Submitted by Steve on 21:13, 6th Jan, 2019 | 0

Earlier today a guillemot was rescued at Saints Bay completely covered in what appeared fresh oil.

From head to toe the birds body was completely soaked in the oil and the GSPCA rushed the bird to the vets where sadly they were unable to help the bird.

The GSPCA are asking islanders to be on the look out for other birds that may be affected from oil as it is rare for just one bird to found on the coast with such fresh oil.

Each winter especially after stormy weather the GSPCA often help oiled birds and the team are hoping this is just an isolated case.

Beckie Bailey GSPCA Animal Care Assistant said “We called the oiled guillemot Marshall and rushed him to the vets but sadly they weren’t able to help him.”

“The oil looked very fresh and we are a little worried other birds may be suffering from the same source of oil so are asking those along the coast especially around Saints Bay to please be watchful for other possible oiled birds.”

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “It was so sad that the we and the vets were unable to help Marshall the oiled guillemot.”

“When they are completely covered from head to toe they have often swallowed large amounts which makes it impossible to save them as they have effectively poisoned themselves by trying to groom the oil off their own feathers and ingested it.”

“We are hoping this is an isolated case but asking islanders to be watchful as there could be other oiled birds around our coast as it is rare to have just one bird with so much oil on it.”

“We have our GSPCA emergency helpline via 01481 257261 which is answered 24/7 and also helpful advice online for anyone that finds an oiled bird.”

Here is some simple advice on what to do if you find sea life affected by any oiled substance -

  • Do not risk your safety by looking for or picking up birds from dangerous locations. Be aware of the tides and weather conditions.
  • If you do find an oiled bird and it is safe to pick it up, ensure that you are wearing gloves because the oil could be hazardous to your health. The birds may also try to peck you, so keep them away from your face.
  • Collected birds should be placed on their own in cardboard boxes with newspaper or a towel. DO NOT use hay or straw. The boxes should have ventilation holes.
  • Call the GSPCA 24 hour help line on 01481 257261 or take the bird directly to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews
  • Please do not attempt to wash or feed the bird yourself - leave that to the Shelter staff and volunteers who have the correct training and facilities.

The GSPCA receives dozens of birds every year due to a variety of oiled substances but this simple advice can help save those birds in need.

We are fund raising to replace our old wildlife facilities and here are some of the ways you can help -

To Buy a Brick in the new Wildlife Hospital and download a leaflet please click here -

You can donate via our page or create your own sponsored event or challenge -

To donate to Selina, Gully, Andrew and Marty the seal pups please visit -

To visit the Just Giving page raising funds for life saving Intensive Care Units please visit or to buy one directly for the Shelter please visit

To become an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor please visit -

To download a Corporate Angel Pen Pal form please click here  

To donate to the animals in our care another way is our paypal page -   

If you would like to help at one of our upcoming events please give Michelle a call on 257261 or email [email protected]

Another way to support us is our on site Charity Shop and refreshment area and to find out more please visit -

If your group or business would like to find out about spending a day at the Shelter please go to -

For other ways your business can help us here at the GSPCA please go to -

On Monday 7th January we have a volunteer induction evening and for more information and additional induction dates please visit or call 257261

To see our Wish List on our website please visit -

To learn about the ‘Buy a Brick’ in the new Wildlife Hospital and find out more please click here -

To learn more about our biggest project, become an Exclusive Build Partner and support our Wildlife Hospital please visit

To visit our Amazon Wish list please visit -

For lots more ideas on how you can support the shelter and the animals in our care then please visit our fundraising page

If you think the team or an individual goes over and above some international awards open for nominations currently are –

The ADCH & Petplan Awards -

The Ceva Animal Welfare Awards –

To find out more on trips, talks and our education work please email [email protected] or call 01481 257261

To see our upcoming guided tours please visit -


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