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A lucky escape

12 August 2004

You may think that being 50 miles from the nearest island and a hundred miles from the Scottish mainland would mean that St Kilda was free from pollution, but unfortunately the flotsam and jetsam of modern life reaches here too.  A routine boat trip to Boreray and the stacs resulted in rescuing two gannets that had become entangled in plastic.  The two birds were bound together by plastic twine around their beaks.  Presumably they had both gone for the same piece of plastic assuming it was edible and, in the resulting struggle for it, got completely stuck together.

gannets joined

Fortunately the 'Bonxie Boys', Jon and Steve (see diary entry for July) were on board and as experienced handlers of large seabirds were able to free the two birds and set them on their separate ways, seemingly none the worse for their experience.  For those in the boat the opportunity to see these magnificent birds up close was unforgetable although the circumstances left everyone angered.

gannets in boat

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