Tay Bay is known to support large numbers of inshore waterbirds over the winter period. The intertidal areas of the Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary are included within an existing terrestrial Special Protection Area (SPA), while the inshore areas of the Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary comprise a marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The area is also designated as a Ramsar site under the International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as habitat for waterfowl. However, the current SPA and Ramsar site do not extend beyond the low water mark.
This report describes analyses of data from boat and aerial surveys of inshore waterbirds conducted in the Tay Bay area. The numbers of red-throated diver (Gavia stellata), common eider (Somateria mollissima), common scoter (Melanitta nigra), velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca), long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator), and little gulls (Larus minutus) using the waters of Tay Bay were analysed and assessed against the appropriate Stage 1 guideline thresholds, to determine whether the area or part of it might meet the site selection requirements under Stage 1 of the UK Site Selection Guidelines, as an SPA under the EU Birds Directive (79/409/EEC). Species distributions using the raw count data are presented here; detailed spatial analyses of bird distributions to define boundary location options for any potential SPA may be conducted in the future.
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