Buntings Emberizidae (16)
(Banner Photos: Reed Bunting (above) Snow Bunting (below) by Mark Carmody)
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Distribution: A widespread breeder in northernmost Europe, which
Lapland Bunting/Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus
At least 239 birds recorded in the county up to 2006.
53 records involving 84 birds up to the end of 1988, when it was taken off the IRBC rarities list.
Analysis of these records show the following:
Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Cape Clear Island (majority of the records), Dursey, Fastnet Rock, Firkeel, Galley Head, Lissagriffin, Minane Bridge, Old Head of Kinsale.
Recorded in all months except June and July. Most records were of single birds seen for one day only. The highest counts by far were of 14 at Ballymacoda and 11 at Ballycotton that remained from December 1986 to March 1987.
Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to Greenland, Fennoscandia
Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
2008 Garinish, West Beara, first-winter male, 7th to 11th October.
Distribution: Breeds in northeastern North America and winters in South America.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
1987 Cape Clear Island, juvenile female, trapped, 7th to 24th October.
Distribution: Breeds in northern and northeastern North America and winters in South America.
Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
1985 Cape Clear, one from the 9th to the 19th October. The bird was trapped and ringed, This is the first Irish Record.
Distribution: Breeds in North American and winters in Central and South America.
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
2003 Dursey Sound, 20th to 27th May, first Irish record.
Distribution: Breeds in north and west North America and winters in southern North America.
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
2008 Cape Clear Island, first-year, 12th to 18th October.
Distribution: Breeds in north and east North America and winters in southern North America.
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
2006 Mizen Head, a female on the 8th and 9th May 2006. First Irish record.
Distribution: A widespread resident across much of southern Europe, which constitutes >95% of its global range.
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
72 records involving 90 birds recorded in the county up to the end of 2014 since the first was recorded on Cape Clear on the 30th August 1959.
Birds have been seen at the following locations: Cape Clear Island (majority of the records), Dursey Island, Galley Head, Mizen Head, Old Head of Kinsale, Three Castles Head.
Most were seen singly though high counts include four on two occasions and six on ome occasion.
Apart from four records in May all birds were seen between August and October with most seen in September.
Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which constitutes >50% of its global breeding range.Does not breed in Ireland or UK.
Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica
2005 Sherkin Island, one on the 18th October.
Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to Fennoscandia and northern
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla
2010 Cape Clear Island, one on the 20th October.
Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to northern Fennoscandia
Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola
2011 Dursey Island, female/1st Winter, 9th October.
Pending record: 2010 Dursey Island, 9th October
Distribution: Breeds across the northern Palaearctic from Finland, Belarus and Ukraine in the west, through Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia, to far eastern Russia, Korea and northern Japan. In the autumn, birds stop-over in large numbers to moult in the Yangtze Valley, China before continuing on to their winter quarters. It winters throughout a relatively small area in southern and south-east Asia which includes eastern Nepal, north-east India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand1. It was formerly one of the most abundant breeding passerines across vast swathes of Siberia, but, although it remains common in some regions17,19, and although there have been no systematic surveys, a severe decline has been noted in most breeding areas and it has completely disappeared from parts of its former breeding range over the last twenty years. (Birdlife International)
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala
2009 Galley Head (Marsh Lane), a first-winter bird from the 11th to
the 15th September.
Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to south-east Europe,
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
Only two records in recent decades.
2005 Cape Clear Island, one on the 1st April.