Library filed under Impact on Birds from UK
A rare bird has been killed after getting caught in the blade of a wind turbine in Stirlingshire. The red kite, one of the rarest birds in the UK, was discovered at the Braes of Doune wind farm near Stirling. Wind farm owner Airtricity said the death had been "unfortunate" and added that it had carried out a risk assessment on the red kite population. This, it said, was done in consultation with other agencies such as the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Golden eagles are gravely threatened by a £200m wind farm scheme proposed for the Hebridean island of Lewis, campaigners have warned. Three of the predatory birds a year could be killed in collisions with turbine blades - the highest mortality from any wind power project in the UK. The figures come from the developer's own environmental statement.
Concern about dangers to Britain's biggest birds of prey from windfarms came as 15 White-tailed Eagle chicks were flown to Scotland for a new comeback scheme. The youngsters, when able to fly, will be released in about two months in the first phase of a new project to restore this species to eastern Scotland where it was wiped out by human persecution almost 200 years ago. Now they [up to 80 more to be released over the next four years] and the new population in the Hebridean islands following a similar, post-1970s re-introduction project will face a new hazard - if they happen to move into areas well stocked with wind turbines.
A controversial application for a 14 turbine windfarm in a scenic area of Argyll frequented by young golden eagles will be debated by planners this summer. A proposal by npower renewables to erect a windfarm at Allt Dearg, on moorland south of Lochgilphead overlooking Loch Fyne, was lodged with Argyll and Bute Council a year ago. A host of objections on various grounds came in, including visual impact and the potential adverse impact of the windfarm on golden eagles and other local rare bird species.
New Scientist's report on the large number of bats succumbing to wind turbines reinforces a common misperception - that the blades move slowly (12 May, p4). It is true that the blades of older, small wind turbines rotated rapidly and so would appear to a bird or bat as a semi-solid disc to be avoided. Modern 2-megawatt wind turbines make an apparently lazy 10 to 20 revolutions per minute, but the blades are around 40 metres long. Simple geometry shows that the blade tips travel at between 150 and 300 kilometres per hour. For a bird or bat in misty weather, these aircraft-sized blades appear from nowhere at intervals of between 2 and 4 seconds, a scenario that even a fighter pilot would find alarming.
Wind turbines in Barrow's Tesco car park are being blamed for claiming the lives of seagulls. Kamikaze birds have been coming off second best when clashing with the giant rotating blades of the eco-friendly turbines. The Evening Mail's Cornwallis page recently reported the bodies of three dead gulls were found at the foot of one of the towers two weeks ago. Now a Walney man, who did not wish to be named, has told of his surprise after a trip to buy lunch left him and his partner spitting feathers. After stepping out of their car the pair were splattered with freshly killed seagull remains after another hapless bird flew to its death.
Leading ornithologists claimed yesterday that Highland planners had based their approval for a number of windfarms on inadequate environmental data. The warning came from RSPB Scotland which is gravely concerned that, in many cases, insufficient time is allowed to gauge flight paths and breeding patterns of birds as part of essential environmental impact assessments (EIAs).
A Threat to an endangered species of goose brought a windfarm plan crashing to the ground yesterday. The development in Argyll yesterday became one of the first in Britain to be turned down solely because it was claimed it would break European wildlife protection laws. More than 600 letters of objection from all over the world were lodged against Eurus Energy UK's proposal to erect a seven-turbine windfarm at Largie, near Tayinloan, in Kintyre, amid fears that it would pose a threat to protected Greenland white-fronted geese who migrate to the area in winter. The application was turned down by councillors after they received legal advice that to pass it would be contravening a European Court ruling.
The RSPB has re-affirmed its opposition to plans for an 18 turbine Skye windfarm close to the fragile nesting areas of golden eagles. It has informed Highland Council that, unlike Scottish Natural Heritage, it is not satisfied that Amec’s revised environmental impact assessment addresses the potential threat to the species and other protected raptors. It has also reminded planning chiefs that siting a windpark in the area - Edinbane, in the north of the island - would breach its own green energy guidelines because the area is not favoured for such development.
Anti windfarm campaigners on Skye last night threatened legal action in a bid to ensure a long-opposed development on the island would never happen. Opponents of Amec’s Edinbane proposal stated their intent shortly after Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) withdrew its objection to a reduced 18-turbine project. That followed consideration of a fresh consultants’ estimate, commissioned by the developers, of the likely impact on golden eagles within the protected area surrounding the site.
Scottish Natural Heritage yesterday confirmed its objection to a huge wind farm planned for Lewis. SNH board members reiterated their previous view that land covered by special protection area status might be harmed by the development. They also said there was insufficient information to determine the potential impact on birds. Last week, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) voted 18-8 in favour of the plan by Lewis Wind Power, subject to 50 conditions, including the removal of five of the proposed 181 turbines. Because of the scale of the 651-megawatt project, a final decision rests with the Scottish Executive. Meanwhile, SNH has withdrawn its objection to a proposed wind farm at Edinbane on Skye. It follows a public consultation by Highland Council on the latest submission from the developer AMEC, which included an appraisal of the likely effect on golden eagles.
Opponents of a huge wind farm planned for the Western Isles have vowed to continue to fight the development after it was approved by councillors. Western Isles Council voted 18 to eight on Thursday in favour of the plan by Lewis Wind Power, subject to 50 conditions, including the removal of five of the 181 turbines earmarked for an area of moorland in north Lewis. Because of the scale of the 651-megawatt project, a final decision rests with the Scottish Executive, although it is unlikely to come before the Scottish elections. RSPB Scotland and some islanders are against the wind farm, and next week the board of Scottish Natural Heritage is expected to reiterate its objection. Anne McCall, RSPB Scotland’s head of planning and development, said: “We have not given up hope, quite the contrary.” RSPB has said the wind farm will have a “devastating impact” on a 6,000-hectare area.
The Uk Government could face a multimillion-pound fine if Scottish ministers allow plans for a massive windfarm on the Western Isles to go ahead, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds warned yesterday. It believes the Lewis Wind Power application for 181 turbines was made without a proper environmental impact assessment. That, it says, would contravene the European Habitats Directive.
Environmental Conservation 34 (1): 1-11 © 2007 Foundation for Environmental Conservation, Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK Date submitted: 3 May 2006 Date accepted: 5 December 2006 First published online: 14 February 2007
A rare bird will have almost no chance of being struck by the moving blades of proposed wind turbines, according to an expert. The issue of bird collisions with turbines was raised on day 19 of the Humberhead Levels Windfarm inquiry.Stewart Lowther, of Hyder Consulting, was cross-examined about the risk to the birds. In July 2005, English Nature raised concerns there may be a significant effect from the two proposed windfarms in Thorne and Keadby Grange on the nightjar population.
The debate intensified yesterday as the deadline passed for responses to the proposal to build 181 wind turbines on the island of Lewis. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) will almost certainly recommend approval but it will be up to ministers to take the final decision and they will not do so until after the Scottish parliamentary elections in May.
Bats and garden birds are being injured and killed in collisions with domestic wind turbines attached to people’s homes, an environmentalist has warned. John Stoneman, of Cambridgeshire Environmental and Wildlife Protection (CEWP) Welney, has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of the supposed energy saving turbines, which he claims in fact have very little benefit. Mr Stoneman said the garden was the only sanctuary and refuge available for many diminishing species and he was urging manufacturers of mini turbines to carry out environmental-impact studies. He said: “Bats are already a heavily protected species but they are being put in danger by domestic turbines.
The row over plans to build the world’s biggest onshore wind farm on Lewis intensified yesterday as a leading wildlife group claimed the job boost predictions made by the developer were “misleading and hugely optimistic”. The accusations were levelled against the Lewis Wind Power (LWP) scheme by RSPB Scotland, which has been campaigning to stop the massive renewable energy scheme from going ahead.
A shocked busload of nuclear workers witnessed the death of a buzzard after it flew into one of the wind turbines at Forss. The demise of the adult buzzard was seen on Wednesday by a group of workers travelling between New Park business park at Forss and the neighbouring site at Dounreay at lunchtime on Wednesday. The financial administrator, Terry Luckock, reported the death to the RSPB. She said: “It was a real shame to see such a beautiful bird killed in this way. It did not stand a chance given that it collided with a moving, nine-tonne blade.” Ms Luckock, 41, from Halkirk, does not believe it was an isolated occurrence.
THE number of golden eagles in Scotland has been kept down by new developments that have encroached on their territories. Forestry plantations have had a much bigger effect on Scotland's iconic bird of prey than previously thought, reducing its food supply by covering open ground and lowering its ability to produce offspring, researchers say. They now warn that similar effects can be expected from new wind farms if they are allowed to proceed in golden eagle ranges.