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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 2o 30.72' West  59o 15.46' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 2,089 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A low-lying rocky coastline interspersed with sandy bays. Sand-dune and machair habitats support species-rich plant communities. The IBA is important for both wintering and breeding waders, and also breeding Sterna paradisaea and wintering Plectrophenax nivalis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  2007  838 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  1994  135 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium very unfavourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 710 85 individuals 12 very unfavourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 870 449 individuals 52 unfavourable
Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone 1270 838 individuals 66 unfavourable
Calidris maritima Purple Sandpiper 780 447 individuals 58 unfavourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 135 26 breeding pairs 20 very unfavourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  Unknown  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Central Sanday Site of Special Scientific Interest 655 protected area contained by site 655  
East Sanday Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,607 protected area overlaps with site 996  
East Sanday Coast Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,515 protected area contained by site 1,515  
Northwall Site of Special Scientific Interest 251 protected area overlaps with site 221  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Machair  -
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Shingle or stony beaches  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 5%
not utilised 95%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: East Sanday. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife