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Los Gigantes champions the cause of young Shearwaters 

page 22 LOS GIGANTES CHAMPIONS

Kind hearted British holidaymakers have been praised for their diligence in helping to save a rare fledgling sea bird.

Nikki Carpenter helped by her partner Ged O’Malley stood guard over the young Shearwater for several hours after it crash-landed in a lower courtyard near their apart-ment in Los Gigantes.

Nicky from the Wirral on Merseyside said: “The bird was in a state of shock and was quite terrified.”

“It lodged itself behind a clothes maiden and I was worried it could be vulne-rable and open to attack by cats.

They are beautiful birds and treasured by locals and visitors.”

She contacted friends and police took the bird to safety.

Claire Davies. who opened Ocean Drive Cafe in Los Gigantes nearly 15 years ago, is a local  shearwater champion.

She said: “I’m certainly no expert on the Shearwater but I’ve spent  years of rescuing them.”

“Actually,  one of my dogs finds them – he is 15 with nose like no other. He’s helped in numerous rescues over the years.”

“Rescued birds are checked and taken to the north of the island to be released.”

And she advised: “If anyone finds a landed bird and are brave enough, wrap a towel around it’s wings and hold tightly.

“If possible take it to the nearest police station.

There, the bird will be put into a safety box ready for collection and finally relea-sed. “

“I certainly do not suggest people try to release the birds themselves… they could unwittingly subject it to more harm.”

It’s the time of year for the young Shearwaters – fondly known as Wakerwaker due to their cries – to leave their nests.

Claire urged: “Please everyone — keep your eyes open for these landed birds. “

“The young are still rather large and it’s a good move to check unoccupied apart-ments and gardens too.”

Meantime, Arona council is taking exceptional meas-ures to help protect the Shearwater, which is threat-ened species of seabird.

It is considered so impor-tant, the authority has pled-ged to turn off the lights of sports centres at 10pm and reduce the intensity of lights in commercial areas at night.

This is backed by a cam-paign to explain the risks baby shearwaters face, what to do if they find an injured bird and how they can help generally. Arona registers the greatest number of dead baby shear-waters during this time of year.