(Above) dead guilletmots and puffins on Chesil beach by Angela Thomas
(Below) Angela Thomas rescuing trapped razorbill from a gabion by Marc Smith
Following the recent severe storms that have engulfed Chesil Beach, over a hundred birds have been found washed up this weekend the majority of which have been found dead or in distress.
Birds such as Guillemots, Razorbills and two Kittiwake’s have been found. Five dead puffins, which are species of European conservation concern, have also been washed up. Some of these birds were covered in oil, and those found alive are exhausted and need time to recover.
Concerned conservation officers have been able to rescue some of the stranded birds. A trapped razorbill, stuck inside an empty gabion (a metal cage filled with shingle to stabilise the shoreline) was freed by Angela Thomas, Assistant Warden at the Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve.
Rescue of trapped Razorbill
Angela said, “The force of the waves had emptied the shingle from the metal cage, but somehow a Razorbill had become trapped inside it was hard to get it out, and we had no idea how it got in there. It would not have escaped without our help, so we’re glad we managed to spot it.”
Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre Officer, Marc Smith said: “Whilst we usually see dead birds washed up on the beach in the winter, these storms have made life much harder for them. Birds being found alive are tired and hungry because they are weak from fighting against the harsh conditions. The death of these birds is an even bigger blow after the huge loss during the PIB incident last year, where over 1000 seabirds were found dead on the South Coast, covered in a deadly sticky glue substance. It is sad to find more dead birds along Chesil Beach, but an inevitable consequence of the storms and high tides.”
Advice not to approach dead or injured birds
Chesil Centre Officers will be monitoring the beach to try and rescue as many birds as possible, but Dorset Wildlife Trust is advising the public not to touch dead or injured birds.
If you see a dead or injured bird on Chesil Beach, please contact the DWT Chesil Beach Centre on 01305 206191, or phone the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
Litter on Chesil beach injures birds from The Breaker on Vimeo by Laura Parry-Davies
Notes to Editor
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is a partnership between Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset Wildlife Trust. The Centre is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Fine Family Foundation, Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve, Jurassic Coast Team and Trust, Crown Estate, Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, Dorset County Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Chalk and Cheese and an army of volunteers from the local community.
The Centre is open from 10am to 4pm every day. For more information, ring 01305 206191 or click here
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is owned by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust who run the Centre on behalf of a partnership including the Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the Jurassic Coast Team, with the continued help of local volunteers. The building of the new centre and boardwalk was made possible by funding from a wide range of organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate and Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, the Fine Family Foundation, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chalk and Cheese and the Jurassic Coast Trust.
The Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK. This includes over £411 million to more than 2,600 projects across the South West. For more information about HLF click here.