Mystery of dozens of dead seabirds washing up on Hastings beach

Guillemot in flight ENGPPP00120111210122321
Guillemot in flight ENGPPP00120111210122321

Local residents have reported seeing dozens of dead seabirds washed up on Hastings beach last Thursday and over the weekend.

The birds are thought to be cormorants or guillemots.

Local man Garry Jenner said: “There were up to 40 birds on the beach on Friday morning.”

It is believed that the appearance of the dead birds is a natural phenomena as a results of birds perishing in storms out to sea.

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In 2015 our sister paper the Eastbourne Herald reported on an incident of dead guillemots being washed up at Seaford and Newhaven.

Trevor Weeks, of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, said at the time: “Seabird wrecks is the term used when multiple dead and emaciated birds wash ashore and normally occur after rough weather at sea when flocks of seabirds lose track of the sources of fish they are following.

“The numbers seen on the Sussex coast are fairly low compared to incidents which have occurred over the past decade on the eastern coast where there have been a number of incidents where hundreds of birds have washed ashore dead.”

Jess Price, Conservation Officer at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: “Storms at sea can often result in dead birds being washed ashore with the tide.

“During the big winter storms in December 2013/January 2104 we received reports of razorbills, guillemots and starlings washed ashore along the Sussex coast.”

Pictured is a guillemot in flight.

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