Mar 9, 2016

South Solway Waterbird Roost Survey

A study funded by Natural England and executed by Solway Firth Partnership with the help of RSPB Mersehead, the BTO’s Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) and the Cumbria Biodiversity Centre, mapped the locations and size of important high tide roost sites along the Cumbrian shore of the Solway for the first time.



Waterbirds are an integrated part of the global ecosystem. Many waterbirds migrate long distances, often in large numbers. This makes them visible and charismatic. With 109,297 individual birds, the Solway Firth Estuary is among the ten most important habitats for non-breeding waterbirds across the UK.


While the Solway increasingly receives attention for its commercial value, e.g. for energy production and tourism development, academic research and cross-country agreements such as the International Waterbird Consensus stress the significance of coastal habitats. It is thus absolutely crucial to identify and assess the Solway’s avian hotspots.


The study, employing mapped data collated with the help of WeBS volunteers, identifies 43 major roost sites along the Solway south shore. The section between Moricambe (Newton Arlosh) and Calvo Marsh is ranked highest by the overall number of individual birds while Grune Point has the highest species diversity. The biggest Oystercatcher roost is located between Meolo and Mawbray, the largest roost of Pink-footed Geese can be found between Moricambe (Newton Arlosh) and Calvo Marsh.


A copy of the report can be downloaded here. A GIS layer displaying all roost sites is available upon request:

Solway Firth Partnership