The fourth report of the Taxonomic Sub-Committee of the BOU Records Committee (TSC) has been published in Ibis (Sangster et al 2007). The report should be consulted for the full exposition of the TSC's decisions. The following recommendations included in the report are applicable to the Irish List and have been adopted by the IRBC.

  • The evolutionary relationships among the shanks has been clarified and members of the genera, Xenus, Actitis & Tringa should now be listed in the following order:
    • Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
    • Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
    • Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
    • Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
    • Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
    • Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
    • Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
    • Greenshank Tringa nebularia
    • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
    • Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
    • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
    • Redshank Tringa totanus
  • Some recent studies have indicated that the genus Larus as currently defined is not monophyletic and the generic limits of gulls requires revision. At present there is some disagreement on the extent of revision required. For the purpose of the national list the TSC recommends recognition of an intermediate taxonomy as follows:
    • Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea
    • Sabine's Gull Xema sabini
    • Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
    • Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia
    • Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
    • Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus
    • Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea
    • Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
    • Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan
    • Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
    • Common Gull Larus canus
    • Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
    • Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
    • Herring Gull Larus argentatus
    • Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
    • Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
    • American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus
    • Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
    • Thayer's Gull Larus thayeri
    • Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
    • Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
  • The correct spelling of the scientific name of Sooty Tern is Onychoprion fuscatus.
  • Belted Kingfisher is reclassified from the genus Ceryle to Megaceryle and becomes Megaceryle alcyon. Its position in the list does not change.

Additional recommendations in the report have no relevance to the Irish List at present although they may become applicable in the future. A PDF version of the latest Irish List may be downloaded here.


Sangster, G., Collinson, J.M., Knox, A.G., Parkin, D.T. & Svensson, L. 2007. Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: Fourth report. Ibis 149: 853-857.

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