PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - In aviation, experience is often measured in flight time, but very few pilots could match the flight experience of the veteran marine bird found on a Plettenberg Bay beach recently.
According to the Nature's Valley Trust team, one of the organisation's members, Chanel Gamae Hauvette, retrieved a Cory's Shearwater off Hobie Beach in the coastal holiday town on 19 January, 2020.
"Despite the best rehab efforts of Chanel to initially stabilise the bird, and of the staff at Robberg Veterinary Clinic, the bird died before it could even get to our local rehab centre, Tenikwa," the team said.
The bird however carried a ring from Portugal. Upon making enquiries the feedback from the Portuguese Ringing Scheme indicated that the bird was ringed at Ilha Selvagem Grande in Portugal on 7 October, 1979, making the bird more than 40 years old. It also means that the bird managed to cover more than 8 000km to make it to Plett.
"This shows not only the value of global ringing efforts, but also the local Plett Marine Animal Stranding Network who responds to reports of sick or injured marine wildlife."
The Cory's Shearwater is known to breed on Medeira, the Azores and Berlengas Archipelago in Portugal as well as the Canary Islands in Spain. The largest colony is found in Savages Islands, Madeira.
During the last stretch of summer and in autum, most of these birds head into the Atlantic as far north as the southwestern coasts of Britain and Ireland. They return in February.
'We bring you the latest Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route news'