Bird Surveys

From pre-works nesting birds checks through full bird assemblage surveys, our specialist ornithologists can deliver your projects bird survey needs.

Why do I need a bird survey?

All birds nests in Scotland are offered protection from intentional or reckless destruction when occupied by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. For some species, this is extended to be no damage or harassment at all times (Schedule A1 of the Act) or reckless disturbance and harassment of the species (Schedule 1A of the Act). Furthermore, special protection is given to areas with an important assemblage of bird species, such as winter roosting and foraging areas, or areas with notable breeding bird populations.

As a result, the presence of any nesting bird, or bird population of note, is a material consideration for a Local Planning Authority when they are considering whether to permit a proposed plan or project. Often, they will ask for data to be collected on bird species in a number of ways to help inform the assessment of impacts on birds, and the design of mitigation and compensation for birds alongside a development.

What Bird Survey Services Does EP Ecology Offer?

Nesting Bird Checks

Where a development needs to take place during the nesting bird season (March to August inclusive), generally a pre-works check of the site to identify birds nests is completed. These surveys look for nesting activity in a vantage-point survey, and then comprises a physical search of suitable habitats for the presence of nests.

Any active nests identified are then marked off and an Ecological Clerk of Works is present to supervise works within the vicinity of the nest.

Our skilled ecology team can conduct nesting bird surveys and advise of the requirements to safeguard birds nests during development.

Breeding Bird Surveys

Breeding bird surveys are designed to identify the assemblage of a site, the number of breeding territories, and characterise the value of a site for nesting birds.

These are generally completed as walked transects across a site looking at bird activity and species in order to make a sound estimate of the site for birds.

Our skilled ornithology team can complete breeding bird surveys for any proposed project in any habitat across Scotland. Get in touch to enquire now.

Wintering Bird Surveys

These surveys are designed to identify the assemblage of birds occupying a site during the winter months. Generally, this looks to see whether the site is valuable for migratory species such as geese, swans, and waders.

Our team of specialist ornithologists are well versed in wintering bird survey methodologies and can assist your project with these surveys.

Schedule 1 Bird Surveys

Schedule 1 species are those species that are offered additional protection by the Wildlife & Countryside Act.

Usually, the presence of these species requires careful data collection under licence with mitigation and compensation measures embedded within the design and development of a plan or proposal.

Our skilled team of ornithologists hold Schedule 1 licences and are able to provide bespoke surveys to identify the presence of Schedule 1 birds, and propose mitigation and assessment of these species.