Reporting bird strikes with wind turbines 'made simpler'

Needletail A white-throated needletail was killed in a collision with a turbine in the summer

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Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) says it has made it easier for people to report potential bird strikes at wind turbines.

It has created a new email address Collision.Records@snh.gov.uk and asked that people to provide details such as date, bird species and location.

High profile incidents have led to the move.

SNH said these included the death of a rare white-throated needletail on the Western Isles in June.

The bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia, was spotted on Harris.

About 30 birdwatchers travelled to the island to see the unusual visitor, which has only been recorded five times in the UK since 1950.

However, they then saw it die after colliding with the wind turbine.

Peter Hutchinson, of SNH, said it was not always easy for people to report suspected bird strikes.

He added: "We will use the data collected to investigate links between migration routes, nesting sites and other patterns."

Golden eagles

Meanwhile, SNH has said that a proposed 12-turbine extension to a wind farm on a Lewis estate could be accommodated if six of the planned turbines are removed.

The agency said the current plan for the Muaitheabhal Wind Farm south extension would affect the integrity of the South Lewis, Harris and North Uist National Scenic Area.

There are also concerns about an impact on white-tailed and golden eagles.

Andrew Bachell, SNH's director of operations, said: "Due to the likely impact of the 12 turbine proposal we have advised that turbines numbered one to six and their associated infrastructure, including the proposed substation near turbine six, be removed.

"This would reduce the impacts sufficiently that we would not object to the proposal."

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