Report 393
The numbers of inshore waterbirds using the Greater Wash during the non-breeding season; an assessment of the area's potential for qualification as a marine SPA
(2009)
Wilson L.J., O'Brien S.H., Webb A., Reid J.B., Cranswick P.A., Smith L. & Hall C
The Greater Wash is known to support large numbers of inshore waterbirds over the winter period. Three existing SPAs in the area currently afford some protection to some of these species; however these areas do not extend beyond the low water mark. This report describes analyses of data from aerial surveys of inshore waterbirds conducted in the Greater Wash area. Numbers of divers, grebes, scoter and little gulls (Larus minutus) using the waters of the Greater Wash are analysed and assessed against guideline thresholds, to determine whether the area or part of it qualifies as an SPA under the EC Birds Directive.

Summary

 
 
 

This report describes analyses of data from aerial surveys of inshore waterbirds conducted in the Greater Wash area, to determine whether the area or part of it qualifies as an SPA under the EC Birds Directive (EEC, 1979). These aerial surveys were carried out by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) in 1989 and 1991 and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) from 2003 – 2007. NCC surveys were carried out as part of Phase 3 of the NCC Seabirds at Sea project, whereas WWT surveys were commissioned in response to proposals to develop

wind farms in the Greater Wash and in other areas around the UK. The Greater Wash, as defined herein, encompasses the area shown in Figure 1 and stretches from Bridlington Bay (East Riding) in the north, to where the Norfolk coast meets the Suffolk coast in the south. It includes much of the proposed strategic area identified by the Crown Estates and the DTI as appropriate for offshore wind farm development (DTI 2002).

 

 
ISSN 0963 8901
 
Please cite as: Wilson L.J., O'Brien S.H., Webb A., Reid J.B., Cranswick P.A., Smith L. & Hall C, (2009), The numbers of inshore waterbirds using the Greater Wash during the non-breeding season; an assessment of the area's potential for qualification as a marine SPA, JNCC Report 393, ISSN 0963 8901