Capsule No evidence for sustained declines in abundance or re‐distribution of two key upland bird species on a wind farm site in the first three years of operation.
Aims To describe changes in the abundance and distribution of birds on an upland wind farm during the first three years of operation.
Methods Surveys to map the distribution of breeding birds were conducted at the wind farm and a nearby control site in 2006 and 2009.
Results Only Willow Ptarmigan (Red Grouse) Lagopus lagopus scotica and European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria were sufficiently numerous for analysis. There was no significant difference in the change in abundance of either species between the wind farm and control site, and no evidence that changes in the species' distribution were related to wind farm infrastructure.
Conclusions Upland wind farms may not necessarily result in declines in bird populations in the operational phase. Similar studies across a range of sites should be conducted and published to examine the factors that determine the response of birds to particular developments.