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Nr. 327: Number and distribution of birds in and around two potential offshore wind farm areas in the Danish North Sea and Kattegat

Pedersen, I.K. & Sterup, J. 2019. Number and distribution of birds in and around two potential offshore wind farm areas in the Danish North Sea and Kattegat. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 40 pp. Scientific Report No. 327. http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR327.pdf

Summary

The Danish Energy Agency requested a total of ten surveys of birds conducted in two areas of interest in the North Sea and in Kattegat, five surveys in each area. The surveys were conducted as aerial line transect surveys from December 2018 until April 2019

This publication reports the findings of the surveys. Relevant bird species for each of the two areas are described, and thematic maps are presented. In compliance with the contract this publication does solely present the distribution of the observed birds. No estimation of total numbers has been performed under this contract.

The dominant bird species found in the two survey areas were Gannets and Razorbills/Guillemots. In both survey areas these bird species were found in high numbers, both inside and outside the area of interest for offshore wind farms. Diving ducks, as for instance Common Scoter, were found in low numbers.

 Red-throated Diver/Black-throated Diver was found in concentrations in the North Sea survey area particularly, and to a less extent in the Kattegat survey area. Densities of divers were lower in the area of interest for the offshore wind farms. Since divers are known to be displaced by offshore wind farms out to more than 15 km, the displacement effect of these birds may be reduced by careful considerations of the actual positioning of potential wind farms.