Saturday, 30 November 2013

NIBIRDING Saturday 30th November

In Co. Armagh:
The drake American Wigeon was still at Reedy Flat

The Pectoral Sandpiper was at Ardmore.

In Co. Antrim:
A female Ruddy Duck was at an unspecified location (Derek Charles, Majella Callaghan)

In Co. Down:
4 Goosander were at Lough Island Reavy, Keith Bennett

Friday, 29 November 2013


The second Spoonbill is currently off Castle Espie (Robert Vage)
It was seen yesterday off Horse Island

NIBirding Friday 29th November

PTO. Post Tawny Owl Day 4. Still no statement from the Nobirds crowd, the longer you leave it guys....!! But they do appeal for sightings and interestingly they say you can report sightings on Twitter. BUT what they dont say if they dont like you, you cant report sightings on Twitter. That guys is dicrimination. We urge everyone to report every Starling, Brent Goose and Penguin they see to the Nobirds, keep them busy, they have plenty of time on their hands as they do no birding in Northern Ireland.

Number one Spoonbill may be gone, but he isnt forgotten, thanks to Ian Dickey for the great photo. 

 A few few photos of an apparent Male Wigeon x American Wigeon hybrid in Donegal

 Thanks to Brag Robson for the Ring Billed Gull photos from Nimmos Pier in Galway, which used to be the premier gull site in Irelaand, its day will come again.

 And finally another great selection from Christine Cassidy, Ray hide her camera!!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Quare Owl

Above: Fluffy-wuffy Swine flying towards the dustbin of history

Thanks again to Stephen Maxwell for the photo of the Gank, we would like to stress that Stephen is not responsible for the passage below...... or is he?!?!

Thanks to a special guest writer, who wants to remain annonymous! It is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real life characters are completely accidental
Nobirds response to the Scrawny Owl:
Larry, Garry, Barry, Harry and Crispin meet in the Union Bar to discuss the Scrawny Owl.

“Right guys” says Larry,“this is a flipping Nobirds Cock Up of monumental proportions even by our standards”

“I think the only course of action is to fess up and admit we are wrong” Garry interjected

“Are you flipping mental Garry, I know you’re the funny one but this is hilarious even by your chuckle a minute standards”

“Look guys” Garry growled, his usual happy face unusually contorted “the bloody owl, flew in through the doors, sat on a blackboard, calling begging for food, and then was hand fed for two days. Its a flopping escape”

Barry was in floods of tears “Crispy Crispy, tell them its wild, tell them it flew in on the strong easterly winds, from the burgeoning Isle of Man population, tell them Crispy, tell them Crispy”

Don’t worry Barry “I will go on Television and Radio and tell everyone that this is completely normal behaviour from an Isle of Man Owl, all blackboards in the Isle of Man are crammed full of Scrawny Owls, don’t cry Barry”

Garrys face was going purple “Flip sake Crispy, it’s a flapping escape are you totally flippity-flopping mental?”

“Look Garry its like this I'm on the record committee and you're not so take that joke book over to the corner and rehearse your Liberace routine. If I say its wild, its wild. So plop on you if you say different”

Barry was still crying he didn’t like to see his friends fight but he was enjoying watching Garry act like Liberace “But Crispy there is no known record anywhere of a ringed Scrawney Owl anywhere crossing any body of water? Also how on earth did you know it came from the Isle of Man where did that floppity-flapping stupid theory come from? And where is your evidence that the birds on the Isle of Man are wild and not flapping escapes? And where did the strong easterly wind plop come from? Why are we not coming down with birds from the UK? It all sounds a bit flopping ploppy to me”

Garry exploded in rage“it’s a flipping-flerpity-flurpity-flopping escape you flapping twats, the flipping thing cant even fend for itself, it was flopping starving and it sees man as a food source, wild Scrawny Owls don’t see man as a food source, this is learned behaviour from a flipping escaped Scrawny flopping Owl”

“Calm down Garry, Dale Winton never got on like that” Larry calmly said.

Larry went on “And it was found by a jolly good chap with his bow wow, that breed you know its name… the Isle of Man Owl Hunting Dog”

Everyone fell about laughing, it was normally Garry who done the funnies but there was no doubt about the chuggle master himself, Larry was a natural and they always made fun of the jolly good chap behind his back! They all nodded in agreement - the jolly good chap was a twat. Larry had a funny plan, "Barry we want you to ring the jolly good chap every now and again and pretend to be his friend and then report back to us so we can all have a jolly good laugh!"

Larry was on a roll “I know what we can do, we can send photos and sound recordings to Arnoud Van Der Owl and get him to announce it as a new species - the Nobirds Flap-Owl!, latin name escapius escapius” everyone fell around laughing again, Barry's corset near split and Crispy's tackle fell out of his trousers (Garry had a sneaky peek), but this time Larry wasn’t joking! Gloom once again descended on the Flummoxed Five

“But but but who was the big floppity-pants who said it was wild in the first place” Barry sobbed into his handmade silk hanky. It was a present from his uncle in Borneo who owned a sweatshop making hankerchiefs for the discerning gentleman and corsets for cross dresser's.

All eyes turned to Larry and Crispy…..their faces turned red, Crispy fumbled with his tackle and flopped it about the place (Garry took some photos with his phone for later)

“Look guys the bird is wild, we have our own rules and previous decisions on our side, we can brass this out” Larry said remaining calm

“Just look at our previous decisions on the Brown eyed Flycatcher, Jack Boot Eagle and Debacle Teal - all have much better credentials for acceptance as wild birds than Scrawny Owl. Flip, flop, flap we rejected them. This isn’t good! We have been hoisted by our own petard!” Larry was looking floppity for the first time but he had one last plan!

“Look guys this is easy, put your tackle away please Crispy....we will non-vote members onto the records committee who don’t live in this country, they won't know we don’t have Scrawny Owls in this country and they will shoe the record in, anyone have any ideas who we should get, if no takers i will get a friend off Flipity Flopity Facebook?” A great hush desended and Barry piped up

"Larry that is the stupidest idea i have ever heard off, we dont have any bird records to adjuciate on and those we do we mess up, look at the Black Headed Something and Pallas's Wobbler, we are the absolute flopping laughing stock. And where would we get the money to fly people in and out of the country for meetings.And anyway is the NINJA Committe not supposed to vote members on and off the records committee, we just cant invite our friends on"

Larry went over and gave Barry a flippity flop left hook, it didnt hurt Barry because it was such a lame punch, but the intent was there and this hurt Barrys floppy feelings, because he looked up to Larry, he wanted to be just like him, but he never could be like him as he loved a bit of sausage and Larry was a veggie. "You leave the money to me.....fools and their money are easily parted, especially Northern Ireland birders" He didnt need to say anymore, that flippity glare made Barry avert his eyes towards Crispys tackle

As he pondered on his own wise words, Crispy shouted “Larry darling” shame now evident in his eyes “we are going to have to fall on our swords, we have to resign, and it’s the only thing anyone with an ounce of integrity would do. We are totally responsible for this Nobirds Cock Up”

“Are we flop resigning Crispy” Larry remained upbeat. “Its our job to make a floppery of Birdwatching in Northern Ireland, make birding in Northern Ireland a laughing flap all round Ireland and there is no-one more qualified to do that than us two. Dont forget we have the ace up our sleeve in total and utter floppery, Flapline, only 10p a go to hear yesterdays news, whose pockets does that money go into? ”

Harry had remained quiet and wisely had held his council “Guys guys don’t suss to the fuss”

“What the flippity-flop are you babbling on about Harry” Garry howled, the funster once again losing his nerve and taking his hand off Crispy's thigh, it was more Elton John like than Dale Winton.

“Its simple guys, lets make a statement saying we are putting this record in Category E (Eeeee we havent got a clue) and apologise to all the birders from all round Ireland who we trailed up here because we are a load of Terry Flapwits. Then lets call a Nobirds AGM, vote on new committees like we're supposed to every year. Maybe some of them would have some idea what they are doing, makes sense to me, the way we are operateing at the minute, no AGM, no meetings, no elections, no accounts, no announcements, acting outside the guidelines, clouded in secrecy.......”

Larry, Garry, Barry and Crispy jumped on poor Harry before he finished his sentence and started to beat him with very light punches to the abdomen, Garry hurt his wrist and started to cry again

“Money money money, we cant flipty floppy poppy call an AGM, people will ask where all the flerpity money has gone. Five years of memberships, tenner a pop, that’s a lot of pops!” Larry said giving Harry one final lame punch in the gullet. Harry had felt as if he had just been attacked by 4 gay Goldfish

“O plop the money! I forgot about the plopping money, does anyone know where the money is at?” Harry smiled“That Owl is definitely wild, isn’t it Crispin” Larry winked to Chris…….

"Oh flop yes!" he replied

1st winter Kumliens Gull

Its the start of the gull season, this first winter Kumliens Gull was at Killybegs last Saturday

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

NIBirding Wednesday 27th November

PTO DAY 2. Still no word from Nobirds on the Scrawney Owl, but its early days. We think they are having a meeting today and we will publish the minutes of the meeting tomorrow! Should be a bit of fun!
We also believe that there is a second Spoonbill!! (dont say we never admit when we are wrong! which at the minute is all the time!) It was found by Robert Vage on Sunday. Robert found the first Spoonbill (sadly deceased after flicking through a Nobirds report) when it relocated to Castle Espie and while doing an IWEBS count on Sunday found the second Spoonbill. So its out there!
Some photos of a dirty manky old 2nd winter Iceland Gull found by Theo Campbell et aal at Greencastle Co.Down. All gulls are hybrids according to Theo and so are all ducks! Thanks Theo!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


The Cattle Egret is back!! He is on the island at Hillsborough Park Lake (Billy Miskelly)

NIBirding Tuesday 26th November PTO

Day 1 PTO (Post Tawny Owl): We are going to do a countdown to see how long the Nobirds take before making a statment on the Owl. It could be a long countdown!! Someone or some people at the top of the Nobirds Tree are going to have to take the rap for this latest debacle, we know the names responcible! No word either on the second Spoonbill.
Thanks to Mervyn Campbell for the great selection of photos, proving that not al raptors seen here are escapes!


 Thanks to Ken Clegg for the four photos below, check the Otter, shameful!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Tawny Owl update

We have received confirmation from the National Trust at Castleward that approximately two weeks ago the Tawny Owl  was found sitting on a blackboard in the education centre at the property. It is unknown how the Owl got into the property or how long it had been inside but it most likely came in during the day, as security (ie windows and doors) is tight at evenings. However, staff had noticed for several days that items had been knocked off bookshelves
Staff were able to approach the owl apparently without causing it much in the way of distress and it was believed that it was starving. The Owl was then fed food from a pet shop for several days and released. It hasn't been seen since.
While this does not prove categorically that the bird was an escape it does mean that the record is unlikely to be accepted as the first for Northern Ireland, or indeed Ireland, unless evidence to the contary comes to light. We would like to pass on our sympathies to all those who travelled to see this bird after being told by the rarities committee that it was genuine - quite how they were able to discern this less than 24 hours after it had been first reported remains the real mystery

Andrew Crory

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this photo of a fluffy piece of gakk.

NIBirding Monday 23rd November

The male American Wigeon was seen all weekend at Reedy Flat, a Pectoral Sandpiper was seen Saturday morning (Derek Charles, Majella Callaghan)
The Red Necked Grebe was seen again at Greyabbey (Richard Weyl)
Nobirds have reported another Spoonbill at Castle Espie, will be interesting to see if its another Spoonbill or a make believe Spoonbill, only time or a photograph will tell!
Thanks to Christine Cassidy for these photos below, inc the Ring Billed Gull at Portrush which never really got a nickname!

Stephen Maxwell below is raking the demise of the Spoonbill very badly!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Frequently Asked Questions....

Unsure about life? Dave explains the universe.....

Friday, 22 November 2013


A drake AMERICAN WIGEON was at Reedy Flat Lough Neagh this evening. Derek Charles

NIBirding Friday 22nd November

No the Spoonbill hasnt come back to life!! But Ian Dickeys photo below is a good attempt and thanks also to Ian for some class Larry McGarry photos as well
The adult Ring Billed Gull was still at Portrush Backstrand (The Derry Crew)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Spoonbill is dead!

Sad news that the Spoonbill died yesterday, a very sad end. I think it just couldnt face a winter at Castle Espie and combined with it finding and reading the new Nobirds Bird Report (a copy of which was found beside the body) meant the Spoonbill had no option but to throw itself onto some overhead cables. But for anyone who never seen the fabulous Spoonbill dont fret, there are plenty of Spoonbills at Stormont and even more at the NIBA!
Thanks to Scott Lyttle for these photos,we will miss the little guy!