Submitted by GSPCA on 12:39, 20th Sep, 2012 | 0

This GSPCA had a call on Saturday to help a bird in need.

Often mistaken for penguins this Manx Shearwater was spotted in St Sampsons harbor in distress.

An ambulance driver was dispatched to the scene and was forced to enter the water to catch this very ill little bird.

The caller thought the poor bird was caught in fish netting but during the rescue it became apparent that the Shearwater was very lethargic and thin.

Ambulance Driver and Animal Care Assistant Eddie Higgins managed to rescue the bird that Shelter staff have named Swimmer.

Swimmer spent a number of days in an intensive care unit and is now out during the day on one of the pools for rehabilitation and we are hopeful will be fit enough in a couple of weeks to release.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said 'Manx Shearwaters are fantastic little birds but when they land in enclosed water ways or on land it is nearly impossible for them to take off.'  'Swimmer is still a little quiet and needs more rehabilitation but we are confident this pretty little bird will be fit enough to release in a couple of weeks.'  'We were expecting it would be fishing line or netting that caused the birds problems but thankfully it wasn't with this little bird.'  'It is important that rubbish isn't left or discarded as it can affect all types of wild life.'  'From the 4 can plastic holders strangling hedgehogs to fish netting drowning birds the GSPCA urges everyone to take care and if you see these items to discard them safely.'

Another bird that came into the Shelter back in July was Olive the kestrel who was found at the Torrey Canyon covered in oil.  Due to the condition of her feathers she is still at the Shelter until she goes through a full moult but she is doing well and we are hopeful that she will be able to be released before the winter sets in.

Hopefully when Swimmer is fit this little bird when released can continue it's journey to South America for the winter.

You can donate to help birds like Swimmer by going to the links below, popping in to the Shelter or over the phone by calling 01481 257261

More information on Manx Shearwaters -

The Manx Shearwater is a small bird and has long straight slim wings, and is black above and white below. It flies with a series of rapid stiff-winged flaps followed by long glides on stiff straight wings over the surface of the sea, occasionally banking or 'shearing'. They breed in colonies in the UK, on offshore islands where it is safe from rats and other ground predators. Birds leave their nest sites in July, to migrate to the coast of South America, where they spend the winter, returning in late February and March. They breed on a few islands off the west coast of the UK, such as Skomer in Wales and Rum in Scotland. Otherwise they can be seen from seawatching points in spring and autumn while on migration. Western coasts might be more productive that eastern coasts. You are most likely to see them during spring and autumn on migration, or by visiting one of the offshore islands where they breed. They feed on fish, especially herrings, sardines and sprats.

This Saturday the 22nd September 7pm at the Shelter we are inviting volunteers and helpers from this and our many other events to come along to celebrate all the hard work in a get together. If any volunteers would like to come along please let Steve know on 257261 or email [email protected]

Thank you again for all of your support.

Are you aware that nominations for this year’s Community Awards are now OPEN!

The categories for the awards are:

                Charity of the Year

                Organising Committee of the Year

                Fundraising Team

                Overseas Award

                Corporate Social Responsibility

                Outstanding Individual Achievement

The Community Awards have asked us to spread the word, and if you know of any great charities or events that are worthy of nominating them. Nomination forms and awards criteria are now available to download from the Community Awards website –

There will be more information about the awards in the press very soon. Their Facebook page is also gathering a nice number of followers and is being used to keep people up to date regularly with preparations for the event so check it out by

Community Awards Guernsey -

The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 26 September.


To download a Membership form or if you wish to donate regularly

GSPCA membership form

To make a donation please click here

To sponsor an animal pen, kennel or unit please download the form by -

Monthly sponsor scheme for dogs cats rabbits hedgehogs and other Animals in Guernsey

To help donate to our Cattery & Quarantine Appeal please download a form by -

To help donate to our Cattery & Quarantine Appeal please download a form by


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