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More Seabirds Washed Up Off The Cornish Coast

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4:35pm 11th April 2013
(Updated 4:35pm 11th April 2013)

More than 30 seabirds have washed up off the coast of Cornwall and Devon, covered in a sticky substance.

The RSPCA has told Pirate FM the Guillemots were discovered in the last 24 hours at Cremyll in Devon, Cawsand near Milbrook, Tregonhawke and Tregantle at Whitsand Bay, Downderry near Saltash, Looe, Polperro and Mevagissey.

It is described as a pale yellow, sticky glue-like substance with the texture of marmalade.

It glues the birds' feathers together and stops them from being able to preen properly.

This is the second batch to be found in two months.

RSPCA officer Peter Ferris is collecting the birds: "It's very distressing, especially like today I've had a couple where we've actually picked them up and they've been alive and healthy and then by the time I've transferred them to my van, they've passed away. They're obviously tired through this contamination.

"There's a real need to find out exactly what it is and the source exactly because it is frustrating. Obviously we're picking up guillemots but I'm sure there will be the odd razorbills as well because they all seem to sort of congregate together. It's distress for the wildlife but obviously distress for the people finding them as well."

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is urging walkers to report any sightings as they try to work out what is causing the birds to wash-up around our coast.

Spokeswoman Abbey Crosby said: "Any information that we can gather from the public, you don't have to be a marine biologist to appreciate the sea and the coast, and send in. You know, if you're out there and you're walking your dogs or you're using the beaches, you are vital eyes on the ground."

4:35pm 11th April 2013

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