More contaminated birds on Dorset's shores today
By NewsPipe | Saturday, February 02, 2013, 17:34
The RSPCA and Dorset Wildlife Trust were again out today collecting sea birds that have been contaminated with a mystery substance.
This guillemot at Portland Bill today was showing signs of distress but was well enough to avoid capture.
We spoke to an RSPCA worker at Portland Bill who suggested that there were fewer birds being found today - hopefully that means the numbers have peaked and the worst is over.
While hundreds of birds have been collected from Dorset's shores over the last 48 hours, the numbers are likely to indicate a much larger casualty rate at sea - where the birds spend most of their time.
The white, sticky residue is thought to be some kind of mix of refined mineral oils although its exact nature and origin are yet to be established.
Most of the affected birds are guillemots - we watched as some were rescued at Portland Bill today - just one spot along the coast where guillemots have been found.
The RSPCA are asking the public to ring them on 0300 1234 999 if they find a striken bird - do not attempt to touch it yourself.
The best way for the public to help the birds at this stage is to make a donation to the RSPCA - collecting and cleaning the birds is a job for trained experts which, unfortunately, costs money.