Oily substance leads to discovery of poorly birds

OILY substances have led to the suffering of one bird and the death of another.

Brent Lodge Bird and Wildlife Trust received reports on Monday (April 15) of a bird found dead on a beach in Bracklesham which was found to be covered in an oily substance.

At around 4pm on the same day, a male Guillemot bird was brought into the wildlife centre after being discovered covered in the sticky clear oily substance in Selsey.

Emma Pink, manager at Brent Lodge Bird and Wildlife Trust, said: “It is not uncommon, unfortunately it is a really sad occurrence.

“Unfortunately he was covered in the sticky clear oil substance that other birds were caught up in earlier this year. It would seem there has been another spill and that it has come further up the coast this time.”

Brent Lodge staff believe the substance has travelled up the coastline from Devon and are advising people to bring in any birds which are discovered.

“If anyone finds anything on the beach by all means give us a call. Approach with care because most birds do have a very sharp beak. The best way to bring them in is to cover them with a large blanket or towel and bring them straight into us.”

Staff also advised people not to attempt to wash any discovered birds themselves, as this can cause the animal to become aggravated and, in some cases stress can lead to the death of the birds.

The Guillemot has been given a thorough wash and is being kept warm in an incubator at Brent Lodge.

“He had a wash and he is doing well,” said Miss Pink.

Staff are concerned that the discovery of the bird on Monday could mean a flurry of birds which have been affected by the oily substance.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking. It is always a worry when you find one because there are probably lots of others,” added Miss Pink.

For anyone who discovers any birds and needs assistance, contact Brent Lodge Bird and Wildlife Trust on 01243 641672