
A male Blackcap was in a garden at Adelaide Park at Malone in Belfast (Ricky McQuillan).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport.

The white phase Snow Goose was still at Big Isle, near Letterkenny, Co Donegal (Brian Downey)
Bonapartes Gull - Neal Warnock

Bonapartes Gull - Neal Warnock

Bird News Friday 23rd December

The Red-crested Pochard was at Oxford Island (Ed O'Hara)
The 3 long-tailed duck (1 male, 2 female) were still at Greyabbey bay S. (Keith Bennett)
A Red-throated Diver was showing in Portrush Harbour (Geoff McIntyre)

Today at Reedy Flat Co. Armagh there was 1juv Brent Goose and 1 White Fronted Goose with 60 Grey Lag Geese (J.Devlin)
Red-crested Pochard with Pochard - Ed O'Hara
In Donegal, the white phase Snow Goose was still at Big Isle, Lough Swilly (Chris Ingram)
A Pink-footed Goose was at Ballymena Ecos Park (Jeff Larkin).
A flock of Pink-footed Geese was reported at Anne's Point in Strangford Lough (Francis Duffin).
Our thanks to Stuart McKee for the lovely image of a Tree Sparrow at Portmore Lough.

Bird News Thursday 22nd December

The drake Green-winged Teal was still at RSPB Belfast Lough. (Keith Bennett)

A Sanderling and a Dunlin were with approximately 40 Ringed Plover in the East Strand car park at Portrush. A Great Northern Diver was in the harbour. (Geoff McIntyre).

A Woodcock flew over the Ballynahinch Road in Dromara this evening. (Adam McClure).

200 Pied Wagtails were roosting at Bridge Street in Belfast city centre. (David Clarke).

Yesterday the Black Swan was still at Toomebridge. (Tony McCormack).

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell and Geoff McIntyre for todays pictures.

Red Breasted Merganser - Stephen Maxwell

Eider - Stephen Maxwell

Sanderling, Dunlin & Ringed Plover - Geoff McIntyre

 Oystercatchers - Geoff McIntyre

Bird News Wednesday 21st December

The 3 Tundra Bean Geese, 2 Greenland Whitefronts, and 2 Pinkfeet were still in fields near Portmore.
A male Smew was at Oxford Island.

The drake Green Winged Teal was seen again at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve.

The 2nd winter Ring Billed Gull was still at Groomsport.

A mixed flock of Linnets and Twite were on the beach at Portstewart. (Geoff McIntyre).

In Strangford Lough 166 Pintail, 309 Shelduck and approx. 2,500 Golden Plover were at the Floodgates, a Greenshank was north of Mount Stewart and a Ruff was at Castle Hill. A Merlin and a Little Egret were at Ballyquintin. (Adam McClure & Michael McLaughlin).

This afternoon between 30 and 40 Whooper Swans flew over Ballymena town centre. (David Ledsham).

Thanks to Slawomir Starzynski, Jeff Silvers and Geoff McIntyre for todays pictures.

 Turnstone - Slawomir Starzynski

Turnstone - Slawomir Starzynski
Eider - Jeff Silvers
Linnets & Twite - Geoff McIntyre

Bird News for Tuesday 20th December.

3 Long-tailed Duck (1male,2female)were at Greyabbey Bay South.(K.Bennett)
A male Goosander was at Begny Lake Co.Down.(R.Price/M.Taylor)
A flock of 40 Twite were on Portstewart Beach.(J.McIntyre)
The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park. A Black Redstart and a Great Skua were at Portandoo and a Great Northern Diver in Portrush Harbour. A first winter Glaucous Gull and an all white leucistic Herring Gull were at Corbally Dam (Matthew Tickner)
2 Redwing were at Adelaide Park at Malone in Belfast (Ricky McQuillan).
Red-breasted Mergansers Millisle - Jeff Silvers
Blue Tit - Andrew Poots

Bird News Monday 19th December

The 3 Tundra Bean Geese and 2 Greenland Whitefronts were still in the fields beside Portmore. At Portmore the male Smew, a Water Rail and a female Merlin were seen along with the Marsh Harrier which was seen at 10.30a.m. At Hillsborough Lake the Cattle Egret came in to roost at 4.00p.m. (Jason Starbuck, Stevie Stewart, Scott Young).
The adult Ring Billed Gull was still at Portrush East Strand - see picture below. (Guy Hamilton)
12 Whooper Swans and a Bar Tailed Godwit were at the Bann estuary. (Jeff McIntyre).
The 2nd winter Ring Billed Gull was still at Groomsport and 24 Whooper Swans flew west over Ballyholme.
Yesterday a Snow Bunting was at the landfill site at the Hightown Road above Glengormley. (Larry Toal).
Thanks to Guy Hamilton, Jeff Silvers and Craig Nash for today's pictures.
 Ring Billed Gull - Guy Hamilton

      Tree Sparrow - Craig Nash

Chaffinch - Craig Nash

Bird News Sunday 18th December

Three Bean Geese were seen this morning on the goose fields at Oxford Island. They were subsequnetly seen again at Portmore Lough. Could these birds perhaps be those seen recently at Inch, Donegal?
A Red-necked Grebe was also at Portmore Lough.
The 2nd winter Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport Harbour, a Pink-footed Goose was with Greylags and 50 Whoopers at Annes Point, Co. Down (Keith Bennett)
A drake Smew was at Portmore Lough (Jeff Larkin)
The Marsh Harrier was seen again this afternoon at Portmore Lough (Irish Birding)
The Long-tailed Duck was still at Oxford Island (Stuart McKee)

The Red-crested Pochard was at Lurgan Park lake (Karen Elliott)
At Larne Lough 3 Little Egret, 6 Whooper Swan and a Greenshank were at Ballycarry Bridge. 4 Great Northern Diver and 2 Red-throated Diver were very close to the shore at Glenarm (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).
In Donegal an Iceland Gull and 11 Pink-footed Geese were at Inch and the Snow Goose and 2 Pink-footed Geese at Big Isle (Matthew Tickner, Brad Robson).
A Black Swan has been with the Whoopers at Toomebridge (Paul Mackin)

Bird News Saturday 17th December

At Oxford Island were a likely aythya hybrid (the head nor wing were not seen and the bird is very grey on the flank), the Long -tailed Duck, 3 Ruddy Duck and 50+ Whooper (Ed O'Hara) 

A very late Pomarine Skua and 5 Common Scoter were at Burial Island, Co. Down. The Pink-foot Goose was still at Anne's Point. 3 Sandwich Tern were at Cloughy Bay and a Merlin at Orlock Point.
The first winter Iceland Gull was still at Ardglass (Keith Bennett).
The first winter Glaucous Gull, adult Ring-billed Gull, 34 Ringed Plover and 40 Sanderling were on the East Strand at Portrush. 15 Bullfinch were in the buckthorn at the Whiterock end of the beach (Richard Gray).
On 15th the Cattle Egret was still coming to roost on the island at Hillsborough Park Lake (Richard Gray).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport.

The Snow Goose was at Big Isle, Co. Donegal (Chris Ingram)
Unidentified aythya - Ed O'Hara

Ruddy Duck (and Pochard) - Ed O'Hara

Long-tailed Duck Ed O'Hara

Bird News for Friday 16th December.

At Anne's Point a Pink-footed Goose with 170 Greylag and a Whimbrel. Between Greyabbey Bay and Herring Bay 7 Slavonian Grebe, a Long-tailed Duck and 3 Red Kite.(Richard Weyl/Sean McCourt)

A Buzzard was seen over Whitehouse Lagoon.(S.Maxwell)

Bird News Thursday 15th December

A Great Northern Diver and two Scaup were on Lower Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)
Along the Antrim coast 2 juvenile Black-throated Divers were at Cushendall. Two Great Northern Divers were at Portrush Harbour and single Great Northern Divers at Ballycastle and Portballintrae. A Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver were at Cushendun (Colin Guy).
A Grey Phalarope was off the Gobbins on Island Magee 1.4 miles south of Muck Island - probably the same seen earlier at the back of Muck (David Galbraith).
A Mediterranean Gull and a Purple Sandpiper were at Whitehead and the Barnacle Goose still at Church Bay at Larne Lough (Cameron Moore).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport.
Yesterday 2 Black Redstart were on the beach at Waterfoot (Jeffrey MacKintyre).

Bird News Wednesday 14th December

A cold and miserable day but at Myroe this morning there were 150 Curlew, a Common Scoter and 300 Brent Geese in surrounding fields. Also 15 Red-breasted Merganser and three Little Egret in the drainage channels. (David Hill)
The first winter Glaucous Gull was still at Portrush East Strand car park (Colin Guy).
A Greenland White-fronted Goose was with 80 Whooper Swan at Oxford Island. The male Long-tailed Duck was with hundreds of Pochard and Tufted Duck (Dot Blakely).
The Twite seen recently at Whitehead was ringed on the Mull of Kintyre this autumn (Declan Clarke).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport (George Gordon).

Common Scoter - David Hill
Brent Geese - David Hill

Red-breasted Merganser - David Hill

Bird News Tuesday 13th December

The blue phase Snow Goose was still at Gortatole, Lough Macnean, Co Fermanagh (Brad Robson)
The Green-winged Teal was still at Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve (Dermot Hughes)
A Marsh Harrier was at Portmore Lough (Irish Birding)
At Larne Lough a fem/imm Goosander was off Glynn and 3 Purple Sandpiper at Sandy Bay. 10/15 Twite were along the seafront at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).
A first winter Glaucous Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park (Matthew Tickner).
Both the adult Ring-billed Gull at Kiltonga in Newtownards and the second winter at Groomsport were present (George Gordon)
The female Long Tailed Duck and a winter plumage Black Guilllmot were on the River Lagan, Belfast at the Weir (Rob McAllister)
Female Long-tailed Duck - Rob McAllister

Black Guillemot - Rob McAllister

Ardglass Gulls - 12th December

Many thanks to Craig Nash for the excellent shots below, taken at Ardglass Harbour:
1st winter Glaucous Gull, Ardglass - Craig Nash

1st winter Glaucous Gull - Craig Nash

1st winter Iceland Gull - Craig Nash
Kittiwake - Craig Nash

Bird News Monday 12th December

The 1st winter Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were still at Ardglass Harbour (Craig Nash \ David Nixon)
The Long-tailed Duck still at Oxford Island today, as well as very many Pochard and some Scaup and Ruddy Duck (James O'Neill
A Woodcock was along the edge of Montalto Estate, Spa Road, Ballinahinch (David Nixon)
Around Belfast Lough as adult Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon (Stuart McKee) and 8/10 Common Scoter at Crawfordsburn (Derek Polley).
Yesterday 15 Twite were at Whitehead. One was colour ringed with green above and white below on the left leg and red above and white below on the right leg (Larry Toal).

Many thanks to Stephen Maxwell for the shots below of male and female Goldeneye:
Female Goldeneye - Stephen Maxwell

Male Goldeneye - Stephen Maxwell

Bird News Sunday 11th December

3 male Goosander were off the hide at the Bann estuary and yesterday 2 Red Grouse were at Binevenagh. (Mervyn Guthrie, Jeff Larkin).

The male Ring Necked Duck was still at Lough Cowey. A Black Throated Diver, 5 Great Northern Diver and 2 Jack Snipe were at Ringburr Point. (Richard Weyl).

A Dipper was on the River Bann at the Mullahead Road bridge near Portadown. (James O'Neill).

60 Tree Sparrows and a Brambling were in a garden in Richhill, Co. Armagh. (Andrew Poots).

2 Long Tailed Duck, 20 Common Scoter and 2 Great Northern Diver were at Whitehead. (Irishbirding).

A drake Long Tailed Duck and 3 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay south and an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Knockinelder Bay near Kearney on the outer Ards. (Irishbirding).

The first winter Glaucous Gull was still present at Ardglass Harbour along with a first winter Iceland Gull.

The Black Redstart was on the shore behind St Anne's Church in Killough.

Late news from yesterday, a Goosander was at the Twlve Arches at Dundrum, see pictures below. (Neville McKee).

Thanks to Neville McKee and Stephen Maxwell for todays pictures.

Goosander - Neville McKee

Goosander - Neville Mckee

Redshanks - Stephen Maxwell