Bird surveys are required where good quality bird habitats will be adversely impacted by a development project or where the proposed scheme could indirectly impact on a nature conservation site that has been designated for birds, such as a Special Protection Area or Ramsar. Such sites may be some distance from the proposed development site.
Where areas of good quality bird nesting habitats are to be lost, breeding bird surveys are often required to determine which species of birds use the area and in what numbers. Breeding bird surveys are generally conducted between March and June and require at least three survey visits that are spread across the survey season.
Species specific bird surveys may also be required if birds that are listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act or other sensitive species, such as peregrine, barn owl, nightjar or black redstart, could be present.
Non-breeding or wintering bird surveys can be conducted between September and March and normally require monthly visits to the site and surrounding land to map the locations of flocks of feeding birds, roosting sites and key flight lines.