Atmos ecologists have been monitoring eagle activity at the Ben Aketil wind farm on the Isle of Skye since 2007. The Ben Aketil wind farm was opened with 10 turbines in 2007 and a further two were commissioned in 2010. Post-construction monitoring of bird activity was a planning condition.
Atmos ecologists have been monitoring eagle activity at the Ben Aketil wind farm on the Isle of Skye since 2007. The Ben Aketil wind farm was opened with 10 turbines in 2007 and a further two were commissioned in 2010. Post-construction monitoring of bird activity was a planning condition.

The PCM model is part of a suite of tools that Atmos uses to deliver a comprehensive range of services for clients including site feasibility studies, optimisation proposals and on-going post construction assessments across a range of parameters from wind flow to noise levels and bird activity.

Atmos ecologists have been monitoring eagle activity at the Ben Aketil wind farm on the Isle of Skye since 2007. The Ben Aketil wind farm was opened with 10 turbines in 2007 and a further two were commissioned in 2010. Post-construction monitoring of bird activity was a planning condition. Early results seem to show some habituation to the presence of wind turbines by golden and white tailed eagles although these are far from conclusive at this stage. However, the project illustrates good practice in PCM.

“The results of the post construction monitoring need to be seen against two years of baseline surveys which showed high levels of fluctuations for both eagle species,"says Atmos’ senior ecologist Stephanie Kiel. "Activity of both the golden and white tailed eagles was lowest in the first year after the wind farm was commissioned and their usage of the wider area appears to have recovered since but we are currently completing another year of post construction monitoring at the site which will add another piece to the puzzle.”

Atmos data manager Lucy Arnold developed the model to allow comparison of flight data collected over a number of years. The model aims to correct for survey effort and show a clearer picture of the actual bird activity levels across a site. The model can be adjusted for species and time periods as required.