Bird News for Thurs.30th June.

A Quail has been reported from Ballymoney (no site details given)
Black Guillemots, Bangor Harbour - Colin Bell

Bird News Wednesday 29th June

2 Red Kites were hunting along the A50 between Castlewellan & Newcastle (Derek Polley).
A summer plumaged Red Throated Diver was at Macedon Point (Stuart McKee)
32 Puffins were at the Gobbins (Brian Meharg \ Dot Blakely).
A Red Kite was at Shinavogy between Larne and Ballymena. (Bill Guiller).
Yesterday a White Tailed Eagle was at Inishleague Island, Upper Lough Erne (Brad Robson).

Thanks to Bill Guiller for his shot of the Co. Antrim Red Kite.

Red Kite, Co. Antrim - Bill Guiller

Bird News for Tues. 28th June

The Reed Warbler was again calling at Sydenham Cons Area (Paul Scott)

Yesterday a Crossbill flew over a garden at Monea, Co. Fermanangh (Brad Robson)

Sedge Warbler - Oxford Island

Our thanks to Mark Killops who sent in this excellent photo of a Sedge Warbler he took on Sunday (26th) not always an easy bird to see never mind photograph makes it even more impressive.

Bee-eater @ Donaghadee - 23rd June

Many birders will have been intrigued by the reported Bee-eater at Donaghadee - an extreme rarity in NI.
The bird was found by two non birders at Killaughy Road, Donaghadee who were intrgued by its appearance. They seen it on the afternoon of the 23rd June and on the 25th, emailed it to a family contact in England who was a birder. He realised the significance of it and passed details on. By this stage the original finders were able to verify to him that the bird was no longer around.
It is possible that the bird is still in the general area so please keep an eye out for it.
This is the fourth mega in NI this spring but unfortunately the third that has proved untwitchable!
Bee-eater, Donaghadee - Karen Millar

Bird News Monday 27th June

A Reed Warbler was heard calling at the Conservation Area, Belfast Lough RSPB reserve (Paul Scott)
Female Stonechat, Murlough - Angus Kennedy
Whinchat, Capanagh - Stuart McKee
Buzzard, Capanagh - Stuart McKee

Bird News Sunday 26th June

The first summer Ring-billed Gull was still at Ballycastle Harbour (W Farrelly).
A Reed Warbler was at Oxford Island (Mark Killops \ Tom McCreery)
2 Mediterranean Gull (adult and second year) were off Glynn Station (Jeff Larkin).
Possibly the same second year was at Larne Harbour off the war memorial (Colin Guy).

Ring-billed Gull, Ballycastle - Wilton Farrelly
Ring-billed Gull, Ballycastle - Wilton Farrelly

Bird News Saturday 25th June

On the 23rd a Bee-Eater was photographed on power lines on Cloghy Road near Donaghadee, Co. Down but has not been seen since.

2 Whinchats and 2 Spotted Flycatchers were at Glen Head Road, a Dipper was at Owencloghy, Cappanagh in Co. Antrim, a Merlin and good numbers of Buzzards were also seen. (Keith Bennett).

Thanks to Ed O'Hara for todays pictures

Ringed Plover - Ed O'Hara

Willow Warbler - Ed O'Hara

Rathlin Island - Chough

A pair of Chough have raised two chicks at Knocakans, Rathlin Island. This is on land that is within the RSPB reserve which is on the way to the Seabird Centre at the West Light. If on the Island, they are well worth looking out for. It is now estimated that 19 Chough chicks have fledged in Northern Ireland in the last 10 years.
Chough - Andy Hay

Bird News Friday 24th June

80 Red-breasted Mergansers were at the River Roe. (David Hill)
The Ring-billed Gull was still at Ballycastle (Brendan Teague)
Red-breasted Mergansers - David Hill

Meadow Pipit - David Hill

Bird News Thursday 23rd June

Two Long Eared Owls were near the Hillside Nursery along the Doagh Road, Co. Antrim.
A young Carrion Crow was at Killyleagh, Co. Down.
Thanks to Ed O'Hara for this excellent shot of a Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting - Ed O'Hara

Bird News Wednesday 22nd June

The Wood Warbler was heard this morning again at Carrickreagh view point, six miles north of Enniskillen, on the A46. It was 100m from laybay at the first fork along the forest track. (Brian Porter)
A Reed Warbler was singing at Kinnegar Pools (Paul Scott
The Ring-billed Gull was at Ballycastle, a Whimbrel near Marconi's Cottage and 3 Wigeon at Runkerry Point (Colin Guy)
A summer plumage Red Throated Diver was at Dundrum Bay (Stuart McKee).

Cuckoo - Craig Nash

Grey Wagtail - George McKee

Bird News Tuesday 21st June

An immature White Tailed Eagle was seen again at the mouth of the Colebrooke River at Upper Lough Erne. (G Knight).

The first summer Ring Billed Gull was still at Ballycastle harbour, also seen at the mouth of the river. (Colin Guy).

2 Swifts were at Sydenham Bypass. (Stephen Maxwell).


Whinchat is an uncommon and localised summer visitor to upland areas of Northern Ireland and primarily in Co. Antrim. Many thanks to Neale Warnock for the following shots:
Whinchat, Antrim Hills - Neale Warnock

Whinchat, Antrim Hills - Neale Warnock

Bird News Monday 20th June

A Marsh Harrier was seen near Slemish in the Antrim Hills (Neale Warnock)
2 Whinchat were at Glenwherry, Co. Antrim (Neale Warnock)
A 2nd year Galucous Gull was on the River Foyle, Derry. (Theo Campbell)
A Peregrine and Long-eared Owl were at Boho Island, Lower Lough Erne.

A 'MULE' in the Garden

Many thanks to Colm Southern (and others) who commented upon the identification of the finch below which has been visiting a local garden. According to Colm this bird is known as a Mule (a cross between a british bird finch and a canary) with this particular bird is a result of a mating from a male Blue Siskin to a female White Canary (hence the colouring) - in the cage bird fancy this bird would be termed a "BLUE SISKIN MULE".
Blue Siskin Mule - Pauline Majury

Bird News Sunday 19th June

A summer plumaged adult Little Gull was at Blackers Rock on the Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh. (Godfrey McRoberts).
A Reed Warbler was at Killough brick pits and an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Shrigley Dam. (Dave Allen, Clive Mellon).
Small numbers of Sand Martins were with Swallows, House Martins and Swifts at Kinnegoe Bay, Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara). 
12 Common Scoter off the RSPB Seabird Centre on Rathlin this morning (James Robinson).
2 Reed Warbler were at Ballyherly Lough, Co. Down 

The Dressers Eider was seen again on the Isle of Doagh, Co. Donegal.

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for these superb Buzzard pictures taken in Dunleady Road, Dundonald today.

Thanks to Ed O'Hara for these pictures from Oxford Island today

Juvenile Sedge Warbler, Oxford Island - Ed O'Hara

Swallow, Oxford Island - Ed O'Hara

Great White Egret Pics

Many thanks to David Steele for these pictures of the Great White Egret which he found last Sunday (12th June) at Lough Beg:
Great White Egret, 12/6/2011 - David Steele

Great White Egret & Grey Heron, Lough Beg, 12/06/2011 - David Steele

Bird News Saturday 18th June

A Reed Warbler was at Oxford Island (Ed O'Hara)
The Wood Warbler was still along the path into forest at Carrickreagh on the A46, 6 miles north of Enniskillen. (Gavin Lunny)
A Greater Scaup was at Oxford Island. An adult Great Created Grebe was also taken by a Pike (Ed O'Hara)

A presumed first summer Caspian Gull was at Blanket Nook, Donegal today.
Greater Scaup, Oxford Island - Ed O'Hara
Willow Warbler - Ed O'Hara

Bird News Friday 17th June

Last night a family party of Long Eared Owls was at Crebilly. (Jeff Larkin).

The Wood Warbler was still 100m up the path into forest at Carrickreagh on the A46, 6 miles north of Enniskillen. (Brad Robson)

Thanks to Mark Killiops and Stephen Maxwell for these superb shots.

Puffin, Rathlin Island - Mark Killops

Puffin, Rathlin Island - Mark Killops

Razorbill, Rathlin Island - Mark Killops

Swift - Stephen Maxwell

Golden Plover - Confirmed Breeding at Aghatirourke RSPB in Fermanagh

Following good work by Brad Robson and Fionnbar Cross, Golden Plover has bred at the Aghatirourke RSPB Reserve in Co. Fermanagh for the first time since 2004. It is part of the Cuilcagh Mountain ASSI/SAC/RAMSAR site. Work began in 2008 on improving the habitat for the Plovers. Three square plots were cut by hand annually on relatively flat areas of blanket bog, which are preferred by Golden Plover. A 2ha plot was cut at 392m above sea level and two 1ha plots at 366m. 
The 1985-1987 Breeding Wader Survey of Northern Ireland  identified 12 pairs on Cuilcagh Mountain of which 4 pairs were on the Aghatirourke section. The NI population was estimated at 30-40prs in 1993. The current estimate is that there are likely to be less than 15pairs.
(This blog does not normally post details of the location of breeding birds but this information was authorised for publication)
Male Golden Plover - Brad Robson

Bird News for Thurs.16th June

A Wood Warbler was at Carrickreagh ,six mile outside of Enniskillen on the A 46, 2nd Layby.It was present yesterday and to-day.

Humpback Whale - Bangor

We mainly stick to birds but this rare animal deserves a special mention. A Humpback Whale has been seen and photographed off Bangor. The photo below is the copyright of Ross McDonald:
Humpback Whale, Bangor - Ross McDonald
You can see further details at:
This follows on from recent sightings of Orcas from Rathlin and in the Irish Sea.

Bird News Wednesday 15th June

A White Tailed Eagle was at Crom estate on Upper Lough Erne, the same bird was seen at the mouth of the Colebrooke river yesterday evening. (Irish Birding).

Thanks to David Hill for these pictures of a Willow Warbler.

Willow Warbler, Blanket Nook, Lough Swilly - David Hill

Willow Warbler, Blanket Nook, Lough Swilly - David Hill

Bird News for Tuesday 14th June

The Wood Warbler was still present at Slieve Gullion Forest Park.(Francis Carroll)
An Osprey was at Lough Head near Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh (G Knight). A White-tailed Eagle was in the same area last week (Brad Robson).
Swallow, Crom - Andrew Fisher

A trip to consider

A trip to Inishowen to see the Dresser's Eider has certainly become more attractive with 2 White-tailed Eagles been seen in the area to-day, although they are from the Kerry release scheme they still make for a very impressive site. Our thanks to Tyrone Nelson who kindly sent in this photograph. .

Digi-scoping made easy

Our thanks to Stuart McKee who sent these photo's which he digi-scoped, very impressive Stuarty, the top two are of a Cuckoo and the bottom a hovering female Kestrel

Dressers Eider, Co. Donegal

Many thanks to Aidan Kelly for the photograph below of the Dressers Eider currently with the Eider flock (up to 200 birds) at the Isle of Doagh, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. This bird has not been seen for over a year and there must be a strong possibility that it has or will end up at some time, on Lough Foyle. The ID features (except the white sails which it seems to have lost in moult) are clearly seen in the photos below including the lobe shaped bill, the narrow black line between the bill and the facial feathering and the green extending underneath the black cap. The bird also has a distinctive headshape and when looked at from a distance is best found by the 'smaller' black cap than the other Eider males.
Dressers Eider (foreground), Donegal - Aidan Kelly

Bird News for Monday 13th June

The Great White Egret was still at Church Bay, Lough Beg Co.Londonderry


Our thanks to Ed O'Hara who sent in this photo of one of the 2 Little Gulls seen this evening at the RSPB Portmore Lough reserve.

Bird News Sunday 12th June

A Great White Egret was at Paddys Dubh \ Church Island, Lough Beg (David Steele)

1, possibly 2 Wood Warblers were at Hawthorn Hill, Slieve Gullion, Co. Armagh (Ed O'Hara). A Spotted Fylycatcher was at Jerretspass as well.
A Great Skua was at Kearney Point and Manx Shearwaters were passing at 1,000 an hour (Keith Bennett). A Sparrowhawk and Willow Warbler were at Ballysillan Playing Fields in Belfast (Andy Elliott)
The Dressers Eider (along with a White-tailed Eagle) was still at the Isle of Doagh, Inishowen, Co. Donegal (Aidan Kelly).
A Whinchat was at Glenwherry, Ballymena (Irish Birdng)
Black-tailed Godwit, RSPB Belfast Harbour - Stephen Maxwell

Bird News Saturday 11th June

An Osprey was at Portmore Lough RSPB Reserve. A Red Kite was about 1km south of there and Buzzaed and Sparrowhawk were also in the area. (Ed O'Hara)
4 Storm Petrel were at Kearney (Keith Bennett).
On the Antrim Plateau 10 Buzzard, 8 Kestrel, 2 Cuckoo, 2 Raven, a Whinchat and Lesser Redpoll were at
Capanagh/Ballyboley/Ballypatrick (Jim Whitla, Fulton Somerville).
The Wood Warbler was at Hawthorn Hill, Slieve Gullion (Joe Devlin)
Yesterday a Pale-bellied Brent was at Portballintrae (Colin Guy).

The Dressers Eider was still at the Isle of Doagh \ Pollan Bay, Inishowen, Co. Donegal (Aidan Kelly)

Osprey - Ed O'Hara
Swallows - George McKee

Bird News Friday 10th June

A Little Gull was at Portmore Lough (Robert Davis)
The Wood Warbler was calling again at Hawthorn Hill, Slieve Gullion (Seamus Kelly)

For anyone brave enough to consider the twitch, the White-throated Robin was on show again today in Cleveland!
Ravens, Scrabo Tower - Stephen Maxwell

Blue Siskin x Canary Hybrid! - Pauline Majury

Female Blackcap - Stephen Maxwell