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Ageing a sanderling

Bird Survey and Ornithological Advice

BSG Ecology has a specialist ornithological team, with expertise spread across the practice.  Our ornithologists have complementary backgrounds, including high profile academic research, management of bird reserves (including Special Protection Areas), survey and monitoring of farmland, moorland and cliff nesting birds and offshore bird survey.  This combined capability sets BSG Ecology apart from many other consultancies, and gives us an excellent strategic overview of bird survey, data interpretation and assessment requirements.

Bird Survey Capability

Our experienced team of in-house ornithologists are complemented by numerous regionally-based specialist sub-consultants, with whom we have long-standing relationships.  This capacity and capability allows us to undertake bird survey work anywhere in the UK to a high technical standard and enables us to pull together large teams of skilled field workers in a cost-effective manner.

We have experience of a wide range of survey techniques and our ornithological field services include:

  • Vantage-point (VP) surveys to record flight lines
  • Breeding and wintering bird surveys in a range of habitats including:
    • Farmland, upland moorland and lowland heath
    • Coniferous and broad-leaved woodland
    • Urban areas
    • Wetland Bird Surveys of Estuaries, river systems, freshwater lakes and reservoirs and the open coast
    • Breeding raptor and wader surveys
    • Black grouse surveys
    • Winter harrier and owl roost surveys
    • Species specific surveys for Schedule 1 birds (including black redstart, stone curlew and upland birds of prey)
    • Nocturnal survey for nightjar, owls and waders

Data Analysis and Presentation

We use GIS to ensure that ornithological data is accurately analysed, accessible, transferable and readily visualised and understood.  This includes heat mapping of wildfowl, to show concentrations of birds on inland water bodies and in estuaries.

Our ornithologists also regularly undertake data analysis, including that required to identify breeding bird territories and assess collision risk (for wind farm developments).

Consultancy Services

BSG’s ornithologists provide specialist support to numerous private sector clients, including renewable energy companies, water authorities and housing developers, andalso undertake work for local authorities and statutory bodies such as Natural England.  Staff are also involved in ornithological research projects, regularly attend conferences, and several are active bird ringers.  This gives us an insight into emerging issues and research, and we have a large number of contacts in ornithological circles.

Our consultancy services include:

  • Desk-based ornithological studies and consultation
  • Preliminary ornithological appraisals of proposed development sites
  • Advice on legal protection afforded to birds
  • Ornithological Impact Assessments (and other reports to inform planning applications)
  • Preparation of Mitigation and Monitoring initiatives
  • Stakeholder liaison
  • Method statements to ensure legislative compliance and minimise impacts
  • Appropriate Assessment / Habitats Regulations Assessment advice
  • Production of management plans for development and conservation led projects
  • Creating opportunities for birds in new and existing buildings

We also regularly review research papers, summarising our thoughts on these on our News & Views page.

Project examples and professional references can be provided on request.