Construction, large-scale construction traffic and clear-felling can result in the disturbance of birds during the construction phase of an energy project. This can be particularly problematic for species like the Hen Harrier, Merlin, Curlew, Snipe and Red Grouse. Once an energy development is up and running, operation can also potentially disturb bird populations and cause them to be displaced. In response, a signature service at INIS Ecology is the ecological work we do with birds where we are recognised and trusted across Ireland and the United Kingdom for our work. We have placed great emphasis on developing our own internal bird survey unit (Bird Survey Ireland) which assesses the potential impacts of large scale development on bird populations specifically in the energy sector.

Some of the research and survey services we provide are:

  • Vantage Point (VP) surveys – recording activity patterns, flight lines and heights of ‘target species’ and following standard methods such as Scottish National Heritage (SNH, 2014);
  • Walkover breeding bird survey work based on Countryside Bird Survey (CBS) methods;
  • Standard moorland bird survey techniques based on Brown and Shepherd (1993) methods;
  • Point counts of singing and calling birds in a range of habitat types;
  • Red Grouse surveys including tape lure surveys;
  • Assessment of bird populations at sea via boat and land-based survey;
  • Specific surveys for Annex 1 (Birds Directive) species such as Hen Harrier, Short-Eared Owl and Merlin;
  • Winter bird surveys to map the distribution of waterfowl (such as swans and Golden Plover) and establish their habitat preferences;
  • Counts and mapping of non-breeding waterfowl distribution in wetland environments such as estuaries, the open coast and on freshwater pools;
  • Special surveys to establish numbers of communally roosting non-breeding raptors and waterfowl.

Bird Survey Works and Your Project

Our team comprises natural birders who are highly-skilled in identifying bird behaviour. This allows us to accurately design and implement survey effort, carry out data analysis, assess impacts and provide advice on mitigation, legislative compliance, and habitat design/management for birds. This combined capability gives us the ability to identify the ecological constraints that your site may have and how to deal with them, to secure planning permission.

Our in-house ornithologists have established long-term working relationships with an impressive team of regionally-based specialist consultants – with whom they work hand-in-hand. This framework of excellence that spans the country means we can undertake bird survey work anywhere in Ireland to a high technical standard. We are able to swiftly mobilise large teams of skilled field workers in a cost-effective way.

We carry out avian surveys in support of a broad range of applications such as Grid Infrastructure, Energy Projects, Environmental Impact Statements, Appropriate Assessments (Article 6(3) of the EU Habitats Directive) and Environmental Monitoring Programmes.