The purpose of this report is to provide a review of the bird and marine mammal observation data for the EMEC Fall of Warness tidal test site from 2005 to 2011. The aims were to explore relationships (if any) between the more frequently observed bird and mammal species’ site usage and habitat and environmental variables. This report can assist in understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of wildlife at the test site, and specifically enable identification of where and when particular species are more likely to encounter test devices or related deployment activity.
- Almost all species analysed showed seasonal variation in their use of the site, which reflected the breeding and wintering habits that are typical for the species. Harbour porpoise, grey seals and some birds, including eiders, diver and cormorant species, black guillemots and puffins, were found to vary in their usage of the site throughout the day.
- The usage of pelagic and coastal areas of the site was found to differ between species. Auks, including common guillemot, razorbills and puffins, and harbour porpoise were observed more frequently in pelagic areas. Harbour and grey seals, eider, gannets, cormorant species and black guillemots were all observed more frequently in the areas adjacent to the coastline.
- Several species showed preferences for particular tidal states, including common and black guillemots, cormorants and shags, and harbour seals. Encounter rates for some species were also found to differ under particular environmental conditions.