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Sandpipers, Stints, Curlews, Snipes et al Scolopacidae (46)

(Banner Photo:Turnstone (above) by Jim Wilson and black-tailed Godwits (below) by Mark Carmody)

Red Knot Calidris canutus
Common autumn passage migrant and winter visitor. Very scarce in spring and summer.
Winter Distribution

Distribution: breeds in Greenland, but winters mainly in coastal areas of western Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global wintering range. (Birdlife International)

Sanderling Calidris alba
Common passage migrant and winter visitor in the east Cork area. Small numbers of non breeders remain through the summer.
Winter Distribution

Distribution: breeds in the high Arctic in northern Greenland and Svalbard, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
Occasional vagrant in autumn.
40 county records involving 45 birds up to the end of 2014. First record was a juvenile, trapped on 16th Octobe1966 at Ballycotton.

Birds have been seen at the following locatoins: Ballycotton (most records), Barleycove, Clonakilty, Cockle Beach (near Crookhaven), Garretstown, Inchydoney, Kinsale, Lissagriffin, Muckross Estuary, Ring Strand, Pilmore Strand, Rosscarbery.

Where age was given about 60% juveniles. Highest one day count was three at Ballycotton September/October 1980.

Apart from two records in May all were seen between July and October with most records in September.Most stayed a day or two but some lingered for over a week and even up to a month.

Distribution: Breeds in the far north of North America and winters on the coast of northern South America and in the Carribean..

Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
Rare vagrant.
One county record up tp 2014.

1999 Ballydehob, juvenile, 1st to 8th September. Third Irish and first county record.

Distribution: Breeds on the west coast of Alaska and winters in southern North America and on the coast of northern South America.

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
Rare vagrant.
Two county records up to the end of 2014.

2002 Ballycotton, adult, 31st July to 1st August.
1998 Ballycotton, adult in summer plumage, 2nd to 5th July, first Irish record.

Distribution: Breeds in Siberia, from Taymyr peninsula east to Chukotskiy peninsula, also occasionally in western Alaska. Winters in Southeast Asia and Australia.

Little Stint Calidris minuta
Uncommon passage migrant in variable numbers. Mostly in autumn, scarcer in spring.

Distribution: breeds in the arctic north of Norway and Russia, with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
Rare vagrant.
Two county records up to the end of 2014.

1987 Ballycotton, an adult on the 3rd August.
1981 Ballycotton, an immature from the 15th to the 19th September.

Distributoin: breeds mainly in Fennoscandia and arctic Russia, with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta
Rare vagrant.
One county record up to the end of 2014.

1996 Ballycotton, 15th to16th June. First Irish record.

Distribution: breeds across northern Asia and is strongly migratory, wintering in south and south east Asia and Australasia.

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
Rare vagrant.
Five county records up to the end of 2014.

1993 Kinsale Marsh, adult, 29th to 30th August. 5th county and 8th Irish record.
1988 Ballycotton, adult, 7th to 12th August.
1984 Ballycotton, adult, 9th to 15th August.
1967 Inchydoney, 9th to 11th September.
1966 Clonakilty, 13th September.

Distribution: Breeds in northern North America and winters in southern North America, northern South America and the Carribean. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
Occasional vagrant in autumn.
63 county records involving 68 birds up to the end of 2014.

Birds have been seen at the following locations: Ballycotton (most records), Ballymacoda, Baltimore, Cape Clear Island, Clonakilty, Dursey Island, Foxhole (Youghal), Garretstown, Harbour View, Harper's Island, Inchydoney, Kinsale Marsh, Lissagriffin, Lough Beg, Pilmore Strand, Rosscarbery, Shanagarry, The Gearagh, Timoleague, Tivoli, Youghal.

Most records were of single birds and highest one-day count was three at Lissagriffin in Ocotber 2000. Where age was give adults and immatures occured in equal measure. Many birds stayed for more than a day with some staying for weeks and even over a month.

All records between July and January with most seen in September and October.

Distribution: Breeds in the extreme north of North america and winters along the eastern coast of southern South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
Occasonal vagrant in autumn.

34 records involving 35 birds up to the end of 2014 with 20 seen at Ballycotton and others at Ballymacoda, Lissagriffin, Pilmore Strand, Sherkin Island, Roscarberry and Inchydoney. First recorded in Ballycotton in 1966. All were recorded August, September and October except for one bird recorded from 31st may to the 2nd June 1996. Of all those aged half were adults and half juveniles..

Distribution: Breeds in the extreme north of North america and winters in southern South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Very scarce vagrant.
About 160 sightings in the county up to the end of 2014 since first recorded in Ballycotton on the 2nd October 1963.

There were 59 records involving 98 birds up to the end of 1986 when the species was removed from the IRBC rarities list.
Analysis of these records shows the following:

Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton(majority of the records), Ballymacoda, Cape Clear Island, Clonakilty, Courtmacsharry, Dursey Island, Garretstown, Inchydoney, Kilbrittain, Killacloyne, Kinsale, Lissagriffin, Lough Beg, Rosscarbery, The Gearagh.

Most records were of single birds with occasional small groups and one of 14 (IBR 19:39).

Apart from single records in April, May, June and two in July all records were from August to November with most records in September.

Distribution: Breeds in the extreme north of North america and winters in northern and central South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata
Rare vagrant.
Two county records up to the end of 2014.

2007 Ballycotton, juvenile, 4th to 5th October.
2003 Ballycotton, adult, 27th to 31st July. 3rd Irish and 1st county record.

Distribution: Breeds in northeast Siberia and winters in southeast Asia and Australia.

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Uncommon passage migrant in variable numbers. Mostly in autumn, very scarce in spring. Occasional winter records.

Distribution: breeds in a narrow latitudinal range in the central Siberian Arctic, and winters mainly in western and sub-Saharan Africa. (Birdlife International)


Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus
Rare vagrant.
Five records up to the end of 2014.

2003 Lough Beg, Cork Harbour, adult, 6th to 11th August.
1991 Rosscarbery, juvenile, 19th to 20th September, same, Inchydoney, 20th to 21st September.
1988 Kinsale Marsh, adult, 14th to 18th August.
1988 Ballycotton, adult, 6th to 7th August.
1979 Ballycotton, adult, 14th to 17th July.

Distribution: Breeds in the extreme north of North america and winters in northern and central South America, Central America and the Carribean. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
Very scarce passage migrant and winter visitor.

Distribution: breeds in Greenland, Scandinavia and arctic Russia, with >75% of the global breeding range confined to Europe. (Birdlife International)

Dunlin Calidris alpina
Common passage migrant and winter visitor, with small numbers remaining throughout the summer.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Awaiting more information on occurance of subspecies.

Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus
Rare vagrant.
Five county records up to the end of 2014.

2005 Ballycotton, 2nd and 3rd May.
1996 Ballycotton, adult, 2nd May.
1989 Ballycotton, adult, 18th to 20th June.
1979 Ballycotton, 10th to 14th July.
1978 Cork/Limerick - Charleville Lagoons, 2nd June.

Distribution: is a widespread summer visitor to Fennoscandia and northern Russia, with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis
Occasional vagrant in autumn.

48 records involving 79 birds up to the end of 2014. Usually seen singly but up to eight have been seen together (Ballycotton). Where age was give almost all were juveniles.

Birds have been seen at the following locations: Ballycotton (nearly half of all records), Ballymacoda, Cape Clear Island, Dursey Island, Kilcolman NNR, Kinsale, Lissagriffin, Pilmore Strand, Red Barn Strand.

Almost all were seen in September with smaller numbers in August and October and single records in April, June and July.

Distribution: Breeds in the extreme north of North america and winters in eastern central South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Uncommon passage migrant, mostly in autumn. Scarce in spring and summer.

Distribution: a widespread breeder in much of northern Europe, which constitutes >50% of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Winter Distribution

Distribution: breeds in Fennoscandia and north-eastern Europe, which accounts for less than a half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Widespread if uncommon breeding species, common passage migrant and winter visitor.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Great Snipe Gallinago media
Rare vagrant.
Two accepted county records up to the end of 2014.

1983 Dursey Island, 22nd October.
1879 Near Clonakilty, shot, 17th November. Ussher & Warren, 1900.

Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to Fennoscandia and north-east Europe, which constitutes >50% of its global breeding range. (Birdlife Internatoinal)

Dowitcher sp. Limnodromus sp.
Rare vagrant.
19 records up to the end of 2014 since the first in 1967.

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
Rare vagrant.
41 county records involving 42 individuals up to the end of 2014.

Birds have been seen at the following locations: Ballycotton (about 50% of all records), Ballymacoda, Cape Clear Island, Garretstown, Harper's Island, Inchydoney & Clonakility Estuary, Kinsale Marsh, Lissagriffin. Lough Beg (Cork Harbour), Rosscarbery, Saleen (Cork Harbour), The Gearagh, Timoleague.

All records were of single birds apart from two long staying birds at Ballycotton from October 1980 until April 1981 and again from July 1981 into 1982 (one remaining until mid November 1983). A few single birds overwintered in other years.

Recorded ni all months of the year but when the long staying birds are excluded most birds were seen from September to November.

Distribution: Breeds in the extremem northwest of North America and winters in southern North America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Thinly distributed breeding species. Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers of non breeders remain throughout the summer.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Distribution: A very occasional and rare breeder in Ireland the species has a wide breeding range across europe and Asia. Those seen in Ireland are all of the islandica race which breeds predominantly in Iceland, with much smaller numbers in the Faeroe Islands, Shetland (United Kingdom) and the Lofoten Islands (Norway).

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Common passage migrant and winter visitor. Very scarce in summer. Winter Distribution

Distribution: a predominantly Siberian breeding distribution, which extends into Europe in northern Fennoscandia and parts of adjacent Russia. (Birdlife International)

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Common passage migrant in spring, uncommon in autumn, and very scarce in winter.
Counts from Cobh where large numbers were seen in the 1980’s, were not continued through the 1990’s, though casual observations suggested that large scale migration continued to occur in spring.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to northern Europe, which constitutes >50% of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Hudsonian Whimbrel (Numenius hudsonicus)
Rare vagrant.

Mizen Head, one between 20th and 25th September 2011. This is the first county and third Irish record.

Distribution: Breeds in northern North America, winters in the Caribbean, Central and South America and Australasia.

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
Common passage migrant and winter visitor, scarcer in summer. Some large post breeding counts in Cork Harbour. Breeds in small numbers at upland sites. Summer Distribution 1969-72 Summer Distribution 2008-11 Winter Distribution 2007-11

Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda
Rare vagrant.
Two county records up to the end of 2014.

1991 Dursey Island, juvenile, 18th to 24th September.
1894 Newcestown, Bandon, shot, 4th September, now at National Museum, Dublin. W. B. Barrington, Irish Naturalist 4: 166

Distribution: Breeds in the extreme northwest and eastern central North America and winters in central South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Common passage migrant in both spring and autumn, scarce in winter. Small numbers breed, most inland and west coast.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
Rare vagrant.
14 county records up to the end of 2014.

2011 Victoria Quay, Cork City, juvenile, 27th November.
2011 Knockadoon Pier, juvenile, 6th October.
2007 Cork/Waterford Tourig River, Youghal, 14th to 22nd November.
2007 Ballycotton, juvenile, 3rd October.
2007 Ballycotton, juvenile, 2nd to 5th September.
2005 Lissagriffin, juvenile, 12th and 13th October.
1997 Tramore River, near Cork City Dump, juvenile, 26th September to 2nd October.
1990 Mid Calf Island, Roaringwater Bay, adult, 11th July.
1989 Cape Clear Island, first-winter, trapped, 28th September to 13th October.
1987 Cape Clear Island, juvenile, 4th to 8th October.
1983 Cape Clear Island, 1st to 15th October.
1982 Clonakilty, juvenile, 7th October to 1983.
1979 Ballymacoda, juvenile, 6th to 7th October.
1978 Union Hall, Leap, juvenile, 28th September.

Distribution: Breeds in north and central North America and winters in southern North America, the carribean, Central America and most of South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Local and uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor to both coastal and inland sites.

Distribtion: a widespread breeder in northern and central Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)


Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Rare vagrant.
Three county records up to the end of 2014.

2008 Cape Clear Island, juvenile, 27th to 30th August.
1974 Cape Clear Island, 15th to 17th September.
1971 Lissagriffin, 5th to 7th September. 1st Irish Record

Distribution: Breeds in northern North America and winters in the carribean, Central America and most of South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Scarce passage migrant, mostly in autumn. Scarce in winter and very occasional summer records.
Winter Distribution

Distribution: breeds in Fennoscandia and northern Russia, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
Rare vagrant.
Three county records up to the end of 2014.

1978 Ballycotton, 29th April to 6th May.
1968 Ballycotton, 23rd to 24th August.
1940 Aghadown, near Skibbereen, shot, 21st January, now at National Museum, Dublin.

Distribution: Breeds in northern North America and winters in southern North America, Central America, the Carribbean and South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Common passage migrant. Somewhat scarce and local winter visitor in recent years. Very scarce in summer.
Winter Distribution

Distribution: a widespread breeder in northern Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Once a sporadic and very rare breeding species in Ireland. Does not currently breed here. (Birdlife International)

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Rare vagrant.

45 records involving 47 birds up to the end of 2014 since the first county record in 1967 at Shanagarry Marsh, 17th September.

Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton, Cape Clear Island, Clonakilty, Douglas Estuary, Inchydoney, Kilkerran Lake, Kinsale Marsh, Lissagriffin, Lough Beg, Near Macroom, Ring (Clonakilty), Rosscarbery, Skibbereen, The Gearagh, Tivoli (Cork Harbour), White's Marsh (Clonakilty), Youghal.

Recorded in all months except June and July with most records in September and October. Of those aged, most were juveniles. Most were seen singly though three were seen together at Inchydoney in Auguust 1991. Many stayed for a week or more and birds overwintered on at least five occasions.

Distribution: Breeds in northwestern North America and winters in southern North America, Central America, the Carribbean and South America. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Very Rare vagrant.
One county record up to the end of 2014.

1999 Near Ballintubbrid, Cork Harbour, one on the 20 August .

Distribution: a summer visitor to central Russia and parts of eastern Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Scarce passage migrant with the large majority of birds seen in autumn.

Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to northern Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Common passage migrant and winter visitor, with small numbers widespread in summer.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Some non breeders remain during summer.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Distribution: breeds in Greenland and coastal areas of northern Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Wilson’s Phalarope Steganopus tricolor
Rare vagrant.

28 records up to the end of 2014, since the first county record in 1967 at Ballycotton from the 10th to 11th September.

Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballycotton (most records), Ballycotton Lake, Cape Clear Island, Clonakilty,
Douglas Estuary, Inchydoney, Kinsale, Lissagriffin, Lough Beg, Rosscarbery, Union Hall.

Most stayed for more than one day with some staying up to a week and one stayed a fortnight.

Apart from three records in October all were seen in August and September.

Distribution: Breeds in central North America and winters in southern South America.

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Rare vagrant.

Five county records involving seven birds up to the end of 2014.

1994 Rostellan, a male on the 6th June.
1992 Ballycotton, a juvenile from the 29th September to the 10th October.
1983 Ballycotton, a juvenile from the 7th to the 14th October.
1966 Ballymona, three from the 26th to the 28th June.
1960 Cape Clear Island, one from the 16th to the 17th September.

Distribution: a widespread summer visitor to northernmost Europe, which accounts for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. (Birdlife International)

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Uncommon passage migrant at sea in autumn. Rare in winter.

Distribution: a summer visitor to the European Arctic, which accounts for a tiny proportion of its global breeding range.(Birdlife International)