Garganeys breed right across temperate Eurasia and winter in the northern tropics of Africa and from the Indian subcontinent to south China and southeast Asia. In Great Britain during the 19th century they nested sporadically in eastern England but increased from the beginning of the 20th century and now have a scattered breeding population west into Wales and north into Scotland, though most are still found in eastern and central England and around the Somerset levels.In Wiltshire a few have been recorded in most years since the 1960s, mostly during the spring and, particularly, the autumn passage months of March to May and June to October. Individuals summered at the Cotswold Water Park (CWP) in at least five years between 1980 and 2002, but it was not until 2003 that they were finally proved to have bred in the county. There have been no further confirmed breeding records since then, though Bird Atlas 2007-2011 included probable breeding from the CWP and from Wilton Water.


The following references are used throughout these species accounts, in the abbreviated form given in quotation marks:
1968-72 Breeding Atlas” – Sharrack, J.T.R. 1976:  The Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser
1981-84 Winter Atlas” – Lack, P.C. 1986:  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser
1988-91 Breeding Atlas” – Gibbons, D.W., Reid, J.B. & Chapman, R.A. 1993: The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland 1988-91. T. & A. Poyser
Birds of Wiltshire” – Ferguson-Lees, I.J. et al. 2007 : Birds of Wiltshire, published by the tetrad atlas group of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society after mapping fieldwork 1995-2000. Wiltshire Ornithological Society.
Bird Atlas 2007-2011” – Balmer, D.E., Gillings, S., Caffrey, B.J., Swann, R.L., Downie, I.S. and Fuller, R.J. 2013: Bird Atlas 2007-2011: the Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland
WTA2” – ("Wiltshire Tetrad Atlas 2 ") the present electronic publication, bringing together the Wiltshire data from “Birds of Wiltshire” and “Bird Atlas 2007-11”, together with data from further fieldwork carried out in 2011 and 2012.
"Hobby" - the annual bird report of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society.