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Location United Kingdom, South East
Central coordinates 0o 57.57' East  51o 40.33' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 22,856 ha
Altitude 0 - 6m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A large complex of estuaries and sand-silt flats, including the Blackwater, Crouch, Colne and Dengie Estuaries. Foulness and Maplin Sands is one of the three largest continuous sand-silt flats in Britain. The IBA is important for wintering and passage waders and wildfowl and for breeding terns and is also nationally important for breeding Panurus biarmicus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  2001-2006  687 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla passage  2001-2006  8,985 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla winter  2001-2006  17,711 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  4,066 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope winter  2001-2006  14,182 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca passage  2001-2006  4,159 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  2001-2006  6,694 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus passage  2001-2006  17,650 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus winter  2001-2006  22,502 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  2001-2006  804 individuals  good  B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  2001-2006  865 individuals  good  B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria passage  2001-2006  10,068 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  22,320 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola passage  2001-2006  7,962 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola winter  2001-2006  10,209 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula winter  2001-2006  655 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula passage  2001-2006  1,302 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  6,706 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  9,583 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus breeding  1993  895 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  1,758 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  3,390 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  2001-2006  5,653 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  2001-2006  8,744 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  4,520 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  3,257 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres passage  2001-2006  764 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus passage  2001-2006  12,558 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  40,717 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  27,023 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  32,935 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Ruff Philomachus pugnax passage  2001-2006  45 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Ruff Philomachus pugnax winter  2001-2006  53 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  2000  6 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000-2002  256 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  136 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sterna albifrons breeding  1999-2000  137 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  111,888 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  216,968 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Blackwater Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 4,403 protected area contained by site 4,397  
Blackwater Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 4,395 protected area contained by site 4,395  
Blackwater Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 4) Birds Directive 4,395 protected area contained by site 4,395  
Colne Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 2,986 protected area contained by site 2,969  
Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) Birds Directive 2,701 protected area contained by site 2,701  
Colne Estuary (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 2) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 2,701 protected area contained by site 2,701  
Crouch & Roach Estuaries (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 3) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,736 protected area contained by site 1,736  
Crouch and Roach Estuaries Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,746 protected area contained by site 1,736  
Crouch and Roach Estuaries (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 3) Birds Directive 1,736 protected area contained by site 1,736  
Dengie National Nature Reserve 2,547 protected area contained by site 2,544  
Dengie Site of Special Scientific Interest 3,132 protected area contained by site 3,126  
Dengie (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 1) Birds Directive 3,127 protected area contained by site 3,127  
Dengie (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 1) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,127 protected area contained by site 3,127  
Foulness Site of Special Scientific Interest 10,946 protected area contained by site 10,927  
Foulness (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 5) Birds Directive 10,931 protected area contained by site 10,931  
Foulness (Mid-Essex Coast Phase 5) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 10,933 protected area contained by site 10,933  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Shingle or stony beaches; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
military -
nature conservation and research -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mid-Essex Coast. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/07/2014

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