Ornithological Surveys

©John Oxland

Moorland Bird Survey

This survey provides an estimation of the number and range of all moorland bird species present at an upland site.  It is typically carried out by two visits in May and June at which a set route is walked using appropriate vantage points and with particular attention to streams, ponds and other water-bodies. Any birds exhibiting breeding behaviour such as displaying, nesting, alarm calling, carrying food, territorial disputes or nests/eggs/young seen are mapped (GIS) and behaviour noted. Non-breeding and over-flying birds are also noted.

Breeding Raptor Surveys

These are done to determine the population of raptor species and are typically carried out over an area extending 2km beyond the area of search (e.g. windfarm footprint).  Three hour searches are made from vantage points and particular attention paid to suitable breeding sites for particular species, e.g. cliff faces for peregrine.

Plantation Forestry Surveys

Some species are associated with plantation forestry. This habitat is searched by walking transects through planted areas that cross examples of different age planting.

Nocturnal Surveys

Undertaken in June to July to assess the populations of nocturnal species such as nightjar and owls in suitable habitat.

Winter Bird Surveys

Carried out from October to March to determine the usage of a site by overwintering species. Largely done by vantage point watches.

Common Bird Census

A simple technique for recording the main bird species present at a site. This method was devised for national scale recording and is not suitable for most EIA.

Single Species Surveys

Methods for the assessment of populations of particular species depend largely of the niche requirements of the species in question. Recognised methods exist for most protected species.