• Nature news

    To keep up-to-date with all the exciting nature news from Belfast WOW and beyond, head over to our Northern Ireland blog - http://goo.gl/ui2r0O

    Don't forget you can also share your stories and images on our social media sites - just search RSPB Northern Ireland on Facebook or @RSPBNI on Twitter.

    • 30 Nov 2015
  • We're open for business!

    Belfast Harbour Reserve, now named Belfast's Window on Wildlife, is now open! We hope you'll come visit us soon, but in the meantime, head over to our other blog to find out what's changed. http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/getinvolved/b/steppingupnorthernireland/archive/2015/02/18/belfast-39-s-window-on-wildlife-is-open-for-business.aspx
    • 18 Feb 2015
  • Exciting news at Belfast WOW...

    We’re thrilled to tell you that Belfast’s Window on Wildlife will be reopening on Wednesday, 18 February!

    We’re just putting the finishing touches on the building, including installing all our new interpretative signage, ready to open the doors next month. The team at Belfast WOW (Chris, Hilda and Lisa pictured below) can't wait to welcome you all there.


    As always, we're very grateful for your…

    • 28 Jan 2015
  • Developments at Belfast WOW

    After an extensive programme of works, the newly refurbished Window on Wildlife (WOW) is reopening very soon and visitors will be able to enjoy improved views of Belfast Lough and the birds and wildlife which call the reserve home.

    As well two new hides, which are constructed from recycled shipping containers to tie in with their industrial surroundings, the reserve now boasts a new sand martin bank and a swift tower…

    • 13 Jan 2015
  • Developments and progress at the reserve

    So what has been happening since we closed the doors to the reserve at the end of January? We have been busy taking clearing the Observation Room out to make way for the builders to come in and start work. Everything has been unscrewed and taken down from the walls, and we have started to find new homes for everything. Preparations for the building work have also been taking place outside. The trees lining the path to…

    • 21 Feb 2014
  • Fungi Finding

    It’s amazing how many different types of fungi you can find in a small area. During a quiet period last week volunteers took the chance to have a look at the fungi growing around the path to the Observation Room and tried to identify them. The easiest species to find and identify was the Collared Earthstar (Geastrum triplex), which was growing in the nutrient rich leaf litter under the trees lining the path. This…

    • 30 Jan 2014
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 13/1/14 – 20/1/14

    There was lots of bird life about on the reserve over the past week. For instance, in one morning there were sightings of a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard, all hunting on the reserve. This sent lots of the wading birds high up in to the air, soaring in flocks to avoid the predators, including over 800 Black-tailed Godwit, 38 Oystercatcher, 31 Lapwing, 4 Knot, 20 Dunlin, 10 Snipe, 16 Curlew, 2 Turnstone and 1 Redshank…

    • 22 Jan 2014
  • Spring is in the air

    Spring seems to be arriving already here at the reserve. In plant life, we have spotted Primroses in bloom by the Trackside Hide, Lords-and-Ladies emerging in the undergrowth, and the first leaves of the year have appeared on the Hawthorn trees outside the Observation Room. Birdlife on the reserve has also got the spring feeling. Lapwings have started to display, with the males performing a tumbling acrobatic flight to…

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Happy New Year from RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve!

    Firstly, welcome to the first blog post of the new year! 2014 promises to be an exciting year for RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve. The expansion and improvement works that will see the reserve transform into Belfast's Window on Wildlife (WoW) are going to take place very soon. As a result the reserve will be closing its doors on the 31st January until the beginning of September, but I promise the wait will be worth it! The…

    • 8 Jan 2014
  • RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve re-opening news

    Good news...the Observation Room will be open to the public as of 12th December, with our usual winter opening hours of 9am - 4pm. Unfortunately the two hides are still unaccessible at the present time, but we are working to get them open again as soon as possible. We will keep you up to date with the latest news on this blog.

    • 11 Dec 2013
  • Temporary closure of RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve

     Due to the damage caused by the strong winds last week, the reserve is still closed at present. We plan to re-open as soon as the Observation Room and hides are made safe again, and we will let you know when that is. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    • 10 Dec 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 2/12/13 – 8/12/13

     Last week saw relatively high numbers of birds on the reserve, due to tides in Belfast Lough itself being high, and the strong winds that we all experienced. There were high numbers of Oystercatchers, with a top count of 580, as well as 34 Golden Plover, 72 Lapwing, 35 Curlew, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Snipe. Wildfowl numbers were also high, with 302 Shelduck, 113 Wigeon, 111Teal, 56 Mallard and 39 Shoveler, as well…

    • 10 Dec 2013
  • Work day at Portmore!

    Yesterday, 5 volunteers from Belfast Harbour spent the day helping out in Portmore Lough Reserve in the fen restoration project. The task was to remove willow scrub and other tree cuttings to enhance the habitat and make the land more hospitable for plants, insects and birds. 

    Volunteers working hard!

    Volunteers hard at work!

    Amy and Kat

    Portmore Lough Warden Amy leading the way!

    It was hard work but we all had fun and it was a great opportunity…

    • 5 Dec 2013
  • The promised pictures...

    As was reported last week, the stoat has been making regular appearances here at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve, and I am pleased to be able to show you some fantastic photos of the action taken by our volunteers. And not forgetting the Water Rail, which we saw for the first time this winter a couple of weeks ago, but I’m sure it won’t be the last time! Thanks to Matthew Scott for the first two photos, and Anne Guichard…

    • 27 Nov 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 18/11/13 – 25/11/13

    The star sighting this week at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve was the return of the Water Rail. This shy bird was spotted numerous times during the course of last winter, so we are hoping that it’s reappearance on 19/11/13 will signal another good run of viewings. The Stoat has also been making regular appearances in front of the Observation Window, mesmerizing visitors with its activity.

    Wader numbers were strangely…

    • 26 Nov 2013
  • Life at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve, of all shapes and sizes

    So what has been happening at RSPB Belfast Harbour for the past couple of weeks? Well our two konik ponies had their annual health checks, and passed with flying colours...apart from being slightly on the chubby side! We are now looking at ways to keep them at a healthy weight, so they might have to be on a special pony diet plan very soon. Rounding them up into their pen before the vet arrived also provided an amusing…

    • 20 Nov 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 4/11/13 – 10/11/13

    Our star of this week has to have been the stoat that is becoming a regular visitor to the reserve. It has been giving fantastic displays, energetically leaping around right outside the Observation Room! There were also some great views of flocks of Golden Plover sweeping through the skies, with around 500 being seen at the start of the week. There were also high numbers of Lapwing (220), Black-tailed Godwit (330) and…

    • 12 Nov 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 28/10/13 – 3/11/13

    Some more unusual visitors to the reserve this week were a couple of Whooper Swans which stayed for the afternoon of the 31st. We also had the first sightings of some more autumnal species for the reserve, with volunteers spotting a Reed Bunting and 3 Redpolls. In other sightings near to the feeders there were 3 Greenfinch, 1 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 8 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Great Tit,4 Blue Tit and 15 Long-tailed Tit. There…

    • 5 Nov 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 21/10/13 – 27/10/13

    The highlight this week has been the daily sighting of a Little Grebe feeding in the lagoon. This is a more unusual sighting for the reserve, but we are sure that there are plenty of insects for it to feed on for a while longer! This week has also seen the first few high counts of Golden Plover coming into the reserve, with a top count of 500. Other wading birds have included 568 Oystercatcher, 12 Snipe, 191 Black-tailed…

    • 30 Oct 2013
  • “Spring cleaning”, and a heron comes to call

    Now that the terns have finally left to head back to Africa and beyond, volunteers have been making sure that the tern nesting islands get a good clean. As you can imagine, after a few months of non stop nesting the islands have plenty of debris left behind on them that needs to be removed. Our intrepid volunteers put on their waders and headed off through the mud to the islands, clearing an impressive amount of 9 bags…

    • 26 Oct 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 14/10/13 – 20/10/13

    This past week has finally seen the numbers of Shelduck on the lagoon increase by a large amount, with a top count of 85 being seen. Other wildfowl numbers included 56 Wigeon, 217 Teal, 44 Mallard and 34 Shoveler. The muddy banks and shallow water on the far side of the lagoon have hosted 344 Oystercatcher, 330 Golden Plover, 119 Lapwing, 14 Dunlin, 225 Black-tailed Godwit, 32 Bar-tailed Godwit, 236 Curlew, 11 Redshank…

    • 22 Oct 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 7/10/13 – 13/10/13

    Wildfowl numbers are really starting to increase here at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve, with high counts of 32 Wigeon, 228 Teal, 58 Shoveler, 22 Mallard and 1 Shelduck. Numbers of waders using the reserve as a high tide roost are also still high, with 474 Oystercatcher, 24 Golden Plover, 58 Lapwing, 2 Knot, 162 Black-tailed Godwit, 63 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Curlew and 6 Redshank. Gull numbers are also rising, as there have…

    • 15 Oct 2013
  • The beginnings of something new

    If you have been down to the reserve in the past couple of days, you may have noticed that a few changes are starting to take place. If not, I can fill you in. There are now tall wooden posts lining the edge of the Observation Room, the Roadside Hide and the Trackside Hide. These are the first things to happen prior to the developments due to happen over the winter, which will see the installation of two brand new hides…

    • 11 Oct 2013
  • What has been spotted through Belfast's Window on Wildlife 23/9/13 - 29/9/13

    The numbers of waders using the reserve as a high tide roost are still going strong this past week, with top counts of 531 Oystercatcher, 80 Lapwing, 38 Dunlin, 105 Black-tailed Godwit and 227 Curlew. The Oystercatchers especially are proving a daily challenge for volunteers to count! There have also been sightings of 3 Golden Plover, 1 Knot, 4 Snipe, 3 Jack Snipe, 6 Redshank, 4 Ruff and 2 Curlew Sandpipers. Wildlfowl…

    • 2 Oct 2013
  • A week of rush removal

    This week is the last week that the Sea Club Rush that grows around the edges of the lagoon at the reserve can be removed. This is because work like this has to be done before all the wintering waders and wildfowl return to Northern Ireland to make the reserve their home for the winter, to prevent disturbing these important species. So both staff and volunteers have been working very hard to get all the rush cut and removed…

    • 25 Sep 2013