“A senior member of bird charity RSPB Scotland has called for more careful consideration of wind farm planning after it emerged a wind turbine was officially blamed for killing a rare sea eagle.” Were the RSPB really so naive or was this misplaced Noble Cause Corruption? They often quote Climate Change, or is it now Climate Chaos, will kill more birds than wind farms. Wildlife has over the centuries adapted to changes in Climate and some species will move north or south for the warmer and cooler climes and some may disappear. Such as has happened for Millenia. Are we, and RSPB, so arrogant that we consider man can change that? It is called evolution and has been and forever will be! I well remember the excitement, and fundraising, surrounding the discovery of a single corncrake, a species which is plentiful in central europe. A flash in the pan!
The Sunday Herald can reveal a white-tailed sea eagle, reintroduced as part of a nature conservation programme, was found dead in February at Burnfoot Hill wind farm in the Ochil hills, near Tillicoultry in Clackmannanshire. A post-mortem examination by Government-approved scientists concluded a “likely cause of death” was collision with a wind turbine. Full story click here. It has always been a mystery(?) that whilst the US, Spain and, in fact, Germany and Norway have well documented records of massive bird kills from their wind farms; the US have just accepted that figures were vastly underestimated; the UK has relatively few records of bird impact. One at Fairburn where a radio tracked Red Kite was killed and one very rare white throated needletail killed in Harris whilst being photographed by a “gaggle” of twitchers. So are collisions that rare or have we a case of bury the birds. Recently it was suggested, with some justification, that property owners where birds of prey are killed should be held to account with prison sentences muted as the only fair punishment. A fine to a billionaire is water off a ducks back! This in response to the poisoning of Kites and Buzzards on the Black Isle. Most of those involved in protecting birds can easily name the guilty estates and the correlation with wind farm development is sometimes very obvious. A surprise to the Rausing Estate was the consultants report that no Eagles were on the proposed Dumnaglass Wind Farm site. In fact radio tagging again proved it a lie. However the reporter and the Scottish Ministers chose to believe the developers rather than Rausing’s resident ecologist or the satellite data. I have been told by a wind site manager that they don’t know how many birds are killed, if any, as the predators such as foxes will remove the evidence. Somehow I felt the statement disingenuous. If a landowner should now be held culpable for the action of his gamekeepers, should he not be held as culpable for the actions of his wind turbines. Knowledge that they will kill birds of prey, usually quantified in the ES, suggests foreknowledge. There is a clear precedence in law that makes that a more heinous crime! The precautionary principle, enshrined in international and EU law requires that we should consider the likely outcome of our actions and take account of it.
That the RSPB have noted the danger suggests that they are aware of the likely impacts, albeit late in the day, and should now take a proactive stance and oppose all wind farms and met masts. It has been noted that in Strathglass, home to the Glen Affric/Strathconon Golden Eagle SPA, the silence of RSPB on two recent applications has been deafening! As a Charity who promotes itself as for the protection of birds, it has been seen to be not fit for purpose.
Save the Eagles response to the Glenmorie Wind Farm application and RSPB response to it is very apposite.MD WCFN-STEI objection to the Glenmorie windfarm project Sutherland