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Questions asked after 30 dead birds wash up on Falmouth Beach
3:00pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in News
AN investigation has been launched after dozens of seabirds were washed up dead on a Falmouth beach last week.
Around 30 dead birds were brought in by the tide on Gyllyngvase Beach last Wednesday (January 9) with more washed back out in the water.
The birds, including 26 shags and two that appeared to be guillemots, were spotted by Sean White, owner of WeSUP stand up paddle boarding |company when he got to the beach for work at around 1pm.
He notified the Environment Agency, and collected as many birds as he could to keep them out of the way of walkers and dogs.
Mr White said: “I came to work and there were about seven birds washed up on the shoreline, dogs were sniffing at them and people were asking questions.
“I called the Environment Agency and in the meantime more and more were washing up, so I decided to take them from the shoreline because the tide was going out.
“Rather than being victims of the storm I think they’ve been caught up in fishing nets and let go, and that’s why they washed up together.
“There were more by the time I left but I didn’t want to recover them, they were already being taken out by the sea.”
Cornwall Wildlife Trust, which deals with seabird strandings, said they were aware of the incident, and would be sending a volunteer to collect some of the birds.
Abby Crosby, marine conservation officer for the trust, said: “Bird |strandings of that number are unusual. It’s important to gather the dead and do some tests and get an insight into why the deaths may be occurring.”
Walkers on Kennack Sands, on the Lizard peninsula, also had a nasty shock on Saturday, when they |discovered at least ten dead seabirds washed up on the beach.
Freddie Thorp, from Helston, wrote on Facebook: “My friend Joshua was walking across Kennack beach when he came across dead birds on the beach.
“After he had found the dead birds, we went to the beach to see what type of birds they were, and how many the beach had.
“After checking in the shallow water, we found what seemed to be cement bags. We took photos of everything that we found, including at least 20 unopened, full bags of cement.
“We are both outraged by our |discovery, and we think that something should be done about this. We also want answers, about how this could have occurred.”
The post was accompanied by several images of the dead birds, and tagged to the RSPB and Surfers Against Sewage.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust runs a marine strandings network of |volunteers, who note strandings and take reports from the public.
If you have found any dead birds and would like to report it, contact the |network on 03452 012 626.
A spokesperson for the RSPB said that the society does not deal with reports of dead or injured birds, and anyone finding an injured bird should contact the RSPCA, which runs an advice line on 0300 1234 999.
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