The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm is located in the Moray Firth, at its closest 13.5 km from the Caithness Coast. Potential impacts on seabirds due to the construction and operation of the Wind Farm were assessed prior to consent being granted. The consent includes conditions which require monitoring of seabirds in order to validate the conclusions in the Environmental Statement (ES) and Supplementary Environmental Information Statement (SEIS) and to improve understanding of seabird interactions with offshore wind farms.
A digital aerial survey was designed to allow collection of data for answering key questions raised during the Wind Farm ES and SEIS assessments, relating to potential impacts on breeding populations of great black-backed gull, herring gull and puffin (primary species) and also guillemot, razorbill, kittiwake and gannet (secondary species). With the exception of gannet all of these species breed within the East Caithness Cliffs Special Protection Area.