Bird News Tuesday 31st January

The adult Ross's Gull was still in Ardglass harbour.
The Richard's Pipit was seen again at Killard. (Birdguides).

The Bonaparte's Gull was on the slipway at Ballygally.

A male Hen Harrier, 3 Buzzard, 4 Fieldfare and a Redwing were at Garry Wood, Ballybogey. (Richard Donaghey).

The flock of between 30 and 40 Snow Buntings was still at the old landfill site along Hightown Road above Glengormley. (Iris Millar).

The 2nd winter Ring Billed Gull, a Black Throated Diver and a Red Throated Diver were at Groomsport.

Thanks to Jim McKeown, David Hill and Alistair Prentice for todays selection of photographs.

Redwing - Alistair Prentice

Redwing - Alistair Prentice

Female Bewick's Swan (feral), Castle Espie - Jim McKeown

Whooper Swans & Bewicks (feral), Castle Espie - Jim McKeown

Brent & Barnacle Geese - David Hill

Iceland Gull Pictures

Thanks to Rob McAllister for these excellent Iceland Gull pictures from Ardglass.

Iceland Gull - Rob McAllister

Iceland Gull - Rob McAllister

Iceland Gull - Rob McAllister


Many thanks to everyone who sends in photographs of local birds ( ). We try our best to put all on to the daily posts or on our latest photographs page. The following are examples of some great photos received in the last few days and deserve a separate post:

Siskin - Robert McDowell

Red Kite - Bill Guiller

Herring Gull - Jeff Silvers

Curlew - Alistair Prentice

Barnacle Goose & Greylags - Cameron Moore

Black Redstart - Cameron Moore
Teal - Richie Lort

Bird News Monday 30th January

At Ardglass, the Ross's Gull was now coming into the inner harbour. Also two Little Egrets were present. (Lorraine Benson / Chris Murphy)
The Cattle Egret flew in to Hillsborough Lake at 16.35 then flew off and came back to roost at 17:00 (Birdguides)
A Velvet Scoter was offshore of Murlough today
Killard had a Sandwich Tern (Chris Murphy)
Along the north coast the adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park. 5 Glaucous Gull and 12 Iceland Gull were at Corbally Dam (one third winter showing characteristics of Kumlien's). The leucistic Herring Gull was still present there. A white owl at Castlerock was phoned in to the office at RSPB but no other details are known at this time (Matthew Tickner).
A Short-eared Owl was still at Killard Point (Guy Hamilton).
9 Redwing were at Cherryvale Playing Fields, Ravenhill Road, Belfast (Ryan Bradley) 
A Black-throated Diver was at Groomsport (George Gordon).

Yesterday 2 Brambling and a Siskin were in a garden in Carrickfergus (Shirley Dunlop).
During the month the following have been seen at Ardglass: 1 Ross's; min 3 Kumlien's; two 2w Iceland/Kumlien's; min.15-20 Iceland Gulls; min 5 Glaucous Gulls; 1 Med Gull; plus Eider, Great Northern Diver, Gannet, Little Egret, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Purple Sandpiper, Greenshank and Black Redstart. This is a fantastic array of birds for the harbour! Thanks to Craig Nash for the pics below from Ardglass:
Iceland Gull, Ardglass - Craig Nash

Kittiwake, Ardglass - Craig Nash
Many thanks to Donal Foley for the picture of the Siberian Ciffchaff at the Oxford Island visitor centre yesterday:

Adult Iceland Gull

Many thanks to Mark Killops for these superb shots of an adult Iceland Gull at Ardglass Harbour. A great bird and brilliant pictures. You can see more of Mark's work at:

Iceland Gull - Mark Killops

Iceland Gull - Mark Killops

Bird News Sunday 29th January

The Ross' s Gull was back This afternoon at Ardglass Harbour, also a 1w Kumliens Gull was present (Chris and Tim Murphy). Up to 20 Iceland Gulls and another Kumlien Gull were also seen (Irish Birding)
The Cattle Egret was seen again at Hillsborough Lake at 4:20 (Frank Carroll)

A male Brambling was in a garden at Waterloo Park in Belfast (Larry Toal).
The Black Swan was still at Toomebridge (Peter Scullion).
A Twite was in a garden at Cloughfern, Whiteabbey. (Jim McKeown)
An Iceland Gull flew south at Ballygalley, Co Antrim (Stephen Foster)
At Bay Shore, Derrytrasna, Lough Neagh were 2 Greenland White-fronted Geese with 20+ Greylag at the west end of bay (Ed O'Hara and Garry Armstrong)
A Glaucous Gull and 300 Barnacle Geese were at Malin Head (David Hill)

Please report your sightings and send photographs to:  Many thanks to all who take the time to send sightings in.

Glaucous Gull - David Hill
Greenland Whitefront with Greylags - Ed O'Hara

Bird News Saturday 28th January

The Bonaparte's Gull is back at Ballygally (Neal Warnock)
An immature drake Ferruginous Duck was at Oxford Island NNR today. Also a Siberian Chiffchaff reported at the same location (in the bushes at the visitor centre). (Conor Foley)
The Cattle Egret was seen again at Hillsborough Lake (Conor Foley)
The male Red-crested Pochard was at Lurgan Park this morning (Stephen Foster)
11 Iceland Gull, a Kumlien's Gull and 3 Glaucous Gull were at Ardglass Harbour. The Ross's Gull was looked for all day without success (Chris Murphy).

At Portmore Lough was the drake Smew, Marsh Harrier and a Merlin (Ed O'Hara)

The flock of Snow Buntings was still along Hightown Road above Glengormley at the old landfill site (Larry Toal).
2 Greenland White-fronted Geese were with 40 Greylag in fields at Craigantlet along Ballysallagh/Ballygilbert Roads (Derek Polley).
16 Greylag were at Cliftonville Playing fields in north Belfast (Ricky McQuillan).
A Little Egret was at Briggs Rocks on the Down side of Belfast Lough. It was seen later at Ballymacormick Point. A Sandwich Tern was on Cockle Island at Groomsport and the second winter Ring-billed Gull was at the Harbour (Colin Guy).
In Strangford Lough between Anne's Point and Gransha Point in excellent condtions were the Red-necked grebe (Herring Bay), 26 Slavonian grebe (24 in Greyabbey Bay and 2 south of Monaghan Bank), 2 black-throated diver (off Chapel Island and south of Monaghan Bank), 3 great-northern diver (south of Monaghan Bank), a pink-footed goose (Anne's Point) and 2 long-tailed duck (a pair in Greyabbey Bay). (Richard Weyl)
There was no sign of the Richards Pipit this morning (Conor Foley)
There was a Short-eared Owl at Killard (Conor Foley / Keith Bennett)

6 Velvet Scoter and 1 Black-thr diver at Murlough; 2 Great Northern Diver were at Monaghan bank, Kircubbin this afternoon (Keith Bennett)
3 Twite were at Glenarm, 7 Common Scoter to the south along with 6 Great Northern Divers (Pauline Majury)
A female Black Redstart was at Whitehead Lighthouse (Irish Birding)

Please report your sightings to:

Twite - Pauline Majury
Common Scoter - Pauline Majury

Bird News for Friday 27th January.

The Richards Pipit was seen again today. It was located at the far end of Killard Point about 50 yards before Benberg Bay (Michael Taylor)
The adult Ross's Gull was still at Ardglass today; also 3 juvenile Kumlien's Gulls, 18 Iceland Gulls, 2 Glaucous Gulls, a Great Northern Diver and a Mediterranean Gull (Paul Scott)
An Iceland Gull, was still at Lagan Weir
The Bonaparte's Gull was again at Sandy Bay, Larne
A female Hen Harrier was hunting over fields between the M12 and Lurgan junctions on the M1 motorway at 1340 hrs today.(D McCreery)

A Buzzard was seen at Whitehouse Lagoons. (Stephen Maxwell)

Our thanks to Alistair Prentice for this rather amusing picture of a Jackdaw feeding.

Bird News Thursday 26th January

The adult Ross's Gull was still at the entrance to Ardglass Harbour this afternoon

The Richards Pipit was seen again this morning at Killard Point, a Short Eared Owl was also seen. (Richard Weyl).

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

A pair of Blackcaps is visiting a garden in Portadown and a Brambling was in Armagh. (Alistair Prentice).

2 male Goosanders were on the river Main in Randalstown, they were between the town and the weir upriver. (Dermot Hughes).

A flock of 20 Twite were at the Peninsula saltmarsh at Castle Espie, also present were 113 Oystercatcher, 30 Turnstone, 4 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, Bar-Tailed and Black-Tailed Godwits, Curlew, Redshank and Little Egret. (Robin Vage).

In south Down a male Blackcap was at Murlough. (Tim Murphy),

A pair of Yellowhammer was along the Upper Gransha Road in Bangor. (Francis Duffin).

A female Brambling was in a garden in Ballyholme, Bangor. (George Gordon).

Thanks to Jeff Silvers for this excellent shot of a Lapwing

Lapwing - Jeff Silvers

Bird News Wednesday 25th January.

A pale Kumliens Gull was at Sandy Bay, Larne Lough.(N.Warnock)

The adult Ross's Gull, a 1st winter Kumlien's Gull, 2 Glaucous Gulls and several Iceland Gulls were in Ardglass harbour. (Chris Murphy).

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Antrim Road Waterworks in Belfast. (David Knight).

The 2nd winter Ring Billed Gull was at Groomsport.

Yesterday a male Blackcap was at Murlough in south Down - 2 males were there the previous day. (Tim Murphy).

Bonaparte's Gull

The Bonaparte's Gull has been rather overshadowed over the last week by it's high arctic cousin at Ardglass but it is still hanging around the Larne/ Ballygally area. The superb picture below from Mark Killops is just a reminder that there are places other than Ardglass worth visiting at the moment.
Bonaparte's Gull - Mark Killops

Bird News Tuesday 24th January

The Ross's Gull was showing again in Ardglass harbour all day, apparently there was a lot of birders there to-day, so still proving to be a very popular bird, rightly so.

At Larne Lough a Greenland White-fronted Goose, Dark-bellied Brent, 120 Pale-bellied and 52 Greylag were at Steel's Point on the Island Magee side (Cameron Moore).

At Strangford Lough a Little Egret and 3 Greenland White-fronted Geese were at Anne's Point (Joe Lamont).

The Cattle Egret came in to roost at Hillsborough Lake at 15.53 this afternoon. A Chiffchaff was at Milltown approximately 1 kilometer east of Maghery. (Richard Weyl).
The second winter Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport and 2 Black-throated Diver nearby at Cove Bay.

The Richard's Pipit was looked for to-day without success.

Ross's Gull - Craig Nash

Grey Plover - Craig Nash

Thanks to Gerry O'Neill for this superb shot of the Ross's below. Also Craig Nash who sent in of the Ross's and Grey Plover which were at Killard

Ross's Gull - Gerry O'Neill

Bird News Monday 23rd January

The Richards Pipit is again showing at Killard. It was in the same location as before.(Check under 2nd January for directions) (Craig Nash)

The Ross's Gull is showing again at Ardglass harbour, also present were at least 3 Kumlien's Gull, 8 Iceland Gull and 3 Glaucous Gull. (Tom Ennis)

A 1st winter Iceland Gull was at Antrim Road Waterworks in Belfast. (David Knight).

The 1st winter Iceland Gull remained at Lagan Weir in Belfast.

A Green Sandpiper was at Ballylough, Castlewellan this morning. (Adam McClure).

Thanks to Craig for the picture of the Richards Pipit:

And thanks to Ian Graham, Cameron Moore and Alistair Prentice for these excellent shots.

Ross's Gull - Ian Graham

Black Redstart - Cameron Moore

Black Redstart

Curlew - Alistair Prentice

Oystercatchers - Alistair Prentice

Bird News Sunday 22nd January

The Ross's Gull was still at Ardglass harbour, also present were upto 12 Iceland Gull, 5 Kumlien's Gull and a juvenile Glaucous Gull. The Kumlien's Gull were 2 1st year, 2 2nd year and an adult. (Chris Murphy).
In Killough the Black Redstart was on the beach by the harbour, a Stonechat was also present, 4 Sandwich Terns were feeding in the outer harbour and a Stonechat and 21 Redpoll were in Chris Murphy's garden. (Philip West, Chris Murphy, Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).

The Cattle Egret went to roost on the island in Hillsborough Lake at 4.00p.m. (Garry Armstrong).

The adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Bay Road in Larne.

At Ballyquintin Point there was a 1st winter Glaucous Gull, 3 Gannet and 2 Little Egret, and at Portaferry a 2nd winter Iceland Gull. (Richard Weyl).

At Myroe Levels there was a 2nd winter Iceland Gull showing characteristics of Kumlien's Gull, also present were a 1st winter Iceland Gull, 2 is winter and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull. (Neal Warnock).

The male Smew and the Marsh Harrier were both present at Portmore Lough RSPB reserve, a Barnacle Goose was with Greylags and Whooper Swans north of the reserve. 3 Pinkfeet were with 50 Greylag and 60 Whooper Swans at Reedy Flats. (Ed O'Hara).

A female Brambling and a female Yellowhammer were visiting a garden in Richill. (Andrew Poots).

Thje juvenile Iceland Gull was still at Lagan Weir in Belfast.

Snow Buntings were still at the old landfill site at Hightown Road above Glengormley. (Larry Toal).

Along the Antrim coast an adult Iceland Gull flew north at Drains Bay. It was seen later at Glenarm. (Stuart McKee).

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

The male Smew was still at Inch in Donegal. (David Hill).

Thanks to Warren Fowles, Neal Warnock, Andrew Poots, Ed O'Hara, David Hill, George Stewart and Stephen Maxwell for todays pictures.

Ross's Gull - Warren Fowles
Iceland Gull - Neil Warnock
Yellowhammer - Andrew Poots
Tree Sparrow - Andrew Poots
Tree Sparrow - Ed O'Hara
Smew - David Hill
Gadwall - David Hill
Jay - George Stewart
Buzzard - Stephen Maxwell

Bird News for Saturday 21st January

Our thanks to Mark Killops for this wonderful image of Ardglass most famous resident.

Our thanks to Allen Gillespie for his wonderful selection of photos from Ardglass, the place to be at the moment. They are from the top ad Iceland Gull, first winter Kumliens Gull and the now famous Ross's Gull

The adult Ross's Gull was seen all day at Ardglass. A number of Iceland Gulls and Glaucous Gulls were also seen.

Bonaparte's Gull still at Sandy Bay, Larne Lough.

A Little Auk was close to shore at Ramore Head in Portrush this morning and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull and a 1st winter Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid were at East Strand carpark. 8 Iceland Gulls and 3 Glaucous Gulls were at Corbally Reservoir. (Neal Warnock).

Anns Point at dusk had 30 Whooper Swan and 250 Greylags they flew in from the east. Seen this two weeks ago, anyone knows where they spend the day(K.Bennett)

At Burial Island a 1st year Pomarine Skua chasing Kittiwakes, a Gannet and a Common Scoter. The hybrid Ring-billed Gull and a Gannet were at Millisle.(R.Weyl)

Photographic competition.

The Work of Northern Ireland Bird Photographers annual show will be held in the Ulster Museum on 21st March 2012. Dave Tipling, who will be judging the entries, will be giving NIOC’s annual Sam Penney Memorial Lecture at the same location, one month earlier, on 22nd February, 2012. Both events are for everyone to attend, absolutely free, and start at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

For details of Dave’s lecture and the way to enter the WONIBP photo competition please see our website

Anyone wishing to enter WONIBP is welcome; full details and downloadable entry form are on the NIOC website. Last date for entries is 25th January, 2012.

Bird News Friday 20th January

Our thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this image of one of the twelve Iceland Gulls present at Ardglass

The Ross's Gull has been seen again this morning in Ardglass harbour (Conor Foley).
It was seen until 4pm,should stay around for weekend. Also seen were up to 12 Iceland Gulls and 3 Kumlein's Gulls.

4 Iceland Gull and 4 Glaucous Gull were at Corbally Reservoir, Portrush. (Birdguides).

The Bonaparte's Gull was at Sandy Bay in Larne this afternoon. (Birdguides).

2 Iceland Gull and 2 Glaucous Gull were at Lough Foyle this afternoon. (Birdguides).

4 Buzzard and 2 Raven were at Drumcairn Forest near Stewartstown. (Tony McCormick).

The 2nd winter Ring Billed Gull was still at Groomsport.
Thanks to Richie Lort for a couple of non gull pictures.

Dunlin - Richie Lort

Waders - Richie Lort