Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This estuary is located on the east coast of central Scotland. This is an important area for terns, which come here to breed in summer. During winter the estuary is home to waterbirds, especially waders, sea-ducks and geese. 

MPA Type

Special Protection Area

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Designation date

1 February 2000

Surface Area

69.52 km2 (26.84 mi.2)

Perimeter

294.98 km (183.29 mi.)

  • Sanderling (Calidris alba)

    A a small, plump, energetic wading bird.

  • Little tern (Sterna albifrons)

    This bird is one of the smallest of its species. Breeding colonies are located on beaches nearby shallow, sheltered waters which offer good foraging for small fish and invertebrates.

  • Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

    A large, dark waterbird. Often seen standing with its wings spread out to dry. The UK provides internationally important wintering grounds for these birds.

  • Greylag goose (Anser anser )

    The largest of the wild gesse in the UK, the greylag is the ancestor of most domestic geese. The native birds and wintering flocks found in Scotland retain the special appeal of truly wild geese.

  • Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica)

    A long-billed, long-legged wading bird that visits the UK in the winter.

  • Waterfowl assemblage

    Important areas where a number of waterfowl species occur in significant numbers.

  • Common redshank (Tringa totanus)

    As this bird’s name suggests, its’ most distinctive features are its’ bright orange-red legs.

  • Pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)

    A medium-sized goose that winters in the UK. Numbers are increasing in England, probably because of better protection at winter roosts.

  • Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

    A familiar, stocky, black and white wading bird that mostly depends on mussels and cockles.

  • Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

    A medium sized diving duck with a distinctive yellow eye.

  • Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina)

    The commonest small wading bird found around UK shores with a distinctive black belly in the summer.

  • Eurasian marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

    A bird of prey - the largest of the harriers - is inching back in the UK and is now more secure than at any time in the last century. It is however still carefully protected.

  • Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis)

    Long-tailed duck is a gregarious seaduck that forms large non-breeding flocks. Long-tailed duck dives to the seabed to forage on a range of prey including benthic molluscs, crustaceans, and small fish.

  • Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica)

    A large wading bird with a very distinctive long beak.

  • Velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca)

    Velvet scoter is a non-breeding visitor to Scotland that typically feeds and roosts far offshore, often in association with common scoter. Forages on benthic species, mainly molluscs.

  • Black (common) scoter (Melanitta nigra)

    The common scoter is seaduck. The UK breeding population of this small diving seaduck has substantially declined and it is now a Red List species.

  • Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

    A widely distributed shorebird that prefers sandy and muddy estuaries.

  • Common eider (Somateria mollissima)

    A record-breaking seaduck - the eider is both our heaviest and fastest flying. It seldom strays from the coast.

  • Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

    This is a big, colourful duck, bigger than a mallard but smaller than a goose.

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes

Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed

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