EXHAUSTED and distressed seabirds have been washed up on Dorset beaches after braving strong winds and enormous waves.

Dorset Wildlife Trust says it is concerned for the wildlife battered by the storms including razorbills, fulmars and shags which have been found stranded at Kimmeridge Bay and on Chesil Beach.

“The weather conditions make it hard for birds that live and feed around the coast, and there’s a risk they could become weak from not being able to feed properly,” said Julie Hatcher, the trust’s marine awareness officer.

“The biggest concern is that seabirds will become dehydrated, as their intake of water comes from the food they eat. We are encouraging members of the public who come across an injured bird to phone the RSPCA for assistance.”

There is also concern that repeated storms are washing up considerable amounts of litter and DWT will be running beach clean events.

Persistent rain has caused rivers such as the Frome and Stour to burst their banks, with mixed results for wildlife.

“High flowing rivers will allow migratory species such as salmon to swim further up the river to breed, which will mean good news for breeding numbers, as long as their nests do not get damaged by the flows,” said Sarah Williams, wild rivers project co-ordinator.

“Wildfowl and wading birds will also enjoy feeding on larger wetland areas, where they will find fish and invertebrates near the surface.

“Wildfowl need space to move away from the flood and natural floodplains do provide some relief but it is particularly important for water voles to be able to move away from the main floodwater. The population of water voles this year will indicate how badly this flooding has affected them.”

For more information about beach clean events go to dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events and to report an injured or distressed creature contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.