For free advice call 02380 261065

Bird Surveys

The ECOSA team includes specialist ornithologists who are called upon to conduct a wide range of surveys.

Among the established and recognised bird survey techniques used by ECOSA are:

  • Common Bird Census (CBC);
  • Vantage Point (VP) count methods for Collision Risk Analysis (CRA);
  • Breeding bird surveys;
  • Wintering bird surveys;
  • Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS); and
  • Rare birds surveys.

Seasonal surveys

The most frequently conducted surveys are breeding bird surveys which need to be carried out between March and June, and wintering bird surveys between October and March.

Collision Risk Analysis for wind energy developments

Among our services for the renewables sector, ECOSA is an established provider of the Collision Risk Analyses required for both onshore and offshore installations. The analyses are based on Vantage Point surveys, conducted according to Scottish National Heritage guidance. These surveys must be conducted by experienced ornithological surveyors with particular skills not just in identifying birds at distance, but also in the assessment of flight characteristics like altitude and range.

Offshore and coastal surveys

Other assessment work by ECOSA ornithologists has included mapping the distribution of breeding waders on the Isle of Sheppey and numerous intertidal bird surveys for waders and wildfowl in association with coastal developments.

Of particular relevance for offshore developments, typically renewable energy projects, are our ornithologists qualified and experienced in European Seabirds at Sea (ESAS) methodologies; as well as our trained Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs).

Rare birds surveys

We have also carried out more species-specific surveys when the habitat present, or the geographic location of a site, may indicate the presence of a particularly rare bird. For example, we have carried out species-specific nightjar, Dartford warbler, lapwing and black redstart surveys, all of which require more specialised and expert knowledge of the particular species' ecology.

Conditions of planning consents

Often planning consents will stipulate a check for any breeding birds immediately prior to the destruction of habitat that is suitable to accommodate them, whether that be a tree, hedgerow or building.

Planning survey work into your project

Results of bird surveys are analysed to provide recommendations and mitigation to minimise impacts on birds and on project timescales. It is essential that where necessary bird surveys are considered early on in the lifespan of a project given the timing constraints associated with many survey techniques for particular species.

Our experience

Our bird survey experience includes numerous surveys for proposed development sites including port developments, on-shore and off-shore wind farms, roads, housing schemes, hospitals and schools.

Please call 02380 261065 for the benefit of our free advice on appropriate bird survey schemes; or email