Bird News Thursday 31st October

The presumed returning drake American Wigeon was this morning at the mouth of the River Drowes, Tullaghan, near Bundoran, Co Leitrim (Seamus Feeney / Declan Skehan)

There were 3 snow bunting, 2 male and 1 female, on the summit of Slieve Donard today (James O'Neill)

4 Little Egrets were at the Floodgates, Newtownards this afternoon (Lindsay Hodges)
2 Peregrine and 3 Raven were at Carryduff (Ed O'Hara)

A female Long-tailed Duck, 4 Common Scoter, as adult Mediterranean Gull, 7 Red-throated Diver, 5 Whooper Swan and a Greenshank were at Greenisland Sea Park (Gerard McGeehan).

2 Whooper Swan were at Belfast Harbour Lagoon (Andy Elliott)

A first-winter Mediterranean Gull was at Crawfordsburn beach (Stuart McKee)

Thanks to Neil Cartmill for this pic of a Shoveler, to Ed O'Hara for the Raven, Lindsay Hodges for the Buzzard and James O'Neil for the Snow Bunting. You can see more pics at

Bird News Wednesday 30th October

6 Swallow flew west at Craigavon this morning (Stephen Foster)

4 Whooper Swan were in flight over Fourwinds in Belfast (David Clarke)

The Tawny Owl has been seen again recently at the National Trust property at Castle Ward, Co Down.

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for this close up of a male Sparrowhawk and Ed O'Hara for the Whooper Swans:

Starling Murmurations

This is always an excellent time of year to watch Starling murmurations (and perhaps a pursuing raptor). Well known locations include Belfast and Dromore, Co Down. Thanks to Alistair Prentice for the Starling pics below.

Bird News Tuesday 29th October

An adult Ring-billed Gull was at Carrickfergus harbour (Cameron Moore).  

8 Redwing were at Eglinton and 20 Fieldfare were on Donnybrewer Road, Campsie, Derry. (Brian Hegarty).  

At Strangford Lough a Merlin was being mobbed by a Black-headed Gull at Holm Bay and several Gannet and a Buzzard were close to the shore (Spencer Marshall).

2 Grey Phalarope passed Ramore Head, Portrush this morning. (Bird Guides).

At the Floodgates in Newtownards around 4:30pm, there was 1 Little Egret, 20+ Shelduck, at least 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Redshank, 14 Lapwings, over 100 Brent Geese and approximately 50 Pintail. (David McCormick).

A 1st winter Glaucous Gull and a KIngfisher were along the shore at Cushendall. (Colin Guy).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Christine Cassidy for the pictures of the Whooper Swan, to David McCormick for the picture of the Little Egret, to Ed O'Hara for the picture of the Common Scoter, to David Hill for the pictures of the Linnets and the Oystercatchers and to Christine Cunningham for the picture of the Red Squirrel. You can see more NI bird pictures at


Bird News Monday 28th October.

The juv. American Golden Plover still at the floodgates, Newtownards. (Birdguides)

A Common Sandpiper and a Dipper were feeding on the edge of a garden pond near Castlewellan (Vivienne Nixon)

2 Purple Sandpiper were on the rocks off the Long Hole in Bangor and a Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver off Groomsport harbour (Margaret Adamson).

Our kind thanks to Dick Glasgow for this fine shot of a Goldfinch Margaret Adamson for the 2 picture's, the first  featuring Whooper Swans 4 Pink -footed Geese and 2 Greylag Geese(the Greylags are the two right-hand birds) and the second featuring a Purple Sandpiper and two Turnstone.

Bird News Sunday 27th October

A juvenile American Golden Plover was with 1000+ golden plover at Newtownards Floodgates between 8.45 and 9.15. (Richard Weyl)

2 ad Med Gulls, were at Cloughey, Outer Ards. (Keith Bennett)

A good count of 18 yellowhammers were in Sionmills, Co Tyrone, along with 2 Jays and a Kestrel (Brian Hegarty)

Yesterday 4 Pink-footed Geese were at Doagh, Co Antrim (Dick Glasgow)

6 Kittiwake were inland at Lough Beg in strong SW winds. A Little Egret was along the western shore and a Spotted Redshank and 7 Ruff at Mullagh (David Steele)

A high count of 59 Shoveler was at Belfast Harbour Lagoon and 2 Sandwich Tern at Kinnegar shore (Stuart McKee)

2 Swallows were still flying this afternoon on the Scaddy Road near Crossgar (Jason Starbuck)

Thanks to Dick Glasgow for this pic of the Pink-footed Geese and Lindsay Hodges for the Jay:

Bird News Saturday 26th October

A juvenile Bairds Sandpiper was showing well at the east end of Ballyhiernan Beach, Fanad, Co Donegal. (Wilton Farrelly).

10 Whooper Swans passed over Cairncastle yesterday heading south. (David Ledsham).

The hybrid Ring-billed Gull was at Millisle and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Ganaway. At Burial Island were 3 Great Northern Diver. At Cloughy 5 Sandwich Tern.  At Templecowey 2 Chiffchaff.  At Ballyquintin Point 5 Great Northern Diver and 2 Sandwich Tern. A Merlin south of Gransha Point. 2 Jack Snipe at Portavogie.(Richard Weyl)

2 Slavonian Grebe where at Greyabbey Bay south. Agnew's Hill Co Antrim had 1 Snow Bunting, 2 Red Grouse and 100 Golden Plover.(Keith Bennett)

Staying in Co.Donegal Inch lough had a 1st winter Med.Gull, 1 juv Glaucous Gull, and a Ruff. Blanket Nook had a Green-winged Teal and 19 Pink-footed Geese.(Brad Robson

600 Whooper Swans with 20 Greylag and 4 Pink-feet at Carrowmuddle, Myroe. 
6 Barnacle Geese, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 20 Golden Plover, Dunlin, 3 Greenshank at Myroe Levels. 60 Brent at Roe Estuary, 3 Little Egrets,1 female Red Breasted Merganser, a Gannet and 8-10 Common Scoter on the Foyle off the Roe estuary.
1 Barn Owl at Carrowreagh. It flew into a derelict building. 1 Buzzard at a farm in the same area seen about 2 hours earlier.(Bert Montgomery, Bangor RSPB group)

A hybrid goose resembling a blue phase Snow Goose is at Inch Levels Co Donegal.(Christine Cassidy)

The Baird's Sandpiper picture is by Wilton Farrelly. Thanks to David Morrow for the Curlew picture, to Christine Cassidy for the picture of the hybrid goose at Inch Levels to Noel Austin for the first Whooper Swan picture and to Ed O'Hara for the second Whooper Swan picture.


Bird News Friday 25th October

A Slavonian Grebe was at Greencastle, Co Down (Birdguides)

Thanks to Colin Guy for the picture of the Chough on Rathlin:

Bird News Thursday 24th October.

Waxwing's have been reported, feeding on berries at the bottom of Trooper's Lane Carrickfergus, they were first seen yesterday.(George Stewart) Although it seems an early report, they have been reported both in Scotland and England, sort of makes you feel that winter is just around the corner

17 Whooper Swans passed overhead, 25 Redwings and 3 Choughs were at the South end of Rathlin Island. (Colin Guy)

An Arctic Tern was at Annalong while at Greencastle  there was a Slavonian Grebe, a Merlin and a Wheatear. (Joe Devlin)

A Chough was at the top of the Fanad peninsula Co. Donegal with 20 Gannets offshore (Rob McAllister)

40+ Pied Wagtail were on the top storey of Hi Park car park in High St Belfast - presumably a pre-roost gathering? (Ian Enlander)

Our thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the picture of a Greenshank taken at the floodgates, N'ards. Also to Ed O'Hara for the 3 Whooper Swan. Martina Boyle for the leucistic Grey Heron. Bottom photo of a head on shot of a Whooper sent in by Alistair Prentice.

Bird News Wednesday 23rd October

A late Wheatear was at Derryneil near Slievecroob this morning (Shelagh Henry)

An adult MediterraneanGull, 5 Sandwich Tern, 60 Eider and 7 Pale-bellied Brent were at Ballyholme Bay. Yesterday 3 Common Scoter were seen in flight (Shane Wolsey)

In south Down a Pink-footed Goose, 8 Turnstone, 44 Teal and 4 Wheatear
were at Killard Point (Dot Blakely)

This morning Ramore Head and Portrush area had 1 Pomarine Skua, 86 Barnacle Geese, 94 Brent Geese, 4 Greenland White-fronted Geese, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Great Northern Diver, 6 Wigeon, 4 Whooper Swans, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Redwing. This afternoon between Ballintoy and Ballycastle had 103 Whooper Swans in mixed flocks, 2 Greenland  White-fronted Geese and 32 Barnacle Geese (Colin Guy)

A Med Gull was at Whitehead seafront (Ian Enlander)

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for this pic of a Buzzard in Newtownards:

Bird News Tuesday 22nd October

A Peregrine was hunting Golden Plover over Portmore RSPB reserve (Amy Burns)

Excellent numbers of Snipe (20+) were flying over the Bann meadows, Portadown this evening. (Alistair Prentice)

A Little Egret was at Pattons Marsh, Newtownards (Lindsay Hodges)

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehouse Lagoon in Belfast. In south Down 2 Wheatear were at Tyrella beach and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Killough Harbour (Stuart McKee)

An excellent count of at least 50 Twite were on Ramore Head today (Colin Guy)

Thanks to Lindsay Hodges for the Little Egret pic, Alistair Prentice for the Song Thrush and Cameron Moore for the Grey Plover.
You can see more bird pics at

Bird News Monday 21st October.

 An ad Med Gull and a Grey Plover were at Brown's Bay Co Antrim.(Cameron Moore)

3 Slavonian Grebe were at Greyabbey this evening and 36 Gadwall were at Mount Stewart lake (Keith Bennett)

A Short-eared Owl was at Ballywalter Beach on Friday (Martin Mcclenaghan)

Our thanks to Alistair Prentice for the Stonechat, also to Martin Mcclenaghan for the Short-eared Owl. Christine Cunningham for the Gull against evening light. Dick Glasgow for the Meadow Pipit. 

Bird News Sunday 20th October

3 Ravens were at Richhill, Co. Armagh this morning. (Andrew Poots).

A Little Egret was at the bridges at Strand Lough (Declan Clarke).

In Newcastle at the Shimna River outlet just after high tide (15:00) - 250c Kittiwake with very few immature, 50c Knot, 28 Sanderling, 5 Ringplover. Later at Millbay Carlingford the albino Oystercatcher was showing. (Fulton Somerville & Janet McKevitt).

Yesterday 13 Sandwich Tern were at Portaferry. (John Foster).

At Blanket Nook in Donegal there was a Green-winged Teal, Russian White-fronted Goose and 6 Pink-footed Geese. (Aidan Kelly).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Alistair Prentice for the picture of a Redwing, to Dick Glasgow for the pictures of the Linnets, to Andrew Poots for the picture of the Raven and to Kay Wheeler for the pictures of the Grey Wagtail and Black-tailed Godwit.


Bird News Saturday 19th October

A Little Gull and a Wheatear were at Kinnegar shore in Belfast. (Ed O'Hara).

A Mediterranean Gull was in the bay south of St John's Point lighthouse. (Jason Starbuck).

A Yellow Browed Warbler was in East Town on Tory Island, the Rose-coloured Starling and eastern Yellow Wagtail were also still present. (Brad Robson).

Thanks to today's photographers, to Dick Glasgow for the picture of the Redwing, to Ed O'Hara for the pictures of the Little Gull, Wheatear and Stonechat and to Noeni Bryars for the picture of the Little Egret. You can see more NI bird pictures at


Bird News Friday 18th October

An adult Mediterranean Gull was at the boat compound at Whitehead. (Cameron Moore).

3 Buzzard and a Kestrel were in Strabane. (Brian Hegarty).

3 Little Egrets and a Buzzard were in Malin town, 450 Barnacle Geese were at Bamba's Crown near Malin Head and a Kestrel and summer plumaged Great Northern Diver were at Malin Head. (Christine Cassidy, Theo Campbell, Dermot & Danny McLaughlin).

Thanks to Christine Cassidy for these pictures of Little Egrets, Barnacle Geese and a Wheatear from Malin.