The majority of these birds have been found in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, and this seabird wreck has occurred at a time when these birds should be getting into prime condition for the breeding season, or even nesting now. High winds and 'uncomfortable' sea conditions are thought to be the prime cause, making finding food difficult.
|Colour ringed Shag - Sarah Featherstone|
The majority of reports of ringed birds have been Shag but have also included a wide variety of species, including Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Cormorant and even Little Auk. The graphs below show the 10 year average of reports (blue) against the number of reports so far this year.
You can clearly see the huge difference between early and late March. The number in early April is slightly less than late March and early indications show that late April will have many fewer reports of dead shags, as long as the trend continues.