A lost and hungry gannet was out of its depth when it turned up on a Comrie farm.
Gannets usually hunt fish by diving from great heights of up to 30 metres into the sea and pursuing their prey deep underwater but the baby seabird found itself miles off course. Its saviours called the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the bird was soon winging its way (by van) to the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire. The SSPCA has rescued over 100 seabirds which were blown inland during severe storms at the end of September.
Staff at it the centre have treated 95 guillemots, 21 gannets, two fulmars and one razorbill, all of which were unable to cope with the recent heavy seas and high winds.
Manager of the National Wildlife Rescue Centre, Colin Seddon, said: “We have taken in a total of 119 seabird casualties as a result of the storms and we fully expect to rescue more over the coming days.
“The guillemots were either too weak or underweight to cope with the storms and all of the gannets are youngsters who are not yet strong enough to survive during spells of severe weather.
“Most of the seabirds have been found on beaches along the east coast of Scotland, although some have also been discovered further inland and in the west.
“If the wind direction had been out to sea rather than inland these birds may well have perished.
“It’s vital the public alert us if they come across a sick, weak or injured seabird as they’re unlikely to survive without our help.
“We’re hopeful that the majority of the casualties will make a full recovery and will be able to be released once they are fully fit and strong enough to cope on their own.”
Anyone who discovers a sick, injured or weak seabird should call the SSPCA’s Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.