Articles filed under Impact on Birds from UK
Wind turbines have killed more birds of prey in Scotland this year, including a rare white tailed sea eagle, than deliberate poisoning or shooting, an official report has revealed. Four raptors were killed by turbines between January and June and a fifth bird, a golden eagle, was electrocuted by a power line. Over the same period, two birds were confirmed to have been poisoned or shot.
The Scottish Government has granted permission for hundreds of turbines in the Forth and Tay that could generate enough energy to power 1.4 million homes. But representatives from RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Seabird Centre said they were worried about the potential impact the structures would have on marine wildlife.
The male white-tailed, or sea, eagle, known officially as Red T, was released into the wild back in 2011 as part of the East Coast Sea Eagle project. However, a “mortality signal” was picked up for the bird in February and it was tracked to the discovery of a carcase buried under several inches of snow below a wind turbine in the Ochils.
A senior member of bird charity RSPB Scotland has called for more careful consideration of wind farm planning after it emerged a wind turbine was officially blamed for killing a rare sea eagle.
Plans for a £5.4bn offshore wind farm off the coast of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides have been dropped. Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) announced it would not proceed with the Argyll Array scheme following technical and environmental site studies.
Since 2010, a proportion of the harrier chicks fledged at Langholm have been fitted with satellite tags which monitor their progress. The row centres on the methodology used by Infinis' environmental experts to assess bird numbers, which came up with the figure of a solitary hen harrier flying over the proposed site.
There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, twitchers were understandably excited. A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.
"It was seen by birders fly straight into the turbine. It is ironic that after waiting so long for this bird to turn up in the UK, it was killed by a wind turbine and not a natural predator. "It is tragic. More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the turbine. It was killed instantly."
About 30 birdwatchers travelled to the island to see the unusual visitor, which has only been recorded five times in the UK since 1950. However, they then saw it die after colliding with the wind turbine.
I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry. My guess - and it will happen - is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.
Significantly therefore this new record would appear to prove the so called experts wrong, undermining the conclusions of the Environmental Assessments which had claimed the barn owl was at no risk from wind turbines in this country.
Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw QC, for the group, told the court yesterday: "One of the main legal contentions is how the Scottish Government has approached the Birds Directive and we say that is an error of law." Protesters are seeking to have the decision set aside and maintain that a public inquiry should have been held.
Investigations suggest that both birds were fatally injured as a result of mid-air collisions with the turbine blades. A spokesman for the organisation said the deaths were "tragic" and would have an impact on the local breeding success of an already vulnerable species which is "teetering on the brink of extinction".
"This is a tragic situation and is likely to have had an impact on the local breeding success of this vulnerable species. Sustained persecution has placed the hen harrier under significant pressure, with the raptor teetering on the brink of extinction in England.
The study found that on the whole gannets flew in the same direction and for the same distance but they vary significantly in the amount of time they spend searching for food which suggests that individual gannets do not depend on specific feeding sites.
But Dr Lucy Wright from the British Trust for Ornithology, who was not involved with the research, pointed out the limitations of the study. "It only measures the avoidance behaviour of one species at two neighbouring windfarms and we don't know how the results would differ for other species or at other sites."
Plans to build a wind farm on Lewis have been scrapped over fears golden eagles could be could be killed by turbine blades.
In a decision that could have implications for future developments, Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, gave the go ahead to Race Bank and Dudgeon wind farms off Norfolk. Environmentalists have fought the decision for three years because of the risk to sandwich terns, a protected species. )
The energy department said a decision on Docking Shoal had taken a long time because it was a "complex and sensitive case" but new planning legislation would up the process in the future. The agreement over the two other projects came as the government wrestles with whether to reduce short-term subsidies to wind farms both offshore and onshore.
Nowhere is this more true than off the coast of Norfolk, where Ed Davey has just made one of those life and death decisions that come with the high office of Energy Secretary. Shockingly, he has decreed that guillotining 94 shaggy-crested terns a year is acceptable, even if you have no plans to put them in a sandwich.