The Round 2 wind farm Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)1 identified a significant baseline data gap for Round 2 wind farm areas on the distribution and main flight paths of waterbirds including migratory, feeding/roosting patterns and their behavioural response to wind farms. Following a review of the data collected it was clear that there were gaps in the understanding of the distribution of waterbirds within each of the three strategic offshore wind farm areas: Thames, East Irish Sea and Greater Wash. The data is required by developers in order for them undertake a valid Environmental Impact Assessment and are also required in order to identify boundaries for potential Special Protection Areas (SPA) under the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC). In order to rectify the data gap it was decided to fulfil these inter-related needs as a single coherent aerial survey project with support from the offshore wind farm industry, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), English Nature (EN), Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Department of Trade and Industry. In July 2004 a panel of experts from JNCC, EN, CCW, DEFRA and DTI met to identify the areas of priority and to draw up an aerial bird survey programme for 2004 and 2005 that covered the three strategic areas, plus adjoining areas identified as potentially important for birds. The conclusions reached at the meeting were circulated to industry and it was agreed to proceed with a joint approach.
200405 Final Report