Driving the foundation piles causes noise below and above the water. This could be harmful to especially diving birds, and birds that stay above water could be scared off as well. Scientists from Imares and Nioz were present during three pile driving operations to see how the seabirds reacted to the pile driving. They sailed in their own vessel inside and outside the area of the wind farm during the pile driving and counted the birds.
The pile driving only began in mid-April so few, if any, diving birds were to be found around the construction site. These birds had already left our waters and migrated to their breeding area’s. There were gulls and terns to be seen, but there did not appear to be a connection between their behaviour and the pile driving operations