On a recent beach walk on Béal Bán Beach, Ballyferriter, near Dingle, I came upon this beautiful gannet. It’s not often I have an opportunity to get this close to a gannet. This bird was struggling to pull a piece of rope which appeared to have something heavy on the end of it. I watched it struggle up from the water, pulling its object up the beach. I stupidly thought she was doing this by choice, and that she may have some purpose in mind, for her piece of treasure. I took several photos, not wishing to get too close and scare her away.
Another passer-by, who was more enlightened than myself saw the bird’s distress and stopped to free her from the rope, which was apparently stuck to her beak. She must have become entangled with it when she was diving for food.
Having been set free, one might expect that she would fly away, but that didn’t happen. I can only guess that she must have been exhausted. She seemed unconcerned about me getting closer, taking more photos, and made no attempt to get away. I left her there, just standing on the middle of the beach. It was a sad sight. There was nothing more that anyone could do. I don’t know what happened to her; I hope she managed to fly away as the tide came in some hours later.
So, my reason for writing this post – just to make people think more carefully about what they throw into the sea, or leave on the beach for the tide to claim. Thousands of birds and other creatures suffer and die unnecessarily because of human carelessness.