When the Sea Empress ran aground in Milford Haven on 15 February 1996, it spilled 72,000 tonnes of crude oil into Carmarthen Bay (more here). The bay supports around 30% of the British wintering population of Common Scoter, often numbering over 10,000 birds.
Following the spill, 4,571 Common Scoter were found dead or dying, but many were also successfully rehabilitated, ringed and released. Although many of these were found quite close by, several have since been found in Europe (in blue below), including one unlucky bird found following the Tricolor spill in the southern North Sea!
View Sea Empress Common Scoters in a larger map
We have just received details of GF67015 (rehabilitated and ringed following the spill), shot in Russia in June 2009 (the red marker above), actually very close to where another bird was shot in May 2007. So it is encouraging to see that some of these birds are still alive and doing what they should after being successfully rehabilitated.