The Killington Wildlife Group required an aerial survey of the most northerly island within Killington Lake. This island is home to over 3000 nesting pairs of Black-Headed gulls, which is the largest nesting colony in Cumbria and 2.34% of the national population. To monitor the birds, the group count the number of nests using binoculars and numerous visits to the island, proving to be inaccurate and very time consuming techniques. Mr Hoare required a method which would be quick and easy, with minimal disruption to the nesting birds.
Atlantic Geomatics completed the survey using our own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Aibot X6 V2 Hexacopter. Charles Watson, UAV Operator, followed a predetermined flight plan and photographed the island from a height of 30m. The flight took approximately 14 minutes to complete.
One of the main concerns for both Atlantic Geomatics and the Wildlife Group, was to ensure that the Gull Colony were not disturbed during the process. The UAV had to fly low enough to achieve the required resolution, however high enough not to disturb the nesting birds. To ensure minimal disruption, tests were completed at Atlantic Geomatics Head Office.
Charles Watson is a fully qualified, CAA approved UAV Operator who has completed rigorous training over the last year.
Killington Wildlife Group were provided with an Orthophoto of the island, which was created using AgiSoft Photo Scan Professional Edition. The UAV was the ideal tool to complete the task as the Gull Colony paid it little attention during the flight. As the survey was successful, Atlantic Geomatics can complete repeat surveys to monitor the bird colony and to track any changes on the island.
"I used AGUK for an aerial survey of a bird colony. This was an area with which the company was unfamiliar, but they approached the matter with enthusiasm, and very professionally. The results have proved very satisfactory and if the need arose I would have no hesitation in using them again." Mr Hoare, Secretary of Killington Wildlife Group