Why do I need a wetland bird survey?

The UK has many nationally and internationally significant wetlands that support large numbers of birds, particularly those over-wintering in the UK. Wetland birds are not only protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981 (and those similar acts applied in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), but are also protected by other wider legislation such as that covering Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds and areas recognised under the international Ramsar Conservation of Wetlands agreement as Wetlands of International Importance.

More information on general protection for birds can be found under ‘Protection for breeding birds’ here.

Golden Plovers in flight by J R Pender

Golden Plovers in flight by J R Pender

What does a wetland bird survey entail?

Wetland bird surveys are intended to record the typically large numbers of birds (generally waders, wildfowl and/or gulls) that are found within rivers, mudflats, sand bars, estuaries, coasts and other large inland waterbodies that are close to proposed large developments.

The numbers of birds present in the surveyed wetlands are recorded in ‘peak count’ summaries. These peak counts can then be assessed to establish the importance of a site (both nationally and internationally) to the wetland bird species present, many of which may be migratory, in order to establish whether a potential development would be suitable for the area and to mitigate (where possible) any potential affects of such a development.

Wetland bird surveys are typically carried out between the months of October and March at various set periods (at least monthly).

Ecologist Steve Docker surveying birds by Ecologist Martin Ledger

Ecologist Steve Docker surveying birds by Ecologist Martin Ledger

Why Baker Consultants?

Baker Consultants have significant in-house expertise in the full range of bird surveys. For general information on our bird survey expertise, visit our bird surveys page where you can listen to Carlos Abrahams, our Technical Director, discussing a typical bird survey, or read our pages on winter bird surveys and breeding bird surveys.

Contact a member of our team to discuss your project today