RESCUE operations have been taking place to rescue some 100 Manx Shearwater birds, stranded on the Pembrokeshire coast during the recent storms.

Some 100 shearwaters have been rescued this year - down on the 220 rescued last year; mainly around the areas of Tenby to Pembroke and Newgale to Broadhaven.

A year before, in September 2017, some 220 manx shearwaters were rescued in Pembrokeshire recently by RSPCA Cymru following stormy weather conditions, following a rescue operation at Newgale beach on September 11, 2017, where some 144 of the seabirds were saved following a mass landing.

Sadly, some 10 per cent of those birds collected by the RSPCA at Newgale had to be put to sleep on welfare grounds. 100 or so were also found dead, following their ordeal in stormy conditions.

Manx shearwaters' body shape does lead them to have difficulties on land - and many face problems after being blown off course in adverse weather conditions.

The islands of Skomer and Skokholm in Pembrokeshire have around 50 per cent of the UK’s Manx shearwater population - the largest known concentration of the species in the world. In August and September the adults and juveniles leave the islands to migrate thousands of miles away to the coast of South America, but strong winds can blow them off course and they can struggle on dry land.

Speaking about the 2018 stranding, Terry Ledbetter of Welsh Marine Life Rescue said on Thursday: “We’re down in Newgale at the moment, picking up another 17, it’s horrendous here; we had to wade in to the surf to get them; this weather is going to bring in a lot more, it’s just relentless.”

He said that fortunately the numbers were nowhere near as bad as last year: “We had the call to say there were hundreds, when we got down there it was a bit of a lead balloon; today we’ve had a few more, it’s going to be a few days yet, I think.

“There was one in the surf we couldn’t get to; it’s horrible when you can’t get to something, but we got it, and there was a big cheer.”

The RSPCA regularly receives calls at this time of the year about troubled manx shearwaters.

The manx shearwaters are transferred to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre, with the hope of release after a short period of rehabilitation.

If anyone sees a manx shearwater in distress, they are urged to contact our 24-hour Emergency Line on 0300 1234 999. Manx shearwaters possess a distinctive sharp beak, which members of the public need to be wary of.

For more advice on what to do if you find a sick, injured or grounded wild animal, visit the RSPCA website at: