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Buntings Emberizidae (16)

(Banner Photos: Reed Bunting (above) Snow Bunting (below) by Mark Carmody)

Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Scarce autumn passage migrant & occasional winter visitor. Winter Distribution

Distribution: A widespread breeder in northernmost Europe, which accounts
for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Does not breed in Ireland.

Lapland Bunting/Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus
Very scarce passage migrant & rare winter visitor.

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
and arctic Russia, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding
range. (Birdlife International)

Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
Rare vagrant.
Three county records upto the end of 2014.

2008 Garinish, West Beara, first-winter male, 7th to 11th October.
1985 Firkeel, adult male, 18th October.
1985 Firkeel, first-winter female, 12th to 14th October.

Distribution: Breeds in northeastern North America and winters in South America.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
Rare vagrant.
Six county records upto the end of 2014.

1987 Cape Clear Island, juvenile female, trapped, 7th to 24th October.
1983 Firkeel, first-winter male, 19th to 20th October.
1983 Bull Rock, first-winter male, 10th October.
1983 Cape Clear Island, first-winter male, 9th to 15th October.
1979 Cape Clear Island, first-winter female, 11th to 12th October.
1962 Cape Clear Island, first-winter male, 7th to 8th October. This is the first Irish Record.

Distribution: Breeds in northern and northeastern North America and winters in South America.

Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
Rare vagrant.
One county record upto the end of 2014.

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
Rare vagrant.
One county record upto the end of 2014.

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
Rare vagrant.
Two county records upto the end of 2014. These are the only Irish records.

2008 Cape Clear Island, first-year, 12th to 18th October.
1967 Cape Clear Island, immature male, 3rd April. This is the first Irish Record.

Distribution: Breeds in north and east North America and winters in southern North America.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Locally common resident, most numerous in the east of the county. Appears to be declining everywhere.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
Rare vagrant.
One county record upto the end of 2013.

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
Occasional though almost annual passage migrant, mostly in autumn.

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
Rare vagrant.
17 county records upto the end of 2014. One on Cape Clear on the 9th October 1959 is the first county and Irish record.

2005 Sherkin Island, one on the 18th October.
2001 Cape Clear Island, a first-winter female from the 19th to the 25 October.
2002 Cape Clear Island, one on the 22nd October.
2000 Dursey Island, one on the 14th October.
2000 Cape Clear Island, one from the 13th to the 17th October.
1999 Cape Clear Island, a female on the 6th June.
1998 Dursey Island, a male on the 2nd June.
1997 Dursey Island, one on the 19th October.
1993 Old Head of Kinsale, an adult male on the 19th October.
1990 Toe Head, on from the 28th to the 30th October.
1990 Cape Clear Island, one from the 22nd to the 25th October.
1989 Cape Clear Island, one on thr 25th October.
1989 Dursey Island, a female/immature from the 7th to the 10th October.
1989 Cape Clear Island, a male on the 26th April.
1989 Old Head of Kinsale, one on the 26th March.
1988 Cape Clear Island, one on the 14th October.
1959 Cape Clear Island, one on the 9th October.

Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to Fennoscandia and northern Russia,
with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range.

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla
Rare vagrant. All seen in October except for one in April and November.
21 records upto the end of 2014.

2010 Cape Clear Island, one on the 20th October.
2009 Cape Clear Island, a first-year form the 15th to the 19th October.
2008 Cape Clear Island, one on 1st November.
2008 Old Head of Kinsale, one on the 21st April.
2007 Toor Pier, Mizen Head, one on the 16th October.
2006 Cape Clear Island, one on the 17th October.
2006 Dursey Island, one on the 16th October.
2005 Garinish, one on the 8th October, presumed the same bird as the Dursey bird below.
2005 Dursey Island, one on the 7th October.
2004 West Beara, one from the 16th to the 18th October.
2004 Cape Clear Island, one on the 18th October.
1999 Cape Clear Island, one from the 12th to the 23rd October.
1989 Cape Clear Island, one on the 13th November.
1989 Dursey Island, one on the 7th October.
1989 Dursey Island, one from the 5th to the 8th October.
1987 Dursey Island, one on the 3rd October.
1986 Galley Head, one from the 25th to the 28th October.
1983 Dursey Island, on from the 22nd to the 23rd October.
1980 Cape Clear Island, one from the 11th to the 12th October.
1975 Cape Clear Island, one from the 7th to the 11th October.
1973 Cape Clear Island, one from the 11th to the 17th October.

Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to northern Fennoscandia and Russia,
with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range.

Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola
Rare vagrant.
Three county records upto the end of 2014.

2011 Dursey Island, female/1st Winter, 9th October.
1985 Cape Clear Island, female or first-winter, 18th September.
1983 Cape Clear Island, female or first-winter, 11th to 20th September.

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)

Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Common resident. Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala
Rare vagrant.
Two county records upto the end of 2014.

2009 Galley Head (Marsh Lane), a first-winter bird from the 11th to the 15th September.
2005 A male at Skibbereen on the 30th May. First county record.

Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to south-east Europe, which
constitutes >50% of its global breeding range.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
This species was a former breeding bird in the county, but now, as with elsewhere in the country, it has been reduced to the status of an occasional vagrant. Summer Distribution 1968-72 Summer Distribution 2008-2011

Only two records in recent decades.

2005 Cape Clear Island, one on the 1st April.
2003 Cape Clear Island, one from the 25th to the 28th April.