Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

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.

Melanitta nigra - Common Scoter

Range & Status

Palearctic; in Britain and Ireland 95 pairs breed; 50,000 winter.

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: winter visitor and passage migrant, with heavy offshore passage in spring and summer (chiefly off south coast). Numbers fluctuate considerably. Flocks of up to 50 gather in sheltered bays along the south coast in midsummer and winter. Key sites are Mount' s Bay, Veryan Bay, Gerrans Bay, St. Austell Bay and Whitsand Bay. Isles of Scilly: scarce in winter.

Habitat & Ecology

Sheltered sandy bays; infrequent on estuaries.


Oil pollution and inshore fishing (monofilament nets).


Monitoring of numbers. Listed (middle 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.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.