Eden Estuary, Tentsmuir Point and Abertay Sands

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A fairly small estuary situated just north of St Andrews that supports a wide diversity of habitats. The site includes extensive sandflats at the mouth of the estuary, and mudflats that support eel-grass Zostera. Saltmarsh, wetland and sand-dune habitats also occur.

First identified in 1989. Descriptive text and bird data refer to the 2000 Inventory.

Key biodiversity
The IBA supports large numbers of wintering waders and wildfowl, holding 35,100 wintering waterbirds on a regular basis. The site is also nationally important for wintering Tadorna tadorna (1,190 birds, 2%), Somateria mollissima (15,000 birds, 1992, 19%), Melanitta nigra (1,630 birds, 4%), Mergus serrator (115 birds, 1%), Haematopus ostralegus (4,210 birds, 1%), Pluvialis squatarola (940 birds, 2%), Limosa limosa (155 birds, 2%) and Tringa totanus (1,370 birds, 1%), and for passage Pluvialis squatarola (735 birds, 2%), Limosa limosa (130 birds, 2%) and Tringa totanus (1,320 birds, 1%). Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Threats include coastal erosion, and disturbance from the adjacent airport and from wildfowling. SNH has a management plan for Tentsmuir Point, and a management plan exists for the Eden estuary Local Nature Reserve.

Protected areas
National Partial International PartialIBA partly or wholly overlaps with the following national designated areas. Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Barry Links, Earlshall Muir, Eden Estuary, Morton Lochs, Tayport - Tentsmuir Coast. Overlaps with international designated areas: IBA overlaps with Special Protection Area (Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Eden Estuary, Tentsmuir Point and Abertay Sands. Downloaded from on 13/08/2022.