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Fly like a bird?

By dudler
The Ecotricity wind turbine next to the M4 in Reading...

It was a very windy day indeed: shots from directly below the turbine (yes! There's decent access!) were quite scary, as I was horribly aware of the weight of the structure - and, for the first time ever, I heard a sound from the blades - a "woomf! woomf!" as the blads passed.

Better, though, than the constant crackle of power lines.

I decided, I think, to do a series of shots of this simply because wind turbines seem to annoy some people beyond measure and reason, as if they threaten the structure of society. Suck it up, chaps! Infinitely preferable to this , don't you think?

I've tagged this as architecture - reading the boards at the foot, it was designed by Sir Norman Foster...

Tags: Architecture Berkshire Reading Wind turbine Graceful Ecotricity Ecologically sound

Voters: Mrserenesunrise, debu, Bantu and 14 more

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debu 11 India
28 Jan 2014 9:49AM
Great capture.
Bantu 7 7 1 India
28 Jan 2014 9:52AM
They also produce free electricity and envoutiirment friendly,beautiful.
rontear Plus
17 23 9 England
28 Jan 2014 11:18AM
What about bird strike ? questionable future but on the right track John. Makes this look elegant.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2376 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2014 11:29AM
It even has eyelashes!
Once you start seeing faces and strange creatures, there is no way back. Those nice young men in their clean white coats are on their way to your door...
dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1811 England
28 Jan 2014 1:55PM

The birdstrike thing is a valid and worthwhile question. And, maybe, merits comparison with another issue...

This wind turbine is more or less directly under the flightpath that Concorde used to follow to New York. Now, I know there are a lot of variables (wind turbines are bigger than the head-on profile of a plane, for instance), but no-one suggests banning aircraft because of bird strike.

I know jet engines are required to not explode, even when hitting a big bird. But being hit by any part of an aeroplane will always be fatal to the bird, and may not leave any visible mark, I'd guess... In other words, it may be hard to count the corpses. On the plus side, birds don't fly very high, so are only at risk from aircraft near take-off or landing, and the odd low flier.

The way to check for bird strike with a wind turbine is, I reckon, to look round it. A bird that flies into a blade will, more or less, plummet.

Next time I pass Reading, I might see if I can spot any corpses, and ask someone in the are if they ever see any. If it's a real issue, rather than occasional bad luck, there will be bodies visible!
28 Jan 2014 3:51PM
Excellent capture, John!
Windmills are unlike to kill birds but from what I have read they can surely scare them and make them avoid the place where the windmills have been installed. This consequence is a bad effect to Nature way of living for wildlife but if we balance all the negatives from mankind activities in order to produce energy then windmills as energy produce facilities are not that bad at all, at least until a new energy produce technology with less environmental effects is to be invented!
29 Jan 2014 4:30AM
John, I find a beauty in these turbines.....a slow grace. Given the great need for them (re: your link), we need to be seeing many more of them, as much as people seem to have a "nimby" attitude toward them.

firstlight 11 2 3 United Kingdom
28 May 2014 8:17PM
Yes, these do seem to be a little contentious, but then change usually is.

Maybe there's a role for photography here to alter public perceptions...for the better or for the worse?

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