A Lochaber resident has highlighted what she has described as an “environmental health crisis” at Caol Beach after coming across more than 30 dead birds over the course of her 15-minute walk.
Lise Mitchell Noble took to social media to highlight the issue and to warn others living nearby of the carcasses on the shoreline.
Environmental health crisis at Caol beach. At least 30 guillemot (?) *definately some razorbills too and also several…
She has said she counted at least 30 guillemot as well as razorbills and gulls during her walk and is flagging the find to environmental health and Highland Council over potential contamination on the shoreline.
The birds were discovered along the beach below Caol Post Office heading towards the canal locks at Corpach.
Miss Mitchell Noble said: “Our initial reaction was it may be an issue with contamination.
“It was so alien to see that many birds dead.
“As far as we could tell from an untrained eye, the birds didn’t look unhealthy other than the fact they were dead.
“There is nothing there that raised suspicion. There was no fishing line or no injuries and their bodies looked kind of normal.
“Some people have said it is an issue with birds getting blown off course and others have said it is to do with birds becoming attracted to the coastline because of the light. Others have said they are underweight and there is not a lot of food for them so it is flagging up a lot of questions.
“Regardless of what it is, none of those sound particularly positive and I don’t think it is a good thing that there are that many dead birds in such a short stretch.
“Seeing one or two would not be as big a shock but this was just as the tide had changed so they had just come in from sea.
“There were none that we could see that were alive that we could help.
“I have reported this to environmental health and the local council.
“Other people may wish to go for a walk there too, maybe even with young children and dogs so it is about making sure they are safe to do that.
“We were just shocked. We couldn’t believe what was going on. It is quite concerning.
“Your immediate thought is ‘have they been poisoned’, ‘is there contamination somewhere’, ‘is it safe for dogs and young kids to be here’.
“We are hoping for some clarity on what has happened here.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “Our environmental health team will follow this up with other agencies. Anyone who finds dead wild birds should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (select option 7).”