Report 555
An assessment of the numbers and distributions of wintering waterbirds using Bae Ceredigion/Cardigan Bay area of search
(2015)
Susan H. O’Brien, Ilka Win, Chris Bingham, Linda J. Wilson & James B. Reid
Seven aerial surveys were carried out in the north-east of Bae Ceredigion/Cardigan Bay over four winters during 2000/01 to 2003/04. Observers recorded all divers, seaduck and grebes seen on both sides of the low-flying aircraft and allocated them to distance bands.
 

Introduction


JNCC is in the process of identifying important concentrations of seabirds in the marine environment (Kober et al 2010) and important feeding areas for breeding red-throated divers.  Additionally, JNCC is leading work on behalf of the SNCBs to identify important foraging areas for breeding terns and inshore areas used by aggregations of seaduck, divers and grebes, outwith the breeding season, around the UK.
 
The UK is of outstanding international importance for waterbirds, because it lies on some of the major flyways for Arctic-nesting species.  A large number of waterbirds are attracted to inshore areas of the UK due to the relatively mild climate and extensive estuarine areas.  The UK holds internationally important numbers of wintering common scoter, as well as being important for divers, grebes and other seaduck species.
 
In 2000, 46 initial areas of search around the UK were selected for further investigation as evidence suggested they had the potential to hold important numbers of divers, seaduck and grebes outwith the breeding season (Reid 2004). Cardigan Bay was one of the areas of search potentially hosting a significant number of red-throated divers.

This technical report presents an initial analysis, which will feed into the UK’s initiative looking at important aggregations for seaducks divers and grebes.  The aim of this report is to determine whether the inshore areas of Bae Ceredigion/ Cardigan Bay, or a part thereof, meet UK SPA Selection Guidelines in respect of the numbers of inshore waterbirds outwith the breeding season (Stroud et al 2001).
 
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ISSN 0963-8901
 
Please cite as: Susan H. O’Brien, Ilka Win, Chris Bingham, Linda J. Wilson & James B. Reid, (2015), An assessment of the numbers and distributions of wintering waterbirds using Bae Ceredigion/Cardigan Bay area of search, JNCC Report 555, ISSN 0963-8901