The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.
Range & Status
Palearctic; in Britain and Ireland 8500 pairs breed (chiefly Scotland); 34,500 winter (66% of the European total).
Cornwall: no longer breeds, but widespread on passage (totalling up to 700 in August) and in winter (150 to 200 in total); numbers are declining. The chief sites are the Hayle and Camel estuaries (both have up to 250 in autumn). Isles of Scilly: 40 breeding pairs; winter total 280-300, possibly up to 500 (a figure of National Importance).
Habitat & Ecology
Confined to sandy and shingle beaches when breeding. More widespread on coastal sand and shingle areas of estuaries at other times.
Human disturbance on beaches has eliminated it from the Cornish mainland as a breeding species.
Most sites are SSSI. Protected under Annexe 11 of the European Union Conservation of Wild Birds Directive. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).
I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.
The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.