Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Turbine Kill

From David Howard:

We have  been coming to Ardnamurchan twice a year for twenty-six years, and have just spent two weeks at Portuairk.  The Lighthouse and its great Cafe is always on the itinerary, a good walk from Portuairk, followed by a great coffee and a strawberry tart, before heading back via Bay MacNeil.

So it was we found ourselves sitting outside the Lighthouse Cafe in the sunshine on the afternoon of Friday 6th September 2013.  All of a sudden we were startled by a huge bang and on looking up saw a flurry of feathers drifting off in the wind. The bang was so loud we initially thought it was a shot from a gun....

....but then realised it was in fact a bird hitting one of the turbine blades. I went up to the area of the turbine and found a poor unfortunate herring gull neatly chopped into four sections - I gathered up the pieces for the photo.

Now I am not against alternative energy, far from it, but there must be a caveat with regard to wildlife. I always assumed that gulls were pretty savvy.  Obviously this one wasn't, but it did make me think.  Could the same happen to some of the eagles which we have regularly seen in the area? I sincerely hope not.


  1. Poor ,poor,birds

  2. Could it happen with the eagles? It already is happening in the US: "About 70 golden eagles are killed every year by turbines at California's Altamont Pass" (source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204781804577267114294838328.html)

  3. Thank you for posting this, David.

    This happens day in, day out. Everywhere across Scotland and around the world. Alas, there is no caveat for birds; they do not read our signs. They evolved without sky swords; they have no instinct to avoid them. Even worse, there are thousands of bats killed by the turbines. Rooftop solar panels, generating electricity where it is used would be a better go"green" option. Turbine are not green; they are red, as witness the blood of the unfortunate gull.

  4. I checked with the manager of the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Visitor Centre, Davie Ferguson. Davie was aware of the dead gull on Friday but before he could remove its remains the local ravens made a good meal of them. Davie says it is the first dead bird he has found in the three and a half years the turbine has been running.

    Compared to the wildlife carnage on the roads, this is nothing. We've found rabbits, hedgehogs, slow worms, an adder, frogs, toads, a host of small birds, and innumerable insects killed by cars - and that's on a kilometre stretch of single-track country road by our house.