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Grebes Podicipedidae (6)

(Banner Photo: Little Grebe (above) by Mark Carmody and Great Crested Grebe (belwo) by Jim Wilson)

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
Rare vagrant.
Five county records upto the end of 2013, with four records from 1997 to 2000 possibly involving the same individual.

2010 Little Island, from 10th December until 3rd February 2011.
2000 Lough Aderra, 24th October to 8th November.
1999 Rostellan Lake, Cork Harbour, adult, January to 20th April. Presumed returning individual.
1998 Rostellan Lake, Cork Harbour, adult, 29th June into 1999.
1997 Rostellan Lake, Cork Harbour, 1st February to 5th April; presumed same, 10th October to 31st March 1998. First          county and fifth Irish record.

Pending record: 2010 Cork Harbour (between Little Island and Great Island) 11th December to 3rd February 2011

Distribution: Resident in southern North American and those breeding in central North America move south for the winter.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Common breeding bird throughout the region. Some small flocks in lakes and estuaries in winter indicate either local movements or some immigration. Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Common winter visitor in Cork Harbour, though uncommon elsewhere. Breeds in small numbers. High counts from Cork Harbour are much declined in recent years. Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
Rare winter visitor, with virtually all records from lower Cork Harbour.
16 county records upto the end of 2013.

2009 Gascanane Sound, an adult on the 18th September.
2009 Squince Harbour, near Union Hall, one on the 9th March.
2009 Ahakista and Durrus, one from the 25th January to the 15th February.
1997 Aghada, one on the 16th November.
1995 Garretstown, one on the 2nd April.
1996 Aghada, one on the 8th December.
1994 Rostellan , one from the 8th January to the 26th March.
1991 Broad Strand, one om the 23rd November.
1986 Rostellan, one on the 31st December.
1977 Cork Harbour, one on the 15th January.
1966 Cork Harbour, one on the 6th March.
1966 Cobh Island, two, possibly three on the 20th February.
1952 Glandore Harbour, one on the 3rd April.
1940 Crookhaven Harbour, one on the 18th March.
1850 Bantry Bay, a second-year bird shot on the 26 December.
19th Century Bantry Bay, no date, one shot (Thompson III:184)

Distribution: found in western Canada, north-west USA, eastern Russia, north-east China and northern Japan, wintering from Japan and Korea through the Aleutian Islands to California (both USA), and off eastern the USA south to Florida. It can also be found in eastern Europe, west and west-central Asia wintering from the North Sea, Black Sea and Caspian Sea. (Birdlife International)

Slavonian/Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus
Scarce, irregular, winter visitor. All records up to 1985 from October to April.

41 records involving 83 birds up to the end of 1985 when the species was taken off the IRBC rarities list.

Analysis of this data shows the following:

Birds have been seen at the following locations: Aghada, Ballycotton, Ballydehob, Clonakilty Bay, Cork Harbour (Great Island, off Belvelly, Rossleague, East Ferry, Rostellan), Dunmanus Bay, , Garryvoe, Glengarriff Bay, Gullanes Lough, Inchydoney, Kilkerran Lake, Lough Hyne, off Goleen, Old Head of Kinsale, Roaringwater Bay, The Lough (Cork City).

Seen singly or in small numbers, a count of 10 off the east end of Great Island (Cork Harbour) was the highest recorded up to 1985.

Distribution: can be found across from Iceland, northern United Kingdom and Scandinavia in Europe, and throughout the centre of Russia to the Pacific coast. It also breeds in southern Alaska (USA), in most of western and central Canada, and in northern USA. Wintering grounds occur further south, including the North Sea, Adriatic Sea, Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, as well as the coast Japan, Korea and China, and the USA down to California on the Pacific coast and Texas on the Atlantic coast. (Birdlife International)

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Almost annual in winter in the lower Cork Harbour area in recent years. Rare elsewhere.

30 records involving 44 birds upto the end of 2013. Usually seen singly or in very small numbers, the largest group involved four birds. Recorded from August to March with most in winter.

Birds have been seen at the following locations: Aghada, Ballycotton, Bantry Bay, Castletownberehaven, Clonakilty Bay, Cork Harbour, Croagh Bay, Dooniskey, Inchydoney, Kilkerran Lake, Lough Hyne, Muskerry Barony, Near Old Head of Kinsale and Rostellan (Cork Harbour).

Distribution: a widespread but patchily distributed breeder across much of Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. A very rare sporadic breeding bird in Ireland.