This Fifth Monitoring Report analyses the results of the 12 months of boat data collected from December 2005 to November 2006 for the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm project, and aerial data collected from 13th November 2005 to 18th February 2006 over the area immediately surrounding the Kentish Flats wind farm site. The aerial surveys cover a much greater area extending far beyond the Kentish Flats site, and are part of the wider aerial bird survey regime that covers the Thames strategic offshore wind farm area.
The purpose of this report is to meet the monitoring requirements set out by DEFRA (with advice from English Nature, now Natural England) as a condition for the FEPA consent for the Kentish Flats project. The objectives of the pre-, during and post-construction monitoring program are quoted below from Annex 2 of the Schedule to FEPA Licence No. 31780/03/0, dated March 7th, 2003:
- Determine whether there is change in bird use and passage through the wind farm site, measured by species, abundance and behaviour
- Determine whether there is disruption to bird flight lines
- Determine the distribution of wildfowl and divers in the Thames Estuary, covering the Kentish Flats study area. This will include movements of wildfowl to and from the coastal SPA sites surrounding the Thames Estuary
- Determine the rate of bird collision at the Kentish Flats site
- Determine the effectiveness of mitigation measures implemented during wind farm construction