Bird News Monday 30th April

3 Swift and a Raven were at Annesborough Ind Est, Lurgan this morning (David McCreedy)
2 Swift were at Cookstown (Tony McCormick)
The Lesser Black-backed Gull with the blue ring at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast recently was ringed on Ireland's Eye off Skerries in Co Dublin on 16th July 2010 (Declan Clarke).

Brenda Campbell has contacted us to report 5 dead Gannets on walks at Waterfoot and Cushendall beaches today (pic below) – possibly due to the recent weather / strong winds?

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for the pictures of a Brent Goose and a Whimbrel.

Bird News Sunday 29th April

An un-tagged Golden Eagle was at Altikeeragh above Castlerock. This is perhaps another sighting of the bird seen earlier at Rathlin Island and a Red Grouse was also present (Jeff Larkin).

The adult Little Gull was still at the Quoile Pondage, 2 Swift were also present with large numbers of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows. St John's Point had 3 Whimbrel and a White Wagtail, Rossglass had 35 Whimbrel with another 4 in Killough Harbour, Strand Lough had a single Whooper Swan. (Ed O'Hara)
At Ballyquintin Point a Short-eared Owl, 60 Whimbrel, 3 White Wagtail and 5 Red-throated Diver. North of Kearney 20 Whimbrel and 3 White Wagtail. South of Portavogie 10+Whimbrel.(R.Weyl)
 A Red Kite was at Herring bay between Greyabbey and Kircubbin, there was also a Swift at Kearney.  (Keith Bennett)
A Garganey was near Comber this morning.(C.Henry)
20 Swift, 25 House Martin, hundreds of Swallow and a Willow Warbler were at Stoneyford (Walter and Chris Veale)
 A first-summer Lesser Black-backed Gull with a blue ring on the left leg 1EL was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast (Stuart McKee).
 The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport.
Thanks to Ed O'Hara and Tom McCreery for today's pictures.

Little Gull - Ed O'Hara
Blackcap-Tom McCreery

Whimbrel-E O'Hara'

Bird News Saturday 28th April

A Rough-legged Buzzard is at Mayobridge, Co. Down (Birdguides)

35 White Wagtails were at Corkey Point near Ardmore on the south shore of Lough Neagh, another 7 White Wagtail were nearby at Reedy Flats, see picture below. A Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 6 Swift and the Red Crested Pochard were at Oxford Island. (Ed O'Hara).

A Sedge Warbler was singing at Ballyherly outside Portaferry this morning. (Keith Bennett).

A Cuckoo being chased by Meadow Pipits and 4 Wheatear were at Murlough. (Jason Starbuck).

2 Little Egrets were at Longfield Point. (Robin Cunningham).

A Swift was over Church Crescent, Glengormley. (Philip McHaffie).

A Cuckoo was at Burrenmore, Co. Londonderry. (John Clarke).

2 Whimbrel and a male Wheatear were at Briggs Rocks near Groomsport, Co. Down. (George Henderson).

A walk between Poyntzpass and Lough Shark produced 18 willow Warbler, 3 Swift, 30 Swallow, 40 Sand Martin, 25 House Martin, 2 Blackcap and 2 Buzzard. (Fulton Somerville).

A Grasshopper Warbler was singing at Glastry Nature Reserve, Co. Down, a Cormorant was also present. (David McCormick).

A Dipper was on the river in Omagh town centre this afternoon. (Colin Bell).

The juvenile Kumlien's Gull was still in Ardglass harbour. (Bird Guides).

The second summer Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport. (Bird Guides).

Thanks to Cameron Moore, Stephen Maxwell, Ed O'Hara, Zach & Tom McCreery, John Clarke, Alistair Prentice and Christine Cassidy for today's excellent set of pictures.

Mediterranean Gull - Cameron Moore

Purple Sandpiper - Cameron Moore

Willow Warbler - Stephen Maxwell

White Wagtail - Ed O'Hara

Female Blackcap - Zach McCreery

Female Blackcap - Tom McCreery

Female Blackcap - John Clarke

Cuckoo - John Clarke

Eider - Alistair Prentice

Dipper - Christine Cassidy

Bird News Friday 27th April

In south Down a Hobby was in pursuit of a Skylark at Ballyhornan (Stephen Corr)

An adult summer Little Gull and 9 Common Sandpiper were at Quoile Pondage (Tim Murphy).
Along the north coast a Cuckoo and 12 Wheatear were at Torr Head. A Great Northern Diver (coming into summer plumage) and 9 Common Sandpiper were at the north end of Cushendun Bay (Colin Guy).
The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport (George Gordon)
Today at the Giant's Causeway - 2 Wheatear (pair) an a House martin. Carrick-a-rede had a 1 Whitethroat. (Richard Donaghey)
The Bar Mouth at the Bann had 70 Shelduck, 55 Ringed Plover, 60 Curlew
and a Gadwall (Ian Enlander)
Reas Wood and Loughshore Antrim had a Whooper Swan, 20 House Martin and 8 Blackcap (John Loughlin)
Late news was of a Short-eared Owl at Inishroosk at Upper Lough Erne in Fermanagh on Wednesday (Giles Knight).
Thanks to John Clarke for the picture of the young Dipper and to Christine Cassidy for the pic of a feeding adult. The female Blackcap is from Tom McCreery:

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Bird News for Thursday 26th April.

The Ring-billed Gull continues to be seen at Groomsport.

A Cuckoo and a Common Sandpiper were at Crom Co. Fermanagh.(S.Scarlett/J.Sey)

At Larne Lough 2 adult Mediterranean Gull, 3 Whimbrel, 28 Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Pale-bellied Brent were at Glynn. 3 Purple Sandpiper and an adult Mediterranean Gull were at Sandy Bay. A first-year Iceland Gull was at Whitehead (Cameron Moore).
Our thanks to Alistair Prentice for the picture of the Linnet(top) and also to Tom McCreery for the Goldfinch.

Bird News Wednesday 25th April

There are reports of a large raptor seen in the Fair Head/ Ballycastle area since 21st April. It was last reported soaring above the Carrickmore Road on the 23rd (news via RSPB antrim group). This is possibly the Rathlin Golden Eagle and so worth a look for anyone in the area. (Neal Warnock)

This morning between Portrush and Portstewart on the coastal path were a pair of Wheatear,4 Whimbrel,a Curlew,a pair of Ring Plover on a known nesting spot calling to one another. Also two different pairs of Rock Pipit also guarding nest sights. A single Raven was at Ballyreagh Golf course. Several pairs of Eider and one pair of Shelduck were also present. (Jeff McIntyre).

A Cuckoo was at Ardglass. (Stephen Corr).

The second-summer Ring-billed Gull, 5 Gannet and a Red-throated Diver were at Groomsport.

A Little Egret was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast. (Irish Birding).

5 Whimbrel were at St John's Point, Co. Down. (Irish Birding).

Yesterday around the large lake at Loughgall Country Park were a pair of Bullfinch, a Goldcrest and 3 Long Tailed Tits. (Trevor Simpson).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy, Alistair Prentice and Jim McKeown for today's pictures.

Dipper - Christine Cassidy

Pied Wagtail - Christine Cassidy

Starlings - Alistair Prentice

Mute Swans - Jim McKeown

Woodpigeon - Jim McKeown

Bird News Tuesday 24th April

The 1st winter Kumliens Gull was still at Ardglass (Stuart McKee)

The adult Little Gull, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Common Tern and a Grasshopper Warbler were at the Quoile (Stuart McKee \ Craig Nash)

A male Wheatear, Barn Owl and Cuckoo were at Ballymacormick Point (Julian Greenwood).
 173 Golden Plover in summer plumage were at the lagoon there and the second-summer Ring-billed Gull was on the beach opposite Cockle Island (George Gordon).

 A Cuckoo was at Castleward (Rose Muir). 9 Whimbrel were at Kinnegar shore (Joe Lamont). The first-summer Mediterranean Gull at Belfast Harbour Lagoon at the weekend (green ring on the leg 32LL) was ringed as a chick near Antwerp in Belgium on 16th June 2011. This was the first sighting since then (Declan Clarke). Another Grasshopper Warbler was at Monea, Co. Fermanagh (Brad Robson)
The Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport (Birdguides)

Many thanks to everyone who has reported Swallows. They have now arrived in large numbers. However records of Cuckoo this spring are to date very scarce.
Many thanks to all who send in pictures. We do our best to publish as many as we can!

Blackcap - Christine Cassidy
Dipper - Christine Cassidy
Lesser-black backed Gull - Tom McCreery
Mink - Alistair Prentice

Bird News Monday 23rd April

In Fermanagh 44 White Wagtail, 3 Whimbrel and a Turnstone were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB Reserve. 2 Sandwich Tern were back at the colony (Brad Robson).

2 Iceland Gull (adult and second-year) were at Killough Harbour (Tim Murphy).

150 Pale-bellied Brent were in flight at Briggs Rocks. The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport and 2 Whimbrel at Ballymacormick Lagoon (Colin Guy).

A walk between Scarva and Lough Shark produced 11 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 36 Willow Warbler, 15 Swallow, 9 House Martin, 7 Grey Heron and a Long-tailed Tit.
40 Swallow/House Martin were over Lough Shark (Fulton Somerville).

A Whimbrel flew east over Craigavad, Co. Down this evening. (Richard Woods).

Thanks to Craig Nash, Alistair Prentice, Stephen Maxwell and Jim McKeown for today's selection of pictures. You can see more of Alistair's pictures on his Flicker page at

Turnstone - Craig Nash

Kingfisher - Alistair Prentice

Kingfisher - Alistair Prentice

Kingfisher - Alistair Prentice

Redpoll - Stephen Maxwell

Starling - Jim McKeown

House Sparrow - Jim McKeown

Bird News for Sunday 22nd April

2  Med Gull and a Grey Plover were at the RSPB Belfast Harbour Estate.(E.OHara)
The Red-crested Pochard was at Oxford Island this morning (Frank Carroll)
The Ring-billed Gull was still at Groomsport (Stephen Maxwell)
Ring-billed Gull - Stephen Maxwell
A Red Grouse was this afternoon at Llendrum Windmill Farm nr Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone. (Colin Bell)
19 Whimbrel were at Killard this evening (Craig Nash)
At the Bann Estuary this morning were 2 Common Sandpiper, 8 Eider, an good count of 26 Shelduck, 48 Sandwich Tern and large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits (John and Celine Loughlin)
2 Swifts were over Portmore Lough this evening (Davy Hunter)

Along the Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh several Sedge Warblers and several Blackcaps were at Blackers Rock. 7 Long-tailed Tits being feed by their parents was an exceptionally early breeding record (Godfrey McRoberts).

As well as the 3 Mediterranean Gulls at Belfast Harbour Lagoon a second-year Iceland Gull was at Whitehouse Park (Stuart McKee).

We have been truly spoilt for photos today!

Common Tern - Tom McCreery

Dipper - Christine Cassidy
Thanks to Mark Killops for the picture below of a Little Grebe at Oxford Island:

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this cracking pic of a Kingfisher. You can see more of Alistair's work at:

Are you keen to learn about Orchids?

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For further information and booking details, please see their website:

Bird News Saturday 21st April

A drake Garganey was at the south west corner of Lough Beg. 2 Pink-footed Geese were at the Mullagh. 12 Red-breasted Merganser were an exceptional site count and 30 White Wagtail were at Paddy's Dubh (David Steel)

A first-summer Mediterranean Gull was at the Round O in Enniskillen (Brad Robson).

Around the Ards a Turnstone and 5 Dunlin were at the Floodgates. 2 Little Egret were near Kircubbin and a Little Egret and Buzzard at Saltwater Brig. 6 Whimbrel and 136 Golden Plover were at Ballyquintin Point and a Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper at Kearney Point (Jim Whitla)

A third-year Iceland Gull was at the lighthouse at Ardglass (Declan Coney).

The second-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport (George Gordon).

An Osprey flew over Killard, Co Down at 2:30, seemingly heading inland (Keith Bennett)

The Quoile Pondage (Castle Island hide) this morning had the ad Little Gull still, 2 Common Tern and 5 House Martin. Also the record sheet states "18/4 Black-winged stilt" (Keith Bennett)
At Ardglass, there was a 1st winter Kumliens and a 3rd winter Iceland Gull. (Keith Bennett)

The 1st Summer Med Gull was seen at RSPB Belfast and the Little Egret at Whitehouse Lagoon ( Paul Scott). Later on, 2 1st Summer Med Gulls were at the Belfast Harbour RSPB Reserve (Stuart McKee)
Med Gull - Stuart McKee

This morning at Knockmany Chambered Cairn, nr Augher, Co Tyrone ; 6 Crossbill, possible Cuckoo calling (too distant to be certain) (Colin Bell)

Randalstown Forest and Loughshore Park, Co Antrim had a Reed Warbler, 50+ Sand Martin and 5 Common Tern on the Old Admiralty Torpedo Platform (John Loughlin)
At Ballykelly wall today a flock of several hundred Golden Plover and about a dozen Sand Martins. (Jeff McIntyre)
5 Whimbrel and 3 Wheatear were at Killard this morning (Jason Starbuck)

Other news from Co. Down today included  at Ballyherly: Chiffchaff 2 singing, Water Rail, 1. Strangford: Little Egret, 1, Castle Ward Bay, 2 Chiffchaff. Ardglass harbour, Iceland gull, 1 3rd winter [not 2nd winter] Kumlien's gull, 1 1st winter Killard point Purple Sandpiper 2, flew past. Kilclief: Whimbrel 1, Golden Plover 200. Kearney, Whimbrel, 7 (Keith Bennett)

The Long-billed Dowicher was looked for this morning without success.

Many thanks to those who send in bird of prey sightings. At this time of year we do not publish probable breeding locations but the sightings are recorded.

The cooler northerly winds have slowed up the arrival of our summer migrants.

Thanks again to all our photographic contributors!
Blackcap - Tom McCreery

Grey Heron - Zach McCreery
Wren - Zach McCreery
Rook - George Stewart
Willow Warbler - Alistair Prentice

Bird News Friday 20th April

22 White Wagtail and 2 Whimbrel were at Lower Lough Erne Islands RSPB reserve. (Brad Robson).
Yesterday morning a Fieldfare was near Banbridge, Co. Down. (Adam McClure).

Also yesterday a Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Swallow, a Buzzard and a Kingfisher were along the River Lagan near Lambeg. A melanistic Mallard was also on the Lagan, see photo below. (Rob McAllister).

Also yesterday a third year Iceland Gull was at Black Head on the Antrim side of Belfast Lough. (Colin Guy).

As a clarification the Long Billed Dowitcher was in the Connsbrook channel that runs around Victoria Park, not Victoria Channel which is the main shipping channel into Belfast.

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell, Mark Killops, Alistair Prentice, Robert McDowell and Rob McAllister for today's pictures. You can see more of Rob's pictures at

Sand Martin - Stephen Maxwell

Blackcap - Mark Killops

Starling - Alistair Prentice

Starling - Alistair Prentice

Redpoll - Robert McDowell

Melanistic Mallard - Rob McAllister