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2011, ESS Ecology, Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, Vantage Point Bird Surveys

2011, ESS Ecology, Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, Vantage Point Bird Surveys

Topic categories:


Last series update:

May 2021

MEDIN approved



Collection date:

May 2011 - Jul 2011


Greater Gabbard

Publication date:

May 2021




ESS Ecology




In June 2011 a programme of observational vantage point (VP) surveys were undertaken within an operational section of the GGOWF. An approach was designed to monitor actual flight activity for lesser blackbacked gull in particular, within and in proximity to the air volumes swept by the operational turbines. 
VP watches are a means of quantifying flight activity of bird species that take place within and in proximity to the rotor swept area of a wind farm, with the principal aim of determining the likely collision risk after turbines have become operational. The series of field observations in June and July 2011 had the following objectives:
- Confirm (to the extent possible) the actual rate of lesser blackbacked gull collisions within an operational wind farm;
- Quantify and characterise the flight activity of lesser blackbacked gulls within the rotor swept area of an operational wind farm; and
- Describe any apparent avoidance and near-blade evasive behaviours to provide qualitative information to inform the choice of gull near-blade “micro” avoidance rate (manifest as evasive flight manoeuvres), and extent of macro-avoidance (which will of necessity reduce rotor passage and collision rates), and to inform the EIA.
During each watch, the 180 degree arc area in view was scanned until a target species is detected: at which point it is followed until it ceases flying, is lost from view, or reaches a distance of over 2km from the observer.