After the net was packed away, although the cars and ringers were still present, 60 birds were on the seed within 15 minutes.
Whilst awaiting further action, and gazing over the sea wall a movement was noted down the stone slope - it was a gull trapped by a fishing hook attached to abandoned tackle. A lead weight was jammed between the blocks part way down the wall and two hooks, still baited were attached to this weight by a length of line. The gull had its lower mandible pierced through from inside to out by one hook.
On retrieving the bird it was found to be the Belgian-ringed Mediterranean Gull that Pete, Janet et al had just spent days ring reading. At least the ring number was confirmed! Some first aid was applied to the bill which was not badly damaged, a yellow darvic ring (2P96) was fitted to the lower left leg and the very fortunate bird was released in good health. The condition of the bird suggested that it had not been trapped for long.
On our arrival earlier, we had noted that masses of debris and rubbish left by fishermen was present. I am sure it is only a minority, but these people seem to have no regard for their surroundings or for the wildlife around. The abandoned weight was not too far down the wall to be retrieved, but it was far enough for the bird to be drowned by the tide if it had not died in the meantime through exhaustion/starvation.
Why didn't the fisherman bother to retrieve his tackle? Why can't these rogue fishermen take home their food debris, cans, cigarette packets, tackle packaging, plastic bags, abandoned line and tackle etc?
They are an absolute disgrace to their sport (!) and to their more thoughtful colleagues.