HiDef and Natural England have recently published results from digital aerial surveys undertaken by HiDef in the Outer Thames area in 2018. The site is a Special Protection Area (SPA) with particular importance for red-throated diver. The surveys counted these, and all other species, and full results are have been published by Natural England with a summary article appearing in the journal British Birds. Full details can be read at:
The main objectives of the project were to determine an up-to-date population estimate of red-throated divers and an improved understanding of the distribution of birds within the now enlarged extended Outer Thames Estuary SPA. A secondary objective of the project was to generate population estimates for, and an understanding of, the distribution of all other species of birds and marine mammals encountered during these winter surveys of the Outer Thames Estuary SPA. The study also provides a basis for additional analysis to determine the effects of different human activities within the SPA, such as shipping and the locations of wind farms, on the distribution of key species of interest, notably red-throated divers.
IRWIN, C., SCOTT, M., S., HUMPHRIES, G. & WEBB, A. 2019. HiDef report to Natural England – Digital video aerial surveys of red-throated diver in the Outer Thames Estuary Special Protection Area 2018. Natural England Commissioned Reports, Number 260.