There were two species new to Ireland discovered in 2018, both found in October; a first-winter Veery Catharus fuscescens (Cork), and a first-winter Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla (Cork).

In addition, Ireland’s second Eastern Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans albistriata (Donegal) was recorded in May. Ireland’s third ever Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura (Galway) and Bufflehead Bucephala albeola (Cork) were both found in November. The fourth Irish Pacific Diver Gavia pacifica (Cork) was present from January to April, returning again from October to December.

Other highlights in 2018 included the sixth Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea (Cork) for Ireland, the seventh Booted Warbler Iduna caligata (Kerry), the eighth Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus (Cork), the 12th record of Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata (Galway) and the 14th and 15th records of Blyth’s Reed Warblers Acrocephalus dumetorum (Cork and Donegal).

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 2018 Provisional List. The IRBC expresses its sincere gratitude to all those who provided information during 2018, either directly or indirectly. The committee also extends its grateful thanks to Kieran Fahy for proof-reading the report and for keeping track of the numbers. In addition, the committee would like to thank Joe Hobbs, Killian Mullarney and Pat Smiddy for their input and comments on corrections to previous reports.

C.Barton and C.Flynn (on behalf of the Irish Rare Birds Committee)
BirdWatch Ireland, Unit 20, Block D, Bullford Business Campus, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow.

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