THE RSPCA has been involved in the first Manx shearwater rescue of the year in West Wales.

Shearwater1The RSPCA often rescue a few of the birds each year that have been blown in by strong winds.

When the black and white bird was found on 9 September it was able to walk but could not fly.

Inspector Rohan Barker, who collected the Manx shearwater at Bronwydd Road, Carmarthen, said once checked over, it will be released back into the wild.

“If anyone does come across a Manx shearwater please take them to a local vet and also call us to report the find. We can then collect the bird from the vet,” he said.

“The birds are then taken to Gower Bird Hospital for a check over and are fed before being released.”

The Manx Shearwater has long straight slim wings, and is black above and white below. It is well adapted for life at sea with feet placed far back along its body enabling efficient swimming, but causing it to shuffle when on land, or slide along on its belly.

Anyone who spots one of the stranded birds is warned to avoid its sharp beak but throw a towel over it and carefully put it in a box. The number to call is the RSPCA’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist. Shearwater3

The Manx shearwater is amongst the longest living birds in the UK with one being recorded age 55 years.

Historically the call of the shearwater scared Norse sailors to the extent that they thought the Scottish Island of Rum, where they also nest, was inhabited by trolls.