Fulmars, Plastic and Nurdles; part 2

February 12th 2020

Fulmars, Plastic and Nurdles; part 2

This short post is a follow up to my one from January 19th this year concerning the ingestion of marine plastic by Fulmars, Fulmarus glacialis.

That post concerned a chance meeting, at Stoerhead Lighthouse, with Dr Jan A. van Franeker from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. He has been studying marine plastic in the stomachs of Fulmars since the 1970’s.  You can read much more about the project on their website at this link wur.eu/plastics-fulmars

Part of my earlier post concerned pollution of our seas by ‘nurdles’ or pre-production plastic pellets. By chance Jan was recently filmed for Dutch television about this problem and we have been given permission to share the 7 minute item.

Here is a link to the ITEM; there are English subtitles but it sort of speaks for itself really!

I used to live in Fife and would frequently do my birdwatching from various locations on the north shore of the River Forth. There were always huge numbers of nurdles all along the shore then. So, these pellets have been getting into the marine environment for at least 30 years now!

David Haines

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Recent Sightings

Great Northern Diver

four birds, Loch Dhrombaig (DAH) (19/02)

Harbour Porpoise

two animals off Bay of Clachtoll (DAH) (13/02)

Redshank

three birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (13/02)

Curlew

15 birds flying between Stoer and Clachtoll (DAH) (13/02)

Pygmy Shrew - skull in owl pellet

skull of Pygmy Shrew, along with those of two Field Voles, found after examination of probable Tawny Owl pellet, Clachtoll Peat Track, Creag Clais nan Cruineachd (Gwen Richards and Ian Evans) (13/02)

Otter

single animal in Loch Inver opposite Spar shop (Ian and Jane Young) (12/02)

Barn Owl

single bird near Loch an Ordain, Clachtoll (Yates family) (12/02)

Stoat

single animals in Achnacarnin (Pam Mackenzie) and Raffin (Hilary Richardson) (11/02)

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