Scoping for Schedule 1 surveys
It is highly unlikely that a licence will be required when undertaking a normal survey of breeding birds where you might accidentally disturb a Schedule 1 species which you did not know was there. However, where the sole intent is to survey for Schedule 1 species and you have a reasonable expectation that a breeding Schedule 1 species will be encountered, for example through desk study records or sites with habitats and/or features that may be suitable for breeding Schedule 1 species (e.g. bare ground and standing water which might support little ringed plover. BTO Data Reports lists all the bird species present at your site and also highlights evidence for species of conservation importance, and those of statutory importance like Schedule 1 species. In these cases it will be necessary to consult with the relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation about the requirements or otherwise for a licence.
Furthermore, consideration should be given to any requirements for specific surveys of schedule 1 species (over and above a standard breeding bird survey). Occasions when species specific surveys may be required include;
- The presence of Schedule 1 species with a low detectability as a result of either;
- Their ecology (e.g. hobby which nests in late summer and may therefore be missed during the typical survey period); or,
- Their nesting habitat (e.g. spotted crake, bittern and bearded tit which nest in reed beds and therefore may be easily missed using typical survey methodologies).