I headed out to my local patch this morning at Killard NR.
I arrived at Ben Derg beach and there were a couple of Dunlin on the rocks and a couple of pairs of Ringed Plover. The Ringed Plover both have young. One has two and the other one. There were also a few Oystercatchers on the shoreline making a racket and as I approached two flew off and I noticed a dead one and was even more shocked to see the way that it had died. It had this plastic item jammed over its lower mandible. When I turned it over and felt its breast it was skeletal. So had basically died of starvation.
Infact the moment it put its beak into this object it had signed its death warrant. I had great difficulty myself in removing it from the beak. Once it stuck it in the tiny hole on one side the metal strips on the other side allowed it to push further but not out again.
I dread to think how long it took this bird to die.
It is just so depressing to see the amount of plastic waste that washes up daily on the shoreline mainly I suspect from fishing boats. There was also another piece of litter on the reserve being two semi deflated balloons which were probably released at some party or charity function. Releasing balloons should be banned.