On 10th March 2013 volunteer surveyor George Moody found the corpse of a Fulmar on Lindisfarne. Analysis at the Dove Marine Laboratory (Newcastle University) showed this was an adult male with no feather oiling and fully grown flight and tail feathers in good condition. Head, bill, wing and leg measurements were recorded before an internal examination was carried out by Dr Jan Andries van Franeker from The Netherlands (Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies). This helped to reveal the bird’s sex and age and showed starvation was the final cause of death. The stomach contents will be analysed in Holland.
BBC film crew (from left: producer, cameraman and presenter) with Dr Franeker at Dove Marine lab, 11th June. Filming for a new series of Inside Out, to be shown in Autumn 2013. (Photo by Daniel M Turner)
Dark phase Fulmar found in March, died due to problems with it's plumage (Photo by Daniel M Turner)
The NEBBS group webpage may be found at: http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/news/cms/beached-bird-surveys/
For further information on the international project, including the option to download Dr Franeker's report, visit: www.wageningenur.nl/plastics-fulmars
Many thanks to Dan Turner for his kind help, photographs and information.
The ingestion of plastic by seabirds and other marine animals is just one reason why it is irresponsible to litter or dump debris into the sea. Seals and birds are sometimes found tangled in plastic, rope or fishing nets around the Reserve's shores. We carry out regular litter picks on the Reserve beaches which is very important for removing these materials to keep our protected shorebirds and animals safe.