Diving Ducks Aythya, Somateria, Mergus et al. (21)
(Banner Photos: Pochard (above) by Mark Carmody, Red-breasted merganser (below) by Jim Wilson)
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
Four county records on the Irish Rare Birds Committe database:
1996 Rostellan, a female from the 27th to the 30th October.
Distribution: A widespread but patchily distributed breeder in
Redhead Aythya americana
2003 Cape Clear Island, male, 12th to 15th July. First Irish record.
Distribution: Breeds in central and western North America and winters in southern North America.
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
51 county records involving 48 birds upto the end of 2014. First county record was a female on.Lough Skahanagh/Shreelane Lakes, both West Cork, from the 10th February to the 16th March 1974.
Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton, Cape Clear Island, Carrigadrohid, Charleville Lagoons, Doonisky and The Gearagh, Dunmanway, Gougane barra, Hilltop Hotel Pond (Summerfield, Youghal), Kilcolman NNR, Kilkerran Lake, Lough Aderra, Lough More, Lough Skahanagh/Shreelane Lakes, (West Cork), Mallow Sugar Factory Lagoons. Rostellan Lake, Gullane's Lough (near Clonakilty), The Gearagh, The Lough and River Lee (Cork City).
Where age was given most were adult males. Most records were of single birds and the highest count was of five at Carrigdrohid Feb/April 1990. Some were considered annual returning birds.
Recorded in all months except July, August and September.
Distribution: Breeds in northern North America and winters in southern North America.
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
Five county records up to the end of 2014. Most records are presumed to refer to the same bird returning to Kilcolman NNR from 1991 to spring 1999. The records from autumn 1999 and summer 2001 probably refer to new birds.
2001 Kilcolman NNR, an adult male on the 1st May.
Distribution: breeds principally in south-western Asia (east to China and south to Pakistan and India), central and eastern Europe, and north Africa9. The wintering range overlaps with the breeding range and extends to the Middle East, north-east and West Africa (mainly Mali and Nigeria9) and South-East Asia. (Birdlife International)
Greater Scaup Aythya marila
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
2004 Dunisky, Lee Reservoir, first-winter male, 4th to 25th January. First county record.
Distribution: Breeds throughout much of the interior of Alaska and Canada, south to California, Nevada, South Dakota and Minnesota in the United States. The northern limit of its breeding range is the open boreal forest and forest tundra of Alaska, Yukon and the Canadian Northwest Territories. A migratory species, the lesser scaup winters mainly along the Louisiana and Florida Gulf Coasts, as well as on Lake Okeechobee in Florida and along the Pacific and Gulf Coasts of Mexico. (Arkive)
Common Eider Somateria mollissima
King Eider Somateria spectabilis
2014 A female at Cahermore, from the 19th January to the 9th March.
Distribution: Breeds along the northern hemisphere Arctic coasts of Europe, North America and Asia. It can be found further south during the winter, including the north-east and north-west coast of North America, on Iceland and islands north of the United Kingdom, and on the Pacific coast of Asia to the tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia). (Birdlife International)
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
Distribution: Circumpolar, breeding on the Arctic coasts of North America (Canada, Alaska, USA and Greenland), Europe (Iceland and Norway), and Asia (Russia). It winters at sea further south, as far as the United Kingdom, South Carolina and Washington in the United States, Korea on the Asian Pacific coast, and other areas including the Black Sea and Caspian Sea1. According to monitoring data from the Baltic Sea, where the western Siberian and northern European populations winter, the population there decreased by up to 70% between 1995 and 2009. (Birdlife International)
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata
2014 Two records of single birds, Courtmacsherry (see 2013 record)
and a male at Garretstown on 27th September.
Distribution: Can be found in North America, breeding inland from western Alaska (USA) through central Canada to Labrador, and wintering from the Aleutian Islands down to Baja California (Mexico) on the Pacific coast, and along the Atlantic coast of the USA as far south as South Carolina. (Birdlife International)
Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
17 county records involving 25 individuals up to the end of 1986 when
the species was removed from the IRBC rarities list.
Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton, Ballydehob
Estuary, Cape Clear Island, Castletownshend Harbour,
Records involved between one and three birds usually seen on one day but a few have stayed for over a month.
All were seen between September and March.
Distribution: Breeds in Fennoscandia and northern Russia (with
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
1998 The Gearagh, female, 18th January to 8th March. First Irish record.
The common occurrence of this species in wildfowl collections clouds its status, but on the basis of the record below the species has now been admitted to Category ‘A’ of the Irish List.
Distribution: Breeds in northern North America and winters on the coast and in the south of North America.
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
A male and female were shot in Cork Harbour in December 1878. This is the first Irish record.
Distribution: Breeds in eastern and western North America, wintering further south on each coast.
Smew Mergellus albellus
13 records involving 13 birds up to the end of 1999 when the species was removed from the IRBC rarities list.
Analysis of these records show the following:
Birds were seen at the following locations: Castlelack lake, Cobh, Douglas Estuary, Enniskeen, Kilcolman NNR, Kilkerran Lake, River Lee (near Macroom), The Gearagh.
All were single birds and mosrt were females or immatures. All were seen between October and March.
Distribution: breeds mainly in northern Russia and Fennoscandia,
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
Goosander Mergus merganser
Nine county records up to the end of 1999 when the species was removed from the IRBC rarities list.
Analysis of these records show the following:
Locations where birds have been seen: Ahakista, Lee reservoirs, Rossleague, Dripsey/Inniscarra Reservoirs, Cape Clear Island, Lough Allua, The Gearagh, Cape Clear Island, Sherkin Island, Ballydonegan.
Birds were seen in February, March, October and December.
Distribution: Can be found breeding year-round in central Asia and western China, in northern Europe including France, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Iceland, and in large areas of northern United States and parts of southern Canada. Summer breeding grounds include the majority of Scandinavia and Russia, parts of central Asia including northern India, northern regions of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Japan, and much of southern Canada. Wintering grounds expand the range further south to encompass most of the United States, other coastal regions of south-eastern Europe (e.g. Turkey and Greece) and central Asia, and the eastern coast of China as well as Korea and Japan. (Birdlife International)
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
51 birds recorded in the county up to 2010.
Distribution: This species has a large, discontinuous range in the Americas, occurring in Canada, the USA, Mexico, the West Indies, and along the Andes from Colombia to Tierra del Fuego (Chile). An introduced population is established and spreading in the United Kingdom.