Herons, Storks and Ibises Ardeidae, Ciconiiformes, Threskiornithidae (14)
(Banner Photos: Little Egret (above) and Glossy Ibis (below) by Mark Carmody)
Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris
Ussher & Warren recorded 36 'since finished breeding in Ireland. (Ussher & Warren: 168)
Four records in modern times.
2014 One, Kilcolman NNR, 31st March.
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
1875 Between Youghal and Cork, obtained, December.
Distribution: The American bittern is distributed widely across North and Central America. In the summer months it is found as far north as Alaska, U.S., and in Newfoundland and the Canadian Provinces, to central British Columbia, Canada. In the winter, the American bittern migrates as far south as Central America and the northern Caribbean islands. (Birdlife International)
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
1992 Sherkin Island, adult male, 20th to 21st April.
Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to much of central and southern Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range.(Birdlife International)
30records involving 36 individuals up to the end of 2014 since the first record of an adult male at Castlefreke a few years previous to 1845. (Thompson II:174)
Birds have been seen at the following locations: Aragadeen (near Timoleague), Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Ballymaloe (near Cloyne), Cape Clear Island, Carrigrohane, Castle Freke, Castletownberehaven, Clonakilty, Cork City, Cork Harbour, Cuskinny Marsh ( Great Island), Doneraile, Lissagriffin, Lissard Lake (near Skibbereen), Lough Aderry, Minane Bridge ( near Cork), On the Blackwater River (near Fermoy), Sherkin Island, Youghal.
Usually seen singly but three together have been seen on two occasions. Of those that were aged, most were immature birds. Birds have been seen in all months except December, January, February and September.
Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to much of the southern
Green Heron Butorides virescens
2005 Schull, first-winter, 11th to 13th October. This bird was the first for Ireland and was also seen in Anglesey, Wales.
Distribution: The green heron breeds from the Pacific states of the U.S. and extreme south-eastern Canada south to Central Panama, the West Indies and islands off the north coast of Venezuela. As a partially migratory species, those most northerly populations travel before winter to reside in the southern U.S. to northern Colombia, northern Venezuela and eastern Ecuador . (Birdlife International)
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
1996 Ballycotton, adult, 13th to 17th June.
Distribution: a widespread but patchily distributed summer visitor
to much of
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
First county record was in 1976 when an adult was seen as Kilkeran Lake on the 7th March.
Only three records up to the end of 2006. 43 records between 2007 and 2012. Not usually sine alone and highest counts were 12 at Coolmore House, Carrigaline and 12 at Rossleague, Cobh.
Locations where birds have been seen: "Near Youghal by-pass", Bohonagh and Newmills (2km NE of Rosscarbery), Cahermore, Cape Clear Island, Clogheen and Inchydoney, Clonakilty, Coolmore House, Carrigaline, Curaheen and Lislee (near Courtmacsherry), Curraheen (Near Bandon Roundabout, Cork South Ring Road), Cuskinny Marsh, Great Island, East of Rossleague (Great Island), Fanisk Bridge, Youghal, Garinish, Gort (near Eyeries), Gortroe (near Youghal), Inishannon, Keeffe's Wood (Great Island), Lissagriffin, Long Strand and Kilkerran Lake, Lough Beg, Minane Bridge, Mizen Head, Muckridge Demesne (Youghal), Near Ballincollig, Near Redbarn Strand (Youghal), near Timoleague, Rathbarry (4 km E of Rosscarbery), Reendonegan lake, Rossmore (between Clonakilty and Rosscarbery), Rostellan, The Lough (Cork City), Timoleague, Tourig Estuary.
All records between October and June with most records between December and February.
Distribution: breeds mainly in Iberia but als patchily elsewhere
in southern Europe,
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
This species was on the IRBC rarities list until as recently as the end of 1993.
Up to 1980 there were only 19 county records and from 1980 until the end of 1992 there were 49 records.
Great White Egret Egretta alba
14 county records upto the end of 2014 since first recorded in the county in 1997. The 2008/2009/2011 records probably refer to one individual bird in the Cork Harbour area.
2011 Harper's Island, one between 2nd March and 6th May, probably a
returning bird to the area.
Distribution: is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder across much of Europe, which accounts for a tiny proportion of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
2014 Jamesfort, Kinsale, one on the 13th April.
Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to much of the southern half of Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. (Birdlife Internatoinal)
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
2002 Cloyne, one from the 22nd and 23rd April.
Distribution: is a widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which constitutes >75% of its global breeding range. Breeds on the continent but not in Ireland or the UK. (birdlife International)
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
2014 Eight records involving 13 birds. Six new records between January
and August from Ballycotton, Timoleague, Oysterhaven, Fermoy, Cuskinny
Marsh and Ballywilliam.
Note: There may be more records or records involving more than one bird pre-1924. More investigatin required.
Distribution: a patchily distributed summer visitor to southern
and southeastern Europe, which accounts for a tiny proportion of its
global breeding range. (Birdlife International)
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
59 county records involving 57 birds up to the end of 2014. First county record was at Youghal in autumn 1829.
Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Baltimore, Bandon River below Inishannon, Blarney, Bog South of Youghal, Carrigtohill, Clonakilty, Clonpriest (Ballymacoda), Cork City, Glounthaune and Great Island: Belvelly area and Rossleague (Cork Harbour), Howe's Strand (Kilbrittain), Kilkerran Lake, Kinsale Marsh, Lissagriffin, Lough Beg, Midleton, Saleen (Cork Harbour), Shanagarry, Skibbereen, The Gearagh, Timoleague, Youghal.
Where age was give adults and immatures seen in equal munbers. Most records were of single birds with the highest single count of four at Ballycotton early December 1860.
Recorded in all months of the year with records being fairly evenly spread over the year. Many birds were long staying evey over a year and other considered returning individuals from year to year.
Distribution: a widespread but patchily distributed breeder across much of southern Europe, which holds just over 50% of its global population. Also breeds further north such as in the Netherlands. (Birdlife International)