Bird News Wednesday 31st October

A female Brambling was in a garden at Aghnaleck near Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson).    

2 Bullfinch were at Quoile Pondage and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser at Cloghy Rocks in Strangford Narrows (Francis Duffin).        

A female Brambling is still visiting the back garden at 22 Greenfield, Fivemiletown. (Colin Bell).     

6 Fieldfare were at City of Belfast playing fields in Mallusk. (Jim McKeown).      

7 Snow Buntings were at Fair Head this afternoon. (Adam McClure).      

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this picture of 3 Whoopers which flew over the Bann meadows in Portadown yesterday afternoon.

Bird News Tuesday 30th October

5 Snow Bunting were at Rathlin Island. 4 were at the turning circle at the West Light and a single bird (also present yesterday) at Kebble cottage. Also yesterday a Golden Eagle was at Knockans cliffs near Church Bay (Ian McFaul)

At least one, possibly two Brambling were at 22 Greenfield, Fivemiletown, BT75 0RZ. Visitors / photographers are welcome. (Colin Bell)

On the Antrim Plateau 6 Fieldfare were at Star Bog and 17 Whooper Swan flew over (Karl Hamilton).

Last night a Barn Owl was near Aghnaleck close to Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson).

A summer plummaged Great Northern Diver was in Portrush Harbour today (Colin Guy)

Two Brambling were in a garden at Richhill, Co Armagh.

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for the picture below of three Redshank. You can see further pics at

Bird News Monday 29th October

90 Whooper Swan were on a stubble field at Kearney, seen yesterday and still there today. (Keith Bennett).

5 Little Egret, 9 Pink-footed Geese, 21 Greenland White-fronted Geese, 4 Scaup, a Merlin, Kestrel, 3 Buzzard and a Raven were at Lough Foyle (Theo Campbell).       

A flock of 1,500 Golden Plover was at Belfast Harbour Lagoon and 40 Common Scoter and 4 Red-throated Diver at Macedon Point (Stuart McKee).        

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

11 Whooper Swans, 7 adults and 4 juveniles, and 13 Mute Swans were in Killough Harbour today. (Chris Murphy).            

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Mill Quarter Bay. (David Nixon).           

A Merlin, Little Egret, Wheatear and 70 Turnstone were at Killard. (Craig Nash).        

11 White Fronted Geese and 11 Whooper Swans flew past Runkerry Head near Bushmills. (Colin Guy).

Keep an eye out for Waxwings as birds have been seen on Aranmore and Tory, Co Donegal.

Thanks to todays photographers, Alan Gallagher for the Kingfisher and Little Egret, Christine Cassidy for the Buzzard, David Hill for the Whoopers and Canada Geese, Craig Nash for the Snipe, Wilbert Hollinger for the Hooded Crow and Alistair Prentice for the female Bullfinch. Check out more of today's bird pictures at


Bird News Sunday 28th October

Approximately 40 Greenland White Fronted Geese flew over Portrush today (Colin Guy)

570 Golden Plover and 34 Shoveler were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. 3 Pink-footed Geese, a Barnacle Goose, 5 Little Egret and 5 Grey Plover were at Myroe Levels. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in a ploughed field three quarters of a mile from there (Stuart McKee).

2 Dipper and a Grey Wagtail were along the Three Mile Water at Mossley Mill (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop).

At Strangford Lough 30 Grey Plover were at Islandhill near the causeway (Norma Price)

Yesterday an estimated 2000 Eider were in Belfast Lough yesterday (Stephen Dunstan)

A Rosefinch was on Tory Island (Aidan Kelly)

Thanks to Angus Kennedy for this picture of a Kestrel with a Long-tailed Field Mouse (Woodmouse) and to Stuart McKee for the pics of the Pink Feet / Barnacle and the Little Egrets at Myroe. (Thanks to those who pointed out the correct ID of the mouse!)

You can see more pics at

Bird News Saturday 27th October

A Peregrine was at Kilclief, Merlin at Killard and Red throated Diver at St Johns Point this morning (Jason Starbuck and Dave Steele)

The Outer Ards today had: Ann's point 1 Little Egret and 1 Kingfisher; Mount Stewart lake now has 40 Gadwall; Greyabbey bay had 20 Whooper Swan; Ballyquintin had a Peregrine and female Merlin; Knockinelder bay had 1 ad Med Gull (Keith Bennett)

Rathlin Island had 14 Twite, 4 White fronts, 1 Barnacle, 25 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare and a Bullfinch (Neal Warnock)

Along the Antrim coast a Snow Bunting was at Ballintoy Harbour. The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park. 30 Twite were at the north end of Cushendun Bay and a Brambling was with the Chaffinch there (Colin Guy).


Our thanks to Ed O'Hara for this picture of a Twite(top)  to Christine Cassidy for this picture of a Pied Wagtail(middle) and finally to Tom McCreery for this pic of  a Meadow Pipit   

NI Bird Photographers on Facebook

For those of you on Facebook, a group for showing work of NI Bird Photographers has been set up. You can see and join it at:

Bird News Friday 26th October

3 Twite and a Merlin were at Magilligan Point (Lowell Mills, Emzi Frater, Charlie Frater).      

A 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull was at Ardmore Point, Lough Neagh.

Yesterday 40 Whooper Swan flew east at Ballyholme Bay (George Gordon) and another 11 flew past Briggs Rocks near Groomsport (Colin Guy).

2 Black Swans were with Whoopers and Mute Swans at Inch Island, Donegal today. (Carol Anderson/Causeway Coast Birdwatching Group).

Thanks to today's photographers, the Stonechat and Herring Gull are from Alistair Prentice, the Cormorant and Black Tailed Godwits are from David Hill, the Wigeons at the RSPB Belfast reserve are from Stephen Maxwell and the Little Egret and Greenshank are from Alan Gallagher.


NI Marine Bill

Our MLA's will shortly be debating a Bill to protect the marine environment in NI. This is very important for the protection of our marine wildlife, including our sea birds. If you want to learn more and lobby your MLA, please see:

Gannet - Zach McCreery

Bird News Thursday 25th October

Today there were 4 Swallow just South of Kilcoo, Co. Down and a further 2 in The Loughan, Coleraine this evening (Richard Donaghey)

Two Greenland white-fronted Geese flew over lower Lough Erne (Brad Robson)

A Peregrine was seen in Comber (Stephen Maxwell)

Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pic of the Whitehead Mediterranean Gull (a 2nd winter) and to Alistair Prentice for the pic of a Redshank. You can see further pics at


There is every indication that this could be another 'Brambling Winter'. Hundreds of thousands of Bramblings have been observed migrating on the Continent. The last Brambling Winter was two years ago. It is worthwhile keeping an eye on your garden birds as so far birds have turned up in gardens in Carrickfergus and Whitehead. Thanks to Cameron Moore for this pic of a male Brambling in Whitehead.

Bird News Wednesday 24th October

A Pink-footed Goose was with 7 Whooper Swans at a fish pond at Killyglen, just west of Larne, County Antrim (Clive Mellon)

Two thousand Whooper Swans were at Myroe, Lough Foyle along with 3 Med Gull, a Slavonian Grebe and 9 Twite (Christine Cassidy / Theo Campbell)

In Belfast 3,000 Starling were roosting on wires along Upper Newtownards Road at Connswater (Andy Elliott).

In south Down a Kingfisher was at Quoile Centre and 8 Jay collecting acorns along the river near there. Collectors Bay at the Quoile Pondage had a Pochard, a few Wigeon, 12 Teal, 6 Shoveler and 2 Snipe. A Redwing and 8 Mistle Thrush were at Inch Abbey (Dot Blakely).

A male Brambling was in a garden in Whitehead (Cameron Moore).

Many thanks to Christine for the Whopper pic, Alan Gallagher for the male Kingfisher and Alistair Prentice for the male Blackbird. You can see more pics at

Bird News Tuesday 23rd October

A Snow Bunting was at Magilligan and 2 Greenland Wheatear at Ballykelly, see pictures below. (Christine Cassidy).

A Brambling was visiting a garden in Prospect Road in Carrickfergus, see picture below. (Pauline Majury).

A Red Throated Diver was at Killard this afternoon, see picture below. (Craig Nash).  

The Red-breasted Flycatcher was still west of Malinmore in Donegal in the garden opposite the emerald green house (Vernon Carter).         

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Ballylumford on Island Magee (Cameron Moore).     

Yesterday a Black-headed Gull at Loughshore Park on the Antrim side of Belfast Lough had been ringed in Lithuania in 2006. It has only been seen once since - in Poland in 2011 (Lowell Mills).     

Redwings were heard in flight over Whitehouse in Belfast last night (Andy Elliott).        

Also last night a Barn Owl was at the entrance to Larchfield Estate near Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson).     

21 Whooper Swan flew in from the west at Monlough near Carryduff (they did not join 7 already there). 2 Jay, 2 Buzzard and small numbers of Skylark were also noted and small flocks of Chaffinch, Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrow were along Mill Road (David Clarke).      

Thanks to Christine for the Snow Bunting and Wheatear pictures, Pauline for the Brambling picture, Craig for the Red Throated Diver picture, Alistair Prentice for the classic Kingfisher picture and John Loughlin for the Stonechat picture. Check out more NI bird pictures at


Bird News for Monday 22nd October.

At Strangford Lough 10 Little Egret were at the Maltings (Colin Guy).

At Lough Foyle unusually high numbers of Whooper Swan (over 2,000) were noted at various sites around Myroe. Flocks of 600,300 and 300 were along Carrowclare Road and flocks of 600 and 250 along Seacoast Road. A small flock of 50 Golden Plover was at the Levels and 5 Red-breasted Merganser at sea (C Stewart).

At Larne Lough 7 Little Egret were at Ballycarry Bridge and the male Goosander north of there (Cameron Moore).

In Donegal a Red-breasted Flycatcher was along Valley Road at Malinmore in the garden opposite the emerald-green house. A Barnacle Goose, 15 Chough and 25/30 Twite were at Kiltooris Lough and 6 Lesser Redpoll at Glencolumbkille (Vernon Carter).

Last night at 10pm a Barn Owl was at Shrigley at the crossroads with the Killyleagh to Crossgar Road (Spencer and Joan Marshall).

Our thanks to Christine Cassidy for this picture of a Buzzard with prey, to Alistair Prentice for this nice shot of a mixed flock of waders,  also to Ken Stewart for this fantastic pic of a Merlin and finally to young Zach McCreery for this lovely pic. of a Song Thrush.

Bird News Sunday 21st October

Today in Coleraine there were 10 House Martins in The Loughan and 19 Whooper Swans flying West over Christie Park (Richard Donaghey)

Portmore Lough had 43 Whooper Swans, 3 Greylag, 2 Raven, 2 Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel. (Ed O'Hara)

At Greyabbey, the Long-tailed Duck was still present along with three Slavonian Grebe and a Little egret (Keith Bennett)

The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Portrush East Strand car park (Richard Hoy).

Briggs Rocks near Groomsport had 8 Siskin flying in off the sea as well as 2 Red-throated Diver. A Little Egret was at Ballymacormick Lagoon (Colin Guy).

Groomsport had 6 Swallow, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, Whimbrel, Stonechat and probably the same Little Egret (Gerard McGeehan)

A drake Ring-necked Duck was at Lough Shinvagh, Glenties, Co. Donegal (Chris Ingram)

Thanks to Ed (Whooper), Alistair (Buzzard - it is a wild bird!) and Colin Guy (Snow Bunting) for the pictures below. You can see more pics at

Raven - Ed O'Hara

Buzzard - Alistair Prentice

Bird News Saturday 20th October

Faughanvale, Myroe had 13 Slavonian Grebe, 12 Twite and a Little Egret (Theo Campbell)

A female Hen Harrier was on moorland above Castlerock (McLoughlin).

On Strangford Lough a Merlin was at Holme Bay being mobbed by Skylark (Spencer and Joan Marshall).

A Peregrine Falcon and a leucistic Jackdaw were at Woodside Road, Killeter (Tony McCormick).

The adult Ring-billed Gull was at Groomsport and 6 Purple Sandpiper at Briggs Rocks (Derek Polley).

In south Down a Red Kite was at Tyrella and 4 Greenshank, 4 Snipe, 150 Lapwing, 100 Pale-bellied Brent, 2 Little Grebe and 4 Little Egret at Dundrum Inner Bay South (Norma Price)

Four Greenland White-fronts and a Greylag were at a private site in Co Antrim. See the picture below (Nicky Walsh)

A Peregrine Falcon and 9 Whooper Swan were along Ballycairn Road, Coleraine (Lowell Mills).

Strangford Lough (from Monaghan Bank, Kircubbin) had 2 great northern diver, 1 black-throated diver and a scoter (female) flew past. Cloughey
had a Mediterranean gull (adult). Mount Stewart gardens had 30 gadwall on the lake. Kearney also had a Merlin (female (Keith Bennett)

7 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey Bay South and an adult Long-tailed Duck at Big Stone Bay. A Green Sandpiper was at Kircubbin.

A Snow Bunting was at Kearney (Jason Starbuck)

Bay Shore, Derrytrasna had 45 Whooper Swans [ 20+ juveniles ], 1 Greylag Goose and 100+ Goldeneye / Pochard offshore (Ed O'Hara)

A high count of 21 Little Egret were at the Comber Estuary.

Two snipe and huge flocks of Chaffinch were at first light this morning along the River Bann Portadown (Alistair Prentice)

Continuing the run of Jay sightings, a group of at least 5 Jays were in Ormeau Park this morning (Andrew Johnston)

Thanks to Alistair Prentice for this pic of a Wheatear and a Peregrine which was hunting Woodpigeons close to Portadown. Ed OHara kindly sent in the pic of the Whooper and Nicky Walsh sent the Geese pics in. You can see more pics at