Whooper swans using industrial peat bogs for foraging and roosting

ECOFACT staff are currently undertaking extensive bird survey work in the Irish Midlands. The purpose of this survey work is to inform the Ecological Impact Assessments and Natura Impact Statements for a number of proposed wind energy developments.

ECOFACT is the leading independent provider of bird surveys and Ornithological Impact Assessments in Ireland

This week we took these photos of Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus on a formerly industrially worked peat site in the Irish Midlands.Whooper Swans are listed under Annex I of the EU Birds Directive and are further protected under Annex II of the Berne Convention. They are amber listed ‘Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland’ due to more than 20% of the European wintering population occurring here. This listing is also because the majority of Whooper Swans winter at ten or less sites, in addition to its very small breeding population. For further information on Whooper Swans please also see our post here, or visit the bird surveys section of our main website.

There were over 100 Whooper swans (and some Mute Swans) at one of the sites we surveyed this week on an old Bord na Móna industrial peat bog, which is an Internationally significant observation. These Whooper Swans are both roosting here at night and spending the day feeding in this bog. The bog here is currently flooded and this has made it more attractive for Whooper Swans at the moment.  However, observations like this illustrate the importance of some old midland industrial bogs for wintering birds, such as Whooper Swans. It also shows the importance of survey work like this which aims to identify the areas of particular ecological/ornithological importance so as to allow wind energy developments to avoid these areas.

It also shows the importance of survey work like this which aims to identify the areas of particular ecological/ornithological importance

ECOFACT is the leading independent provider of bird surveys and Ornithological Impact Assessments in Ireland, particularly for proposed wind energy developments. If you have queries or require assistance, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss any project requirements for bird surveys or ornithological impact assessments with you.

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