Increasing numbers of stricken birds are washing up on the south west coast after being covered in a mysterious substance.
Experts are no closer to discovering the cause of the damage, which has seen more than 100 seabirds taken into care at the RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton.
Most of the birds were found in Dorset, but one bird was found alive as far as Worthing in west Sussex.
Around 200 miles of the English coastline is being investigated. The Environment Agency has taken samples of the water for testing.
An investigation is continuing into how more than a hundred birds came to be covered in a mysterious sticky substance on a 200-mile stretch of coastline in Dorset.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) were called to the south coast yesterday after the troubled guillemots, a member of the auk family, were discovered on Lyme Bay near Weymouth.
Environment Agency staff have taken samples of the affected water in an attempt to discover what the mysterious substance is.
The RSPCA has been called to the rescue of more than 100 sea birds being found covered in an unidentified sticky substance.
The guillemots have been found along the Dorset/Devon coast from Weymouth to Torquay covered in the greasy film, many have very sore legs.
They are mainly being found on the near Portland,West Dorset.
The birds are being taken to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Somerset where efforts to clean them are being made with the usual techniques. It is too early to know whether this has been successful, but the early signs are that they are not responding well.
The cold weather may well be the best thing possible for a special survey being carried out this weekend. Snow on the ground is likely to drive birds into people's gardens looking for food.
Which will be great for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch which is taking place on Saturday and Sunday, as Jacquie Bird reports.
It's the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.
People across the Westcountry are being urged to take part in the survey to try to find out vital information about our most familiar birds. Last year saw the lowest ever number of starlings.
Find out more information here.