A Long-eared Owl was at the Ecos Centre, Ballymena (John Parkinson)
American Golden Plover, Hill Dick:
600 Razorbills, 50 Common Guillemots, 2 adult and 1 juvenile Roseate Tern, 1 Common Tern and 55 Sandwich Terns were feeding at sea off Killough. 10 Stock Dove and 12 Black tailed Godwits were feeding in an arable field 300m south of Killough. (Tim Murphy).
3 Roseate Terns and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull were at Whitehead. (Cameron Moore).
Thanks to Cameron for the pictures of the Roseate Tern and the Mediterranean Gull.
A Roseate Tern was at Kinnegar Shore and another at RSPB WoW. (Wilton Farrelly) Three were on show early evening at RSPB WoW along with two Ruff and and the Sanderling (Daniel Newton)
A Little Stint was amongst a flock of Dunlin at the Barmouth, the Bann Estuary (Wilton Farrelly)
An Arctic Skua flew past Ballyhornan Co Down this morning.(Michael Latham)
A Little Egret flew through Rathlin Sound this afternoon. 16 Whimbrel were also seen.(Colin Guy)
33 Little Egrets were with seven Grey Herons in a field next to the gate lodge at NT Murlough. (Garry Wilkinson).
Thanks to Wilf Swain for the pictures of the Bullfinch and the Lapwing.
Reed Warblers are still showing in the reed bed around Kinnegoe Hide at Oxford Island. (Garry Armstrong)
9 Black-tailed Godwits where in the grounds of Stormont estate this morning (Paul McCullough), A lot of people were left mystified by them, so if you were one of those people, now you know. (you can see Paul's picture below)
Rathlin Island had a few new migrants making things slightly more interesting: the first White Wagtails of the autumn, Grey Wagtail, Whitethroat, Common Sandpiper, 8 Golden Plovers, 2 Lapwings and 2 Kestrels were probably the highlights. Also 2 Arctic Skuas offshore (Ric Else /Hazel Watson)
A Kingfisher was at Belfast Waterworks. (Larry Toal)
Below a Chiffchaff and a Sedge Warbler from Oxford Island today. Third pic is the Black -tailed Godwits at Stormont and the fourth pic is of a Sand Martin, kindly sent in by Linda Thompson.
Young red kite found dead in Co Down – suspected shot
RSPB NI and the PSNI are appealing for information after a young red kite was found dead in County Down.
The bird was found with suspected gunshot wounds on a public laneway outside Moneyslane (halfway between Banbridge and Newcastle) on Thursday 17th August and was recovered by the RSPB and passed to the PSNI. An initial x-ray indicated there are pieces of shot in the bird and it has now been sent for a post-mortem examination.
The red kite, tagged ‘Black 5W’, was born in May 2017 at a nest site near Downpatrick and was exploring the County Down countryside before its premature death.
Alan Ferguson, RSPB NI Red Kites Project Officer, said, “Any loss of these under-threat birds is utterly heartbreaking. Our red kite population in Northern Ireland is small at just 20 breeding pairs and that makes it particularly vulnerable to losses.
“It would appear that someone has deliberately targeted one of these beautiful creatures, so this is incredibly frustrating and upsetting and is a real setback for the future of the species here.
“RSPB NI have been working on a red kite reintroduction programme for nine years. I really thought we were turning a corner, because persecution incidents seemed to be dropping off and the last confirmed shooting of a red kite happened in Crossgar in 2014. People have really taken the birds to heart and are happy to see them in our skies again.”
In fact, RSPB NI’s new RKites Project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and part funded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and aims to strengthen the link between people and the red kites.
Red kites, along with all birds of prey, are protected in Northern Ireland under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (NI) Act 2011.
Police are appealing for information on the incident and have asked that anyone who can help with enquiries contact the 101 number quoting reference number 837 of 17/8/17.
The Tern was still present at 5pm. (John Edwards)
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Slieve Gullion Forest. (Dermot Hughes).
Two Red Kites were with two Buzzards at Millvale Road in Castlewellan this afternoon. (Paul Allen).
Yesterday between 200 and 300 Linnets were in a stubble field at Islet Hill, Groomsport. (George Henderson).
Thanks to Ronald Surgenor for the pictures of the Black Term, to Ginny McKee for the pictures of the Dunlin and the Linnet and to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Common Tern with a black ring on the left leg and a metal ring on the right and the Sandwich Tern with a red ring on the right leg and a metal ring on the left, both taken at Whitehead on Sunday.
Thanks to John Bamford and Garry Armstrong for todays pics:
Black Tern,Garry Armstrong:
Common Sandpiper, John Bamford, near Ballycastle:
A Bonxie was off Rathlin this evening. (Ric Else & Hazel Watson).
Brian is seeking help from anyone who can provide details or counts of terns from around our coasts. If you visit sites such as the Bann Estuary, Whitehead (Co Antrim), Belfast Harbour area (RSPB reserve/Kinnegar shore/Whitehouse Lagoon), Groomsport/Ballymacormick Point, Strangford Narrows/The Quoile, plus perhaps other spots like Killard and Killough on the Co Down coast or any other sites were terns gather and can provide details for Brian please email him at bburke
|Juvenile Curlew - Pic by Neal Warnock|
FOR the first time in 20 years, curlew chicks have fledged at a County Antrim farm.
Last year a pair of curlews attempted to breed at Greenmount Hill Farm in Glenwherry for the first time since 2005 - only to fail to hatch young.
But this summer RSPB NI’s Conservation Advisor Neal Warnock was delighted to see that two pairs arrived back at the farm and he can confirm that one of the pairs has successfully fledged three young.
It is believed that these are the first curlews to fledge from the site since the 1990s. The happy news is a real boost considering that over the past two decades curlew numbers across the UK have almost halved. In Northern Ireland we have lost more than 80% of the curlew population since 1987.
Since 2009, RSPB NI, the Irish Grouse Conservation Trust (IGCT), the College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and other partners have been working as part of the Glenwherry Hill Regeneration Project (GHRP) on an integrated management approach in the area in a bid to ‘give nature a home in Glenwherry’.
“When news broke that one of the pairs had hatched three young, their progress became the talk of the community,” said RSPB NI’s Neal Warnock. “It was a very long six-week wait watching them grow until they finally stretched their wings and departed. Curlews only rarely fledge three young, so this was terrific news for all involved in the project and should help see them become established on the farm.”
Graeme Campbell, CAFRE’s GHRP Project Manager, added, “We are delighted with this year’s curlew success and that the work to attract breeding waders over the last six years has also resulted in increasing numbers of snipe breeding on the farm.”
Farmers and landowners have a crucial part to play in helping to halt and reverse the decline of curlews. The Glenwherry Hill Regeneration Project has undertaken a string of measures to make the area attractive to curlews and to encourage them to return. This has involved habitat management measures including rush cutting and tree removal, as well as predator control carried out by the IGCT.
Joanne Sherwood, Director for RSPB NI, added: “This is such fantastic and heartwarming news. It highlights that this partnership work makes a real difference to the fortunes of threatened species. We see this as a milestone on the way to what we hope will be the recovery of curlews and other breeding waders in Glenwherry.”
Sites across the UK are amongst the most important in the world for breeding European curlews, hosting around a quarter of the global breeding population. Yet their numbers have declined due to factors including a loss of suitable habitat and increased predation.
The Antrim Hills and County Fermanagh are the last remaining hotspots for curlews in Northern Ireland.
In the wider Glenwherry area, there are approximately 45 breeding pairs recorded annually. The area is also home to Lapwings and Snipe.
A Mediterranean Gull was at Whitehead, see picture below. (Cameron Moore).
Two Little Egrets were feeding at Islandmagee bridge. (Jim McKeown).
A Whooper Swan was on the River Lagan between Lisburn and Hilden. (Ian Enlander).
A Kingfisher was off Kinnegoe hide at Oxford Island (Shane McGarvey).
A summer plumaged Red Throated Diver was at Marconi's, Ballycastle. A Purple Sandpiper was at Ramore Head . (Colin Guy).
Thanks to Cameron Moore for the pictures of the Mediterranean Gull and the Common Tern and to Ian Enlander for the pictures of the Whooper Swan and the Kingfisher.
A Red Kite was in a field on the Ballykenver Road in Armoy. (Ray Hamilton).
14 Little Egrets were at Ballycarry Bridge in Larne Lough. (Cameron Moore).
An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Portballintrae. (Colin Guy).
Thanks to Cameron Moore for the picture of the Greenshank and to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Mistle Thrush.
Two Arctic Skua were at Burial Island, Co Down (Richard Weyl)
Victoria Park, Sydenham had a Greenshank and 60 Black-tailed Godwits (Ian Enlander)
Thanks to Christine Beggs for the pic of the Turnstone from Whitehead and Jason Bain for the male Hen Harrier from Co Antrim:
Turnstone, Christine Beggs:
Hen Harrier, Jason Bain:
A Spotted Flycatcher was in the wood adjacent to Knockmore Road in Lisburn this evening. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).
Thanks to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Buzzard, to Christine Beggs for the picture of the Common Terns, to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Goldfinch and to Hill Dick for the picture of a leucistic Dunlin.
Barn Owls have been seen recently at Waterloo Road, Lisburn and Magheradartin Road, Hillsborough (Garry Wilkinson \ William Martin)
A Peregrine was at RSPB WoW today (Stephen Maxwell)
Thanks to Jason and Jeff for our pics this evening. You can see more local bird pics at: http://nibirdpics.blogspot.co.uk/
Cormorants, Jeff Silvers:
Wheatear, Jason Bain:
Several Spotted Flycatchers were at Mount Stewart. (Jonny Andrews).
Thanks to Thomas Campbell for the picture of the Tree Sparrow, to Jonny Andrews for the picture of the Spotted Flycatcher and to Fulton Somerville for the picture of the Whimbrel.
Three Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and five Little Egrets were on the Comber River today (Gerard McGeehan \ Shirley Dunlop)