Grouse, Partridges and Pheasants
Red Grouse Cearc Fhraoigh Lagopus lagopus scotica
Rare resident breeding species, once common in suitable habitat but now a declining species, apparently maintaining a toehold in the north Cork mountains.
Global Distribution: Northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America.
(Western) Capercaillie Capall Coille (Iartharach) Tetrao urogallus urogallus
Extinct in Ireland. Old texts suggest the bird was present in the county up to the mid-1700s.
Global Distribution: Scotland, central and northern Europe and parts of Asia.
Grey Partridge Patraisc Perdix perdix perdix
May be extinct as a native species in the county and releases of hand-reared birds by hunters makes assessing the status of ‘wild’ populations difficult. Introduction of birds in the Fermoy area by local gun club continues.
Global Distribution: The species occurs throughout much of the western Palearctic, with a native range encompassing Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Moldova, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and China (del Hoyo et al. 1994). The subspecies italica, endemic to parts of Italy, has been extinct since the 1980s as a result of hybridisation with introduced individuals of the nominate subspecies (Liukkonen-Anttila et al. 2002). (Source: BirdLife International)
Common Quail Gearg Coitianta Coturnix coturnix
Very rare passage migrant, with most records in mid to late summer.
Probably bred up to the 19th century (Ussher & Warren:xxviii).
Now a very rare breeding bird in Ireland, mainly in the midlands, no breeding records for county Cork.
30 records involving 39 birds between 1964 (first records post 19th century) and the end of 1993 when the species was removed from the IRBC rarities list. Usually seen singly but up to five together have been recorded.
Analysis of these records show the following:
Locations where birds have been seen: Aghadoe, Killeagh, Ballycotton, Ballymackeigh (Killeagh), Ballymacoda, Ballyquirke (Killeagh), Ballyspillane (Midleton), Baltimore, Cape Clear Island, Fanisk Bridge(Killeagh), Galley Head, Inch (Killeagh), Kilcrea, Old Head of Kinsale, Oysterhaven, Roche’s Point, The Lough (Cork City).
Birds seen between April and November with most records during the summer months.
Global Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which accounts
for less than a quarter of its global breeding range, also found in Africa and Asia.
(Common) Pheasant Piasún (Coitianta) Phasianus colchicus
Common resident breeding species throughout the region, numbers often artificially high as the species is often bred and released for hunting.
The species was introduced to Ireland for hunting in Medieval times.
Global Distribution: Southern Asia. Introduced to many countries around the world.
Species seen but considered escaped from captivity or deliberately introduced into the wild.
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Golden Pheasant Chrysolophus pictus