SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Loch of Strathbeg

image: SPA location map 

 

The Loch of Strathbeg is located in north-eastern Scotland, in Aberdeenshire, inland from Rattray Head. It is a shallow, naturally eutrophic loch with adjoining reedbeds, freshwater marshes, and Alder Alnus glutinosa and willow Salix spp. carr. The calcareous dunes and dune slacks within the site are relatively undisturbed and contain a rich flora. The loch constitutes the largest dune slack pool in the UK (200 ha) and the largest waterbody in the north-east Scottish lowlands. It is separated from the sea by a 0.5-1 km wide dune system. The SPA provides wintering habitat for a number of important wetland bird species, particularly wildfowl (swans, geese and ducks), and is also an important staging area for migratory wildfowl from Scandinavia and Iceland/Greenland. In summer, coastal parts of the site are an important breeding area for Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis, which feed outside the SPA in adjacent marine areas.

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis, 530 pairs representing up to 3.8% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
Over winter;
 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, 226 individuals representing up to 1.9% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 183 individuals representing up to 3.3% of the wintering population in Great Britain (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
 
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
Over winter;
 
Greylag Goose Anser anser, 3,325 individuals representing up to 3.3% of the wintering Iceland/UK/Ireland population (winter peak means)
 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, 39,924 individuals representing up to 17.7% of the wintering Eastern Greenland/Iceland/UK population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
 
Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
 
Over winter, the area regularly supports 49,452 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Teal Anas crecca, Greylag Goose Anser anser, Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus, Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus .

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.