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2008, Dong Energy, Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm, Bird Abundance at New Location

2008, Dong Energy, Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm, Bird Abundance at New Location

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Birds

Description

This project examines the bird abundance at an area of the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm not previously surveyed due to a modification of the site towards the end of 2007. The proposed site was modified toward the end of 2007 in line with the Crown Estate rules which permit reconfiguration of up to 40% of lease site. This change has been made in response to concerns by the fishing industry relating to the potential for the inshore part of the original site to interfere with fishing activity. Authorities and Stakeholders were consulted about the new location and similar objections to those for the original site were made. Natural England and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), however, questioned whether the densities of birds at the northernmost part of the reconfigured site were similar to those indicated for the original site. The project used baseline survey data collected between 2004-2006 using a combination of boat-based and aircraft based survey platforms. The boat based survey was undertaken by the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies and the aerial surveys by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. The report determined that no major differences in bird abundance have been found between the original and the new site. This result is expected since both sites are almost identical. The differences observed do not point to an overall significant difference in the avifaunal characteristics of the two areas. In fact, the assemblages of birds within the two areas are very similar. Although the analysis of the counts undertaken within the two areas indicates a significantly higher number of Common Terns and Great Black-backed Gull within the reconfigured site, compared to the original site, the total numbers in both cases are still relatively low and the populations is not considered to be of high sensitivity. 

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2008, Dong Energy, Westermost Rough Offshore Windfarm - Bird abundance at new location