All wild birds (with only minor exceptions) and their nests whilst being built or containing eggs or dependent young are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Where nesting birds are present then work should be timed outside of the main nesting season (March – August) so as to avoid disturbance.
Barn owls (Tyto alba) are a specially protected as a Schedule 1 Part 1 species under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act (as amended), which gives protection to Barn owls at all times amongst other species listed within the Schedule such as black redstart. The main point in relation to nest sites is that it is offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb them at or near a nest containing eggs or young. Intentional damage or destruction to a barn owl nest whilst in use or being prepared for use, is criminal.
Wintering bird surveys are most often required for habitats that support populations of notable migratory species associated with designated sites during the winter when the UK provides shelter from extreme weather and a source of abundant food. There are a number of species that generally only visit the UK during the autumn and winter; some of which may include golden plover, pink-footed geese, whooper and Bewick’s Swan.
During Tyrer Ecological Consultants initial survey, the site will be assessed for its potential to support breeding and ground-nesting birds; any species observed during the survey will be noted to identify if they are a schedule 1 protected species or on the UK or Local Biodiversity Action Plans. This will be particularly useful information in relation to wind turbines, scrub or hedgerow removal, therefore, when nesting birds are located we consult with our clients and strive to ensure agreed mitigation measures for birds can be subtlety provided for a particular species within the proposed development.
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
Wintering bird surveys can be conducted from September until the end of March, and survey techniques depend on the habitat, however, usually involves an experienced ecologist walking transects around a site, usually once per month to assess species present and general behaviour; typically the survey area is divided into smaller areas and counts of birds are made for each of these on several occasions over the winter period.
Experience includes: Schedule 1 species photography at or near to the nest, illustrated talks and assistance with Barn owl monitoring and ringing scheme.
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchos)
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Tyrer Ecological Consultants
Formby Business Centre
42 Duke Street, Formby
Liverpool, L37 4AT