Range & Status
Holarctic; in Britain and Ireland there are 2200 pairs breed; up to 197,000 in winter.
Cornwall: sporadic breeder (perhaps overlooked) on Bodmin Moor; a common winter
visitor to both freshwater and estuarine sites. Peak numbers have fluctuated between 1500 and 3000 in recent winters. Four sites have had peak counts of over 400 since 1985: Hayle, Walmsley Sanctuary, Colliford, Maer Lake and the Lynher, with Hayle consistently producing the largest counts. No sites are of National Importance. Isles of Scilly: it has bred here in the past; up to 69 in winter.
Habitat & Ecology
Feeds in flocks on middle reaches of estuaries, also by edges of shallow freshwater
Vulnerable to estuary development.
The main estuary sites are SSSI; all main sites are reserves or are afforded some form of protected status. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).