Why might you need a bird survey?

All wild birds, their nests and young are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) as amended, with the exception of some species listed in Schedule 2 of the Act. It is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take a wild bird; intentionally take, damage or destroy nests in use or being built; intentionally take, damage or destroy eggs. Some species, listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, are afforded additional protection from disturbance whilst they are at their nests. This includes, but is not limited to, barn owl and a number of birds of prey.

Breeding and non-breeding bird surveys of sites may also be required to fully assess bird assemblages using the site, giving consideration to Bird of Conservation Concern, National Priority and Local Biodiversity Action Plan species, as well as Annex 1 birds. Additional survey work may be recommended where a development has the potential to affect qualifying bird species of a Special Protection Area, a site protected by European Law for the bird populations it supports.

E3 have strong links with the renewable energy industry and have worked on large scale projects including both overhead lines and wind farms. This work requires vantage point survey to identify any key species and flightlines present within the site and may require long term monitoring.

Where buildings may be suitable to support breeding barn owl, a barn owl risk assessment may also be recommended, often to be carried out at the same time as a bat risk assessment.

When can bird surveys be carried out?

Breeding bird surveys: Typically April – June (earlier surveys can be required depending on species)

Non-breeding bird surveys: Typically November – March (earlier surveys can be required depending on species)

Nesting bird checks: March – August

What experience do E3 have?

E3 has a team of in-house ornithologists, including regional experts in the field, who have extensive experience of site survey and assessment. This includes working on projects where development may impact on the qualifying species of Special Protection Areas (sites protected under European law for the bird populations they support). The team has expertise in design of appropriate mitigation and enhancement for bird species which is tailored to be site specific, to ensure the maintenance of local bird populations. Our team includes members who hold a barn owl licence.