Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thinking of Home

I cannot help but read with envy the reports of sea watching at Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire.  I always seem to be somewhere else when the birding is great in Wales.  No new birds for me but daily reports of all four skuas, Great, Corys, Balearic and Sooty Shearwaters and Sabine's Gulls set the pulse racing.  It seems that the weather has been grim and watchers might be cold and wet but what a daily tally.

Great Shearwater

I also have been reading about the fate of the young Manx Shearwaters at Newgale Beach.  It is extremely commendable of the RSPCA and their volunteers to rescue these ill-fated birds and give them a hand.  What is extraordinary is in the first instance that these people obviously did not think to contact the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales who have many people who are very familiar and experienced with this species.  Removing these birds to Taunton and killing any under weight are two very questionable decisions.  The birds are best released in the open sea where they can easily link up with more if their species and I understand thanks to Cliff Benson of Seatrust and Bob Haycock this will now happen.  Secondly Dave Boyle (Skomer) has already said what many of us know already that birds that are under weight still have a very good chance of survival and making it down to South America.

Manx Shearwater

I do hope that if this sort of unfortunate incident happens again the RSPCA will have forged good links with local ornithologists/conservationists to ensure birds get the best chance of returning to their way of life.

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