Where a site contains habitats that are suitable for breeding birds, wintering birds and/ or migrant birds, it may be necessary to carry out transect or vantage point surveys to determine the species using the site and the degree of usage.
Where bird nesting habitat such as trees/shrubs, hedgerows and scrub are to be removed in the breeding season (i.e. generally between late February to late August) it will be necessary for an ecologist to undertake a nesting bird survey immediately prior to vegetation clearance.
All birds are protected under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It is therefore generally unlawful to intentionally kill or injure a bird, damage or destroy an occupied nest or take or destroy eggs other than in exceptional prescribed circumstances. Additional protection is given to species listed on Schedule 1 of the Act insofar as it is unlawful to disturb them during nest building, at the nest or when caring for dependent young. Therefore development operations should take care to avoid the risk of harm to birds and their nests, especially during the nesting season (generally considered to be late Feb – late August).
Photo Credits: Bob Coyle