Actitis hypoleucos

Range & Status

Palearctic; in Britain and Ireland 12,000 breeding pairs; 100 winter.

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: formerly bred by moorland streams in east Cornwall, but regular breeding ceased 1910; a pair nested in 1989 (possibly also 1988) on east side of Bodmin Moor. Passage migrant throughout Cornwall (but few in spring); gatherings of up to 20 from late July/early August evenings on major estuary complexes. 10-20 birds winter at scattered sites, but only the Lynher/Tamar complex holds five plus wintering birds (thus Nationally significant). Isles of Scilly: scattered individuals on passage, sometimes more than 15 birds.

Habitat & Ecology

Typically solitary, favouring freshwater streams and lake edges; also brackish streams at head of tidal creeks. Passage birds frequent on coastal rocks and beaches.


None significant.


The main sites are SSSI.