Dotterel (Eurasian Dotterel)
Distribution Britain 99 (+115%) Ireland 0
Numbers breeding: Britain 900 Ireland 0
European status: 25,000 (4% in Britain and Ireland =4)
British population trend: more still being found
How likely are you to record it? 3 squares (6.7%) Ranked 171=
These are birds of the High Tops and not easy to survey. About 150 years ago there may have been over 50 pairs in England, mainly the Lake District, but these dwindled and may have died out at the turn of the century only to return a few years later in small numbers. The Highland population also went through a very bad period: birds were killed for gourmet food and for their feathers (fly-tying). Breeding resumed in South-west Scotland in 1967 and in North Wales in 1969. Between 60 and 100 pairs were estimated for the first Atlas. Improved survey techniques and more birds, by the time of the second Atlas, provided an estimate of 950 pairs. Birds (not proved to breed) were recorded in North Wales and there was a breeding record in Ireland (Mayo 1975). Recent RBBP records indicate irregular breeding in England (and very irregular in Wales); however the core area seems to have a steady and thriving population. Global warming may squeeze this species out in the future: the only cloud on the horizon.
Galbraith, H. et al. 1993 Bird Study: 40, 161-169.
Strowger, J. 1998 Bird Study: 45, 85-91.
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead