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Seabird flight height data collection at an offshore wind farm: final report

Understanding seabird flight heights and behaviour in and around operational offshore wind farms is a priority knowledge gap. Using aircraft mounted LiDAR technology, this study collected data on seabird flight height and shows the potential for using it in offshore windfarm impact assessments.


Appendix III. Raw species counts and distribution

Survey 1

A total of 1,194 birds were recorded in flight in the combined Survey Area 1 and Survey Area 2 during the June survey. The most abundant species recorded was guillemot (n=763), followed by kittiwake (n=260), fulmar (n=53), gannet (n=45), herring gull (n=26), razorbill (n=32), guillemot / razorbill (n=8), great black-backed gull (n=2), great skua (n=3), auk species (n=1), auk / shearwater species (n=1) and small gull species (n=1). Figure III.1 shows the distribution of all birds recorded in flight in June 2021.

Table III.1 Raw counts of bird species recorded in flight during the June 2021 survey.

Species

Total

Fulmar

53

Gannet

46

Great Skua

3

Kittiwake

260

Small Gull Species

1

Herring Gull

26

Great Black-backed Gull

2

Guillemot

763

Guillemot / Razorbill

8

Razorbill

32

Auk / Shearwater species

1

Auk Species

1

Total Birds

1,194

Figure III.1 Distribution of flying bird observations in the June 2021 survey.

A map showing the two survey areas, Moray East, Beatrice, and SPAs overlaid with species observations. There is overlap between the northwest of the western survey area and the SPA. The species observations are slightly denser in the areas closer to shore.

Survey 2

A total of 1,175 birds were recorded in flight in the combined Survey Area 1 and Survey Area 2 during the July survey. The most abundant species recorded was guillemot (n=594), followed by kittiwake (n=437), fulmar (n=71), guillemot / razorbill (n=21), herring gull (n=21), gannet (n=18), great skua (n=6), great black-backed gull (n=3), Manx shearwater (n=1), puffin (n=1) and unidentified bird species (n=1). Figure III.2Figure III.2 Distribution of flying bird observations in the July 2021 survey. shows the distribution of all birds recorded in flight in July 2021.

Table III - 2 Raw counts of bird species recorded in flight during the July 2021 survey.

Species

Total

Fulmar

71

Manx shearwater

1

Gannet

18

Great Skua

6

Kittiwake

437

Herring Gull

21

Great Black-backed Gull

3

Guillemot

594

Guillemot / Razorbill

21

Puffin

1

Unidentified bird species

1

Total Birds

1,175

Figure III.2 Distribution of flying bird observations in the July 2021 survey.

A map showing the two survey areas, Moray East, Beatrice, and SPAs overlaid with species observations. There is overlap between the northwest of the western survey area and the SPA. The species observations are more randomly spread than in figure III.1

Contact

Email: REEAadmin@gov.scot

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