Saving Lough Beg Campaign Event


The appeal hearing will be held in the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast on 11 August, at 10.30 am. The Court of Appeal intends to announce its decision on the day, almost 12 months after proceedings began. The hearing is open to the public and anyone interested in the case is very welcome. The legal challenge relates to an alleged breach of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive by the Department for Infrastructure in choosing to route part of the A6 upgrade through the wetlands and swanfields of Lough Beg. A successful outcome is necessary for the lasting preservation of Lough Beg and the protection of 1,000s of migrartory waterbirds. The action is self-funded with help from family, friends and supporters. Saturday's fund-raising event promises to be a memorable night for everyone who cares about inheritance - cultural and natural - especially the world’s great wetlands which Lough Beg, a Ramsar site since 1976, surely is. Let’s fill the Crescent Arts Centre with birders and conservationists on Saturday, and follow it up in court.

Chris Murphy

Bird News Wednesday 26th July

Kinnegar pool this evening had a Little Egret, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Greenshank. (Michael Latham)

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Sparrowhawk.

Warbler ID

This Warbler was seen and photographed on a yacht off Dunany Point, Dundalk yesterday. The pictures seem to indicate a Vireo species or a Sedge Warbler? Any feedback is welcome. (per Paul McCullough)

Thanks to all for the feedback and the consensus seems to be that this is a Sedge Warbler.

Bird News Tuesday 25th July

An Osprey was seen flying east towards Garvagh, from Keady mountain this afternoon (Jimmy Clancy).

Dundrum Inner Bay north had 20 Little Egrets and 3 Greenshank. (Spencer & Joan Marshall).

Nine Little Egrets at the high tide roost at Paton's Marsh in Newtownards. A further nine were seen at the end of the wall past the WWT works. A Wheatear and a Skylark were also seen. There were also three Brent Geese at the marsh. (Angus Kennedy).

A Little Egret was with 30 Grey Heron at Toome Eel Fishery (Sean McGarvey).

Thanks to Lilian Cummings for the picture of the Whitethroat.

Bird News Monday 24th July.

On Rathlin today a dark phase Arctic Skua was harassing gulls at Ushet lough. 11 Wheatears and 5 Whimbrel were at Rue Point.(Colin Guy)

Late news yesterday of a Common Crane in a field on the left between Maghera park and ride on
Glenshane Road and Knockloughrim.(Craig Nash).

Also from yesterday... WOW reserve in Belfast had 5 Common Sands. 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Med Gull. 4 Yellowhammer and 9 Greenshank where seen on the Ballydrain Rd Co Down.(Gerard McGeehan/Shirley Dunlop)

Photographed at Antrim Marina today by Gareth Platt this Lesser Black - backed Gull was ringed as a 1st calendar year male at Langvannet in Norway - 30th September 2016.  It went to southern Morocco for it's summer holidays when spotted at Sidi R'bat, on April 18th 2017. Just shows how some birds travel around.

Ailsa Craig Boat Trip

There will another boat trip to Ailsa Craig this Tuesday - July 25th. The weather is to be good that day, but goes downhill from Wednesday on.

Tens of thousands of Gannets, Slow Worms, seals and great walking conditions are guaranteed. To book this trip, contact Jim Wells on 07856235144 

Bird News Sunday 23rd July

Yesterday a Reed Warbler was outside the hide at the Quoile Pondage, see picture below. (Stan Davidson).

A Ruff, Little Egret and 2 Common Sandpipers were at Belfast Lough RSPB Reserve this afternoon. (Kevin Kirkham-Brown).

Several Common Sandpipers were at Whitehead. (Michael Latham).

The Forsters Tern was still at Soldiers Point in Co. Louth this morning. (Daniel Newton).

An Osprey was at Lough Beg this evening. (Gary Cunningham)

Reed Warblers were also around Kinnegoe Hide at Oxford Island. (David Hill).

A pale phase Arctic Skua was off the Gobbins this afternoon. (Richard Woods).

Thanks to Stan Davidson for the picture of the Reed Warbler, to Michael Latham for the picture of the Common Sandpiper and to David Hill for the picture of the Sedge Warbler.


Bird News Saturday 22nd July.

7 Common Sandpiper where along the Newry canal (Frank Carroll)

A Whimbrel was at Ballyhornan Co Down and 13 Common Scoter flying south at  St.John's Point (Brad Robson)

Common Sandpiper - Stuart McKee

Bird News Friday 21st July

No news of the Bonaparte's Gull today

A Little Tern was with Common Terns at Lady Bay (Brankin's Island Rd) this afternoon, see pictures below. Also one Dunlin and one Oystercatcher. (Suzanne Belshaw).

The Spotted Redshank, well into moult and looking patchy, was at Bann Estuary; also present 1 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpipers, 25 Sanderling, 1 Snipe, 39 Bar-tailed Godwits and 4 Black-tailed Godwits. (Hill Dick/Peter Robinson)

Late news for yesterday was that an Osprey was at the south end of Lough Melvin, Co Leitrim (D Stinson).

Also yesterday 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Egret and 3 Mediterranean Gulls were at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve. (Derek Polley)

Thanks to Suzanne Belshaw for the pictures of the Little Tern and to William Smiton for the picture of the Whinchat.


Bird News Thursday 20th July

An adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Whitehead seafront this morning, however a Peregrine came through the area and scattered everything, the Bonaparte's was looked for this afternoon but no joy, 4 Med Gulls where also present.(Cameron Moore)

The Spotted Redshank was still at the Bann Estuary.(Colin Guy)

A Ruddy Shelduck (of unknown source) and a juvenile Cuckoo were in the south-west corner of Lough Beg (Jeff Larkin) see Jeff's pics below.
A female Garganey joined the Shelduck this evening at the Beg.(Davy Steele)

Bird News Wednesday 19th July

No news so far today.

Thanks to Wilf Swain for the picture of the Willow Warbler and to Jason Bain for the picture of the Grasshopper Warbler.


Bird News Tuesday 18th July

A Red Kite was seen at Dundrum, Co Down (Michael Latham)

A Little Gull was at the Boathouse at Carnfunock this morning (Linda Thompson)

The Spotted Redshank was still at The Bann Estuary there along with a Greenshank, about 45 Bar-tails, around 80 Dunlin and 15 Redshanks (Tom Ennis / Ray Bennett)

Two Little Egret and two Greenshank were at Kinnegar (Daniel Newton)

Many thanks to Michael Latham for this pic of the Red Kite and to Jason Bain for the Merlin:

Bird News Monday 17th July

Late news for yesterday was that a second summer Mediterranean Gull was at Glenarm (Colin Guy)

An Osprey was seen at Lower Lough Macnean over the weekend (per Brad Robson)

The Ruff was still at Belfast Harbour Lagoon. Also a Reed Warbler was this evening in reed beds to right of roadside hide (Stuart McKee)

Northern Ireland Hen Harrier Day Saturday 5th August

Hen Harrier Day is held across the UK in support of Hen Harriers and the issues which these birds are facing across their range. In Northern Ireland Hen Harrier Day 2017 will be held on Saturday 5th August at 11:00am - 12:00pm in Glenariff Forest Park, Co. Antrim. A range of speakers will outline the state of Hen Harriers here as well as the wider issues affecting the species in other regions of the UK. There will also be a small raffle to raise money for Birders Against Wildlife Crime and photo opportunities to raise awareness of the plight of the hen harrier with the local and national media.

This is a wonderful opportunity to show that you care about Northern Ireland's Hen Harriers. Please bring your family and friends along to celebrate this majestic species in the beautiful surroundings of Glenariff Forest Park. We encourage you to bring homemade banners, masks, placards, head-gear - anything at all which might help get the message across in the media to help share the message of support (you can see some examples in the photo attached). Admission to Glenariff is free for all attendees

. For anyone who uses Twitter you can use the hashtag #StopKillingHenHarriers to widen the reach of any of your messages. For more information on Hen Harrier Day and Birders Against Wildlife Crime please see

See you all there.

Bird News Sunday 16th July

A moulting adult Ruff was at Belfast Lough RSPB reserve, see pictures below. (Stuart McKee/Michael Latham).

A Grasshopper Warbler was at Capanagh, see picture below. (Linda Thompson).

The Spotted Redshank was still at the Barmouth, a Little Egret, 2 Greenshank, 90 Bar-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin were also present. (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley Dunlop & Carol Gillespie).

3 Whimbrel and 232 Curlew were at Green Island, Dundrum Inner Bay North (Stuart McKee).

Thanks to Stuart McKee for the first Ruff picture, to Michael Latham for the second Ruff picture, to Linda Thompson for the Grasshopper Warbler picture and to William Smiton for the picture of the male Sparrowhawk.

Bird News Saturday 15th July.

The Spotted Redshank was still at the Bann Estuary,2 Puffin seen in flight off Skerries and 9 Common Sandpiper at the RSPB Belfast Harbour reserve.(Stuart McKee)

A Red Kite was hunting over a cut hay field on the road to the spa across from the golf course Ballynahinch (Marty Rooney)

Our thanks to Thomas Campbell for the pic of a male Whinchat.