An impressive four species new to Ireland were discovered in 2016. The first of these was a sub-adult Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens in Castletownbere, Cork, which was first found on 2nd January. An adult Vega Gull Larus vegae at Duncannon, Wexford was the next new addition (also new to the Western Palearctic), on 10th January. The third new species for Ireland in 2016 was an adult Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultia at Tacumshin Lake, Wexford on 20th July, while the final addition was a juvenile Brown Booby Sula leucogaster southwest of the Skellig Islands, Kerry on a fishing vessel on 13th August.
In addition, the first record of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata for Ireland is also documented in this report, after a rather protracted recirculation, involving photographic evidence of an adult at Ballycotton on 1st July 1971.
Other notable records in this report include; the second Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus (Clare, Kerry & Mayo), the third to sixth records of Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus (Galway, Mayo and Wexford), the fifth Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri (Wexford),and the sixth Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus (Cork), Booted Warbler Iduna caligata (Cork) and Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus (Cork).
The backbone of the IRBC’s system for recording occurrences of rare birds in the Republic of Ireland is the Provisional List, published online, which is updated regularly. Most of the data in this report were taken directly from the 2016 Provisional List. The IRBC expresses its sincere gratitude to all those who provided information during 2016, either directly or indirectly. The committee also extends its grateful thanks to Peter Adriaens, Martin Collinson, Kieran Fahy, Killian Mullarney and Pat Smiddy for their invaluable assistance.
C.Barton (on behalf of the Irish Rare Birds Committee)
BirdWatch Ireland, Unit 20, Block D, Bullford Business Campus, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow.