Sunday, 17 February 2008

Guillemots and geese

There was a sad sight on the beach today, as Guillemots are coming ashore, oiled by the pollution from the timber ship Ice Prince, which sank off the Devon coast over a month ago. The planks of wood have also started to be washed ashore, and the bird rescue people say that they were warned that the tide conditions would have this result this weekend.
After calling the Dover rescue service (01304-205810) and being told that they were busy with oiled birds in Dover Harbour, we decided to try to catch one ourselves. Unfortunately the bird easily eluded us, skittering across the water and out to sea.
More were found, and we decided to wait for the experts to arrive - however the RSPCA staff's attempts were no more successful than ours. Only about 60% of oiled birds are likely to survive, and apparently those that are treated have a far higher chance - otherwise they would either drown or starve, so it is preferable to catch them and take them to a rehabilitation centre.

Geese were on the move today, and there were large numbers of Barnacle and White-Fronted Geese near Restharrow Scrape. A low-flying airliner put them up, but after circling a few times they returned to their grazing.

A mixed flock of Teal and Widgeon joined them in their flight.


Mary said...

How sad what mankind does to nature, but I'm glad you and others care enough to want to try to help. It amazes me at times that nature perseveres in the face of man's indifference.

Tony Morris said...

A gruesome sight, I've not found any at St Margaret's yet, I'll look tomorrow.

Sandpiper said...

Oh no! It's been a few days since I've been here, and I see that I've missed a lot. These situations are tragic. It's good that there are people who care enough to try and help.