Range & Status
Holarctic; in Britain and Ireland 20,700 in winter.
Cornwall: winter visitor and passage migrant in small numbers at scattered coastal sites, only Mounts Bay (up to 100) is of significance but even here numbers have been declining in recent winters. Isles of Scilly: up to 400 in winter, chiefly on St. Mary' s and the interisland sand-flats (this population is of National Importance).
Habitat & Ecology
Occurs on sandy beaches, feeding in closely-packed parties.
The decline of Cornwall wintering population suggests a shift in winter sites, reasons unclear.
Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).