Last Saturday I went out with our Volunteer Seabird Survey Team to experience what they were doing, counting our cliff nesting birds.
Luckily for the two birds we found a pair of Gannets tangled in discarded nylon line.
Maybe they had both tried to swallow the same piece of line but the end result was that their beaks had become tangled together. They would have died together too had we not come along. The crew of Kilda Cruises Orca 3 sprung to action and the struggling gannets were hauled on board with a grappling hook and the line joining the unwilling twins was seperated.
While one Gannet was easily untangled, the second had a matt of chewed nylon fibre stuck in its beak. This was carefully removed by David with a filleting knife he had just been using to clean fish. To the Gannet it must have at least tasted nice.
This pair had a very lucky escape thanks to Kilda Cruises and the NTS Seabird Survey Team. After a few moments TLC the Gannets were allowed to waddle to the prow of the boat and gratefully fly off to continue their lives around St Kilda.
A happy outcome for all concerned but a salutory warning of the perils of marine litter faced by so much of our wildlife.