Manx Shearwater Rescue Service!

Image by Amy Lewis

Image by Amy Lewis

Last year alone over 200 birds were rescued and successfully released.

Image by Nigel McCall

Image by Nigel McCall

From late August onwards, hundreds of thousands of juvenile Manx shearwaters begin to fledge from the Pembrokeshire Islands. Having spent 70 days in a burrow their first flight an epic one.

They cross the Atlantic and the equator, navigating alone to the coast of Argentina, some 7,000 miles away. They can make this journey in 21 days or less. Most young birds get away without incident but stormy weather, fog, and artificial mainland lighting can disorientate them and every year many end up off course and inland. Once grounded they struggle to take off again and are vulnerable to mainland predators and traffic.

For many years Wildlife Trust staff together with our colleagues from RSPB Cymru have organised local volunteers to rescue stranded birds and release them at dusk when the weather is more settled. Members of the public were picking birds up in increasing numbers and contacting the island wardens to ask what to do with them.

Since 2018, we have run a more organised scheme, with the aim of getting stranded birds back to sea as quickly as possible. They don't need artificially feeding and only rarely need to be seen by a vet, they just need to get back on their journey. Last year alone over 200 birds were rescued and successfully released.

Manx Shearwater Rescue Map

Areas where birds were recovered in 201. (Cardiff and inland Carmarthenshire)

If you find one of these black and white seabirds please place in a ventilated cardboard box. If you find more than one bird please use separate boxes.

You can then use the contacts below to arrange delivery or collection. The birds will be stored safely at our approved collection points and released at dusk.

Aberystwyth area, please call: 07972 201202
New Quay area, please call: 01545 560224
Fishguard area, please call: 01348 874737
St Davids/Newgale area, please call: 01437 721721 or 01437 720285
Mid Pembs; (Broad Haven to Pembroke inc. Haverfordwest and Milford), please call: 07766 911069 or 07944 995736
South West Pembs area, please call: 07572 642434
South East Pembs (inc Tenby), please call: 07867 803005
Carmarthenshire area, please call: 07748 970124
Cardiff area, please call: 07890 543351 or 07791502589

And if you’re not sure, please contact me and I can find you some help.

Lisa Morgan
Head of Islands and Marine
07944 995736