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Project Report

Bird Studies to Support Orkney Community Wind Energy Projects

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Client: Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company
Date: 2007
Location: Scotland (UK)

Aquatera was commissioned by the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC) to assess the impacts of single-turbine community wind projects on bird interests for five of eight Development Trusts/Groups in Orkney. The proposed sites were in Rousay, Eday, Shapinsay, South Ronaldsay and Stromness.

For each site, high sensitivity species were identified and where appropriate, field surveys were undertaken to gather novel flightline data to establish the use of each site by sensitive species.

During the 2007 breeding season, vantage point flightline surveys were carried out by Aquatera at the Rousay site. Field surveys by local specialists were co-ordinated by Aquatera for the Shapinsay and Eday sites. Target species varied between sites but included Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata); Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus); Merlin (Falco columbarius); Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus); Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus); Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus) and Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria).

Tasks undertaken by Aquatera included:

  • Desk-based studies for all five sites
  • Collation of existing breeding records
  • Co-ordination of field survey for Rousay, Shapinsay and Eday
  • Collision risk analysis for Rousay and Eday data
  • Assessment of significance of disturbance, habitat loss and collision risk impacts for Eday and Rousay
  • Report production
 
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