Professional ecological and arboricultural services applying local knowledge and experience
Tel: 01621 862986
Fax: 01621 862990
E-mail: eecos@essexwt.org.uk
Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ

Breeding and wintering bird surveys

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The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) makes it an offence, amongst other things, to: i) kill or injure any wild bird; ii) take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built; iii) take or destroy the egg of any wild bird; iv) disturb any bird species included in Schedule 1 of the Act while it is building a nest, or is in, on or near any nest containing eggs or young; v) disturb the dependent young of any bird included in Schedule 1.

As well as receiving this legal protection, bird populations are often used to justify the designation of nationally or internationally important wetland sites, such as reservoirs and estuaries.

It may be necessary to carry out a survey of bird populations for the following reasons:

  • To identify the presence of nesting birds on a development site prior to clearance work;
  • To assess the impacts of a development scheme on breeding or wintering bird assemblages, as part of an EIA or other planning application;
  • As part of an Appropriate Assessment for a scheme on or adjacent to a nationally or internationally designated sites (i.e. SSSI, SPA, SAC, Ramsar) or to determine the need for one;
  • As an indication of the success of habitat management work.

EECOS is able to apply a wide range of bird survey methodologies including:

  • Common Bird Census – territory mapping to give an accurate assessment of the diversity and abundance of nesting birds on a defined site;
  • Breeding Bird Survey – based on a repeated route around a site to record the range of bird species present and to record evidence of breeding;
  • Low tide counts – to record the diversity and numbers of birds using an intertidal habitat. These surveys are usually repeated monthly during the winter and may involve counting at different stages in the tidal cycle;
  • High tide counts – to determine the use of sites in intertidal areas by roosting waterfowl;
  • Colony counts – repeated nest counts for species nesting colonially, e.g. Sand Martin, Grey Heron, Little Tern.

Each survey will be accompanied by a full written report that presents the results and analyses them in an authoritative way based on extensive knowledge of the local and national context.

Each survey will be accompanied by a full written report that presents the results and analyses them in an authoritative way based on extensive knowledge of the local and national context.

If you require a quote please send an email to us at eecos@essexwt.org.uk including a brief description of what is proposed, timescales, site plans and any correspondence received from the Local Planning Authority. Alternatively you can contact us in the office on 01621 862986.