Did you know that seabirds have in-built sunglasses? Their eyes contains droplets of red oil in their retina which filters light!

Tamsin Watt
Principal Environment Manager

Coastal habitats can support a wide variety of bird species, including wildfowl and waders. In the UK some regions are designated as Special Protection Areas under European legislation which protects some species of birds.

The development of tidal lagoons has the potential to effect bird populations in a number of ways, including: disturbance, loss of and changes to intertidal habitat and saltmarsh, changes to water quality, changes to fish populations, far-field changes in water levels, displacement effects, and effects on SPAs and other protected sites.

In order to assess these potential effects, Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) can make use of the extensive bird survey effort already in existence within the UK. This can be supported by site specific bird count surveys (from a boat or plane) in order to establish the current population numbers and distribution prior to development. GPS tagging and tracking can also offer insight into bird behaviour of specific species and colour tagging and recording re-sightings by the public can also be useful.

In order to predict the impacts of a project as large as a tidal lagoon, it is likely that the results of these surveys would then feed into modelling of bird behaviour to better understand the likely effects of development. This overlaps with the coastal process modelling as the effects on sediment movement, waves and currents during construction and operation of the lagoon will in turn effect other ecological receptors, for example the food supply for birds and the distribution of protected habitats.

KD - releasing a tagged bird

Releasing a tagged bird

Tidal Lagoon Cardiff

From August 2015 through to May 2016, TLP funded the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) to undertake Severn Estuary wide surveys at high tide and also low tide counts from November to February through their extensive network of volunteers for the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS). In addition, we funded additional low tide counts to extend throughout the passage period so that now we have more than two full years of data from Cardiff docks up to the Second Severn Crossing and one full year covering the entire Severn Estuary. This adds to the already substantial information collected from around forty years of bird surveys throughout the Severn Estuary collected by BTO and its predecessors.

Additionally, following a successful trial of tagging captive ducks during autumn 2015, waders and ducks were captured in winter and then followed for approximately one month, with GPS locations recorded every 90 minutes to give a good representation of movements throughout the daily and monthly tidal cycle. Results are currently being analysed in order to feed into the EIA for Tidal Lagoon Cardiff.

Case Study

Tidal Lagoon Plc

E: Info@tidallagoonpower.com

T: +44 (0)1452 303892

A: Pillar & Lucy House
Merchants Road
The Docks

Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc

E: Swansea@tidallagoonpower.com

T: +44 (0)1792 274006

A: 8th Floor
One Central Square
CF10 1FS

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