As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 12 April 2013

'Sticky substance' birds rescued in Devon and Cornwall

More birds have been washed up on the south coast of Cornwall and Devon covered in a sticky substance.

Twelve guillemots have been collected on beaches from Mevagissey to Whitsand Bay and Plymouth.

The RSPCA said they were covered in "what appears to be the same white, sticky substance" that killed hundreds of sea birds in February.

A spokesman said: "There is no indication of where the pollution is coming from."

He added: "Five of the birds have been taken to the RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton, Somerset, where unfortunately due to their extremely poor condition, they have been put to sleep."

In February more than 300 birds, mainly guillemots and some razorbills, were taken in by the RSPCA after being found covered in glue-like polyisobutene (PIB).

The birds were found in Dorset, Cornwall, Hampshire and Sussex.

Staff used washing up liquid and margarine to clean the animals.

The RSPB has called for PIB, which can be released legally under certain conditions, to be reclassified and discharges outlawed.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency launched an investigation into the first spill, but has since said it had been unable to trace the source of the pollution and confirmed it had closed the investigation.

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