The Irish List is currently being reviewed to ensure alignment with the latest version of the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) World Bird taxonomy and will be uploaded as soon as that review is complete.

The Irish List to the most recent Irish Rare Bird Report on 31st December 2015 is available to download as a PDF by following the link in the right-hand panel. The Irish List consists of all species included in Categories A, B & C (see below for a description of the Category system). The sequence and scientific nomenclature largely follows the IOC World List version 7.1 (Gill & Donsker 2017), replacing the previously referenced BOU British List (British Ornithologists’ Union 2013).

New species are added to the Irish List following their publication in the Irish Rare Bird Report. Species may occasionally be removed from the list when the evidence no longer supports their inclusion. In addition, new data emerges from time to time which can recommend the splitting or lumping of existing species as well as revising the list order. Details of any changes in the Irish List are included in the Announcement pages.

Please note that the list includes four records which are not specifically identified, i.e. Madeiran, Monteiro's or Cape Verde Storm-petrel, Zino's, Fea's or Desertas Petrel, Frigatebird species and Black or White-crowned Wheatear. When known, the relevant subspecies is included in the list. Monotypic species are indicated by a dash in the 'Subspecies' column.

At sea records are those that are observed outside of 30 km (approx. 16.2 nautical miles) from the nearest point of land but within the Exclusive Economic Zone which extends to approximately 370 km (200 nautical miles) offshore or where relevant, the median point between Ireland and Great Britain are assessed and published by the IRBC in the Irish Rare Bird Report, but are excluded from the main list.

Species and subspecies added to the Irish List since 2000

Category D and 'At sea' records not included.

Species or subspecies Date Location Reference
† Indicates the bird was found dead.
§ Indicates the bird is also a first Western Palearctic record.
¤ Indicates the finder's account is available through the Gallery Notes page.
Brown Booby 13th August 2016 Skellig Islands, Kerry Irish Birds 10: 404
Greater Sand Plover 20th July 2016 Tacumshin Lake, Wexford Irish Birds 10: 404
Vega Gull 10th January 2016 Duncannon, Wexford Irish Birds 10: 404
Glaucous-winged Gull 2nd January 2016 Castletownbere, Cork Irish Birds 10: 404
Hudsonian Godwit ¤ 22nd July 2015 Inishdawros, Ballyconneely, Galway Irish Birds 10: 404
Black Scoter ¤ 8th January 2015 Off Mountain Stage, near Rossbeigh, Kerry Irish Birds 10: 394
Slaty-backed Gull 8th February 2014 Waterside, Galway Irish Birds 10: 250
American Purple Gallinule † 2nd February 2014 Carne Golf Links, Belmullet, Mayo Irish Birds 10: 243
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 27th October 2013 Cotter's Garden, Cape Clear Island, Cork Irish Birds 10: 92
North-eastern Yellow Wagtail 12th October 2013 Tory Island, Donegal Irish Birds 10: 256
Wilson's Warbler 18th September 2013 Dursey Island, Cork Irish Birds 10: 99
Bulwer's Petrel 1st August 2013 Off Galley Head, Cork Irish Birds 10: 397
Lesser Sand Plover ¤ 27th July 2013 Pilmore Strand, Cork Irish Birds 10: 81
Eastern Kingbird § 5th October 2012 Kilmurvey, Inishmore, Aran Islands, Galway Irish Birds 9: 596
Collared Flycatcher 29th May 2012 West Town, Tory Island, Donegal Irish Birds 9: 605
Pallid Harrier 22nd April 2011 Ballyvergan Reedbed, Ballymacoda, Cork Irish Birds 9: 459
White-winged Scoter 1st February 2011 Off Rossbeigh, Kerry Irish Birds 9: 453
Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat 13th January 2011 Westcourt, Drogheda, Louth Irish Birds 10: 94
Northern Harrier 29th October 2010 Tacumshin Lake, Wexford Irish Birds 9: 292
Iberian Chiffchaff 16th June 2010 Brownstown Head, Waterford Irish Birds 9: 306
Coue's Arctic Redpoll 1st May 2010 Dursey Island, Cork Irish Birds 9: 487
Baikal Teal 19th February 2010 Tacumshin Lake, Wexford Irish Birds 9: 288
Dresser's Eider § 2nd January 2010 Glasagh Bay, Fanad Head, Donegal Irish Birds 9: 288
Red-flanked Bluetail 10th November 2009 The Waters, Dursey Island, Cork Irish Birds 9: 276
Cedar Waxwing 14th October 2009 Inishbofin, Galway Irish Birds 9: 275
Royal Tern 7th June 2009 Off Ring Pier, Clonakilty, Cork Irish Birds 9: 268
Pacific Diver 12th January 2009 Off Tawin Island, Galway Irish Birds 9: 454
Little Blue Heron 24th September 2008 Barnaderg Bay, near Letterfrack, Galway Irish Birds 9: 87
Mourning Dove 20th October 2007 Inishbofin, Galway Irish Birds 8: 600
Eastern Subalpine Warbler 3rd May 2007 Termon, Mullet Peninsula, Mayo Irish Birds 10: 253
Black-headed Wagtail 24th April 2007 Longfield Point, Lough Foyle, Londonderry Irish Birds 8: 604
Blyth's Reed Warbler 20th October 2006 Lough Errul, Cape Clear Island, Cork Irish Birds 8: 604
Canada Warbler 8th October 2006 Kilbaha, Clare Irish Birds 8: 414
Cirl Bunting 8th May 2006 Mizen Head, Cork Irish Birds 8: 414
Barrow's Goldeneye 20th November 2005 Quoile Pondage, near Downpatrick, Down Irish Birds 8: 376
Rough-legged Hawk 11th October 2005 Tulla, near Ennis, Clare Irish Birds 8: 379
Green Heron 11th October 2005 Schull Harbour, Cork Irish Birds 8: 377
Great Knot 25th July 2004 Malahide Estuary, Dublin Irish Birds 8: 113
Hume's Leaf Warbler ¤ 18th December 2003 Knockadoon Head, Cork Irish Birds 7: 567
Semipalmated Plover 10th October 2003 Leabgarrow, Arranmore Island, Donegal Irish Birds 7: 557
Common Yellowthroat ¤ 3rd October 2003 Loop Head Lighthouse, Clare Irish Birds 7: 573
Booted Warbler 27th September 2003 East Town, Tory Island, Donegal Irish Birds 7: 565
Redhead 12th July 2003 Lough Errul, Cape Clear Island, Cork Irish Birds 7: 552
White-crowned Sparrow 20th May 2003 Ballinacarraige, West Beara, Cork Irish Birds 7: 573
Sooty Tern 23rd July 2002 Off Bridges of Ross, Clare Irish Birds 7: 403
Balearic Woodchat Shrike 3rd June 2002 Mizen Head, Cork Irish Birds 7: 570
Baltimore Oriole 7th October 2001 Horseshoe Cove, Baltimore, Cork Irish Birds 7: 238
Cetti's Warbler 21st May 2001 Ballyvergan Reedbed, Ballymacoda, Cork Irish Birds 7: 407
Isabelline Shrike 20th November 2000 Begerin House, North Slob, Wexford Irish Birds 7: 105
Blue-winged Warbler § 4th October 2000 Cotter's Garden, Cape Clear Island, Cork Irish Birds 7: 107
Taiga Merlin 29th September 2000 Low Road, Cape Clear Island, Cork Irish Birds 8: 590

National List Category System

The Association of European Rarities Committees (AERC) recommend the use of categories when compiling national lists of species. Many European rare bird committees now follow this practice including the IRBC. The following is a list of the categories in use and their significance:

  • Category A
    Species that have been recorded in an apparently natural state in Ireland at least once since 1st January 1950.
  • Category B
    Species that have been recorded in an apparently natural state in Ireland at least once up to 31st December 1949, but have not been recorded subsequently.
  • Category C1
    Species that, although originally introduced by man, have established feral breeding populations in Ireland which apparently maintain themselves without necessary recourse to further introduction.
  • Category C2
    Species that have occurred, but are considered to have originated from established naturalised populations outside Ireland.
  • Category D1
    Species that would otherwise appear in Categories A or B except that there is a reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state.
  • Category D2
    Species that have arrived through ship or other human assistance.
  • Category D3
    Species that have only ever been found dead on the tideline.
  • Category D4
    Species that would otherwise appear in Category C1 except that their feral populations may or may not be self-supporting.
  • Category E
    Species that have been recorded as introductions, transportees or escapes from captivity.

The category breakdown of the Irish list on 31st December 2015 was as follows:

Category A
Category B
Category C
Total Irish List
Category D
At Sea

Species in Category D are not included in the main Irish List. Whenever a species is assigned to more than one category, the higher category only is included in the statistics. Category A is regarded as the highest.


British Ornithologists’ Union 2013. The British List: a Checklist of Birds of Britain (8th Edition). Ibis 155: 635-676.

Gill, F. & Donsker, D. (eds). 2017. IOC World Bird List (v 7.1). Available from (Accessed January 2017).