Saturday, 20 August 2011

Unlucky Gannet

Every so often members of the public report dead of injured birds in to us. So on Saturday when a member of the public described what sounded like a Gannet to me my heart sank. These are quite feisty big birds that don't like to be handled. Loss of fingers and eyes are possible. I'd also received enough injuries from Puffins during the summer! So after the May Princess set off we headed for Pilgrims.

Here is a picture after the bird was successfully secured.....

Only after a short struggle.

It did however put up quite a fight. Heaven knows what people from the Seabird centre thought. The cameras were trained on me at all times. The stick was used to give it something to peck at so I could get a hand behind it's neck. For a badly injured bird its survival instinct was quite Strong as it charged at me. I managed to catch it receiving no wounds.

Here is a picture of its bill close up

Gannet have this wonderful foot pattern

Sadly this bird had to be humanly destroyed. It's wing was broken very badly. In the past here we have had Gannets caught in fishing nets. They do follow the fishing boats and can pick up injuries when they dive into the nets. Just last week I saw a line of Gannets sat on the back of a fishing boat out from the island.

Discarded fishing gear is just one of the hazards that our sea life faces. I was looking at the sea the other day when it was flat calm. I was amazed just how much rubbish there is across the sea as far as you can see with a telescope. It was really quite frightening. And that's just the rubbish we can see on the surface!

We do say in our introduction 'the way we all live our lives can have a direct effect on what goes on on the island.'

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