Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Bird Flight Diverter

Following the unfortunate deaths of a number of Whooper swans and other birds this autumn passage due to collision with overhead power cables, particularly where these cables cross arable fields sown with barley, Rop from SSE has brought me examples of three different 'Bird Flight Diverter' systems that he has had experience of on Islay. 
Rop believes that the most effective device is that shown on the left of the picture.  It can be attached to the cables without 'powering down', using a pole handled from the ground.  The clamp is powerful and very good at not moving down the wire once in place.  The connector between the white flight diverter and the black clamp assembly uses a swivel bearing which spins in wind speeds upwards of 3 or 4 knots.  This is not only an additional deterrent, it also lasts longer.  The other, simpler systems break relatively quickly. 
The yellow and buff patches on the white rectangle are made from a special luminous material that absorbs light, which improves the systems effectiveness at night for up to ten hours.
Rop is proposing to do a test installation between Sunderland and Rockside with these flight diverters in the next  couple of weeks and has invited me along to see what happens and take photographs.  The plan is to do an assessment of the numbers required and the locations where they need to be deployed.  We will of course keep you updated...


  1. That's great news Carl!

    It was very sad to see some of the dead swans lying in the field when I was over in October. I also actually saw some colliding with the cables as they were coming in to land, luckily on that occasion they didn't get injured as far as I could tell. They managed to land and from what I could see were feeding normally afterwards. Still, a scary thing to watch.

    Fingers crossed these diverters help stopping it.

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