Storm Arwen: Body count rises as hundreds of sea creatures wash up on Scottish beach

The death toll of sea life killed by deadly Storm Arwen continues to mount up as hundreds of starfish and other creatures wash up on a beach on the north-east coast of Scotland.

Shocking pictures taken near Nairn, on the Moray Firth, show piles of stranded starfish, crabs and shellfish flung up along a large area of the shoreline in the aftermath of last weekend’s extreme weather.

The photographs were taken by Charlie Maciejewski, from Inverness, during a walk at Culbin Sands.

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He said the washed-up creatures covered a 100m stretch of sand on the beach.

It is not known if any survived the stranding.

The weekend’s harsh weather, which saw winds of nearly 100mph and massive waves battering the coastline during Storm Arwen – the first official storm of the season – has been blamed.

The discovery comes following the death of more than 800 grey seal pups at a nature reserve in the Scottish Borders.

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Hundreds of seal pups killed after Storm Arwen batters nature reserve on Scottis...
Charlie Maciejewski, from Inverness, was out walking at Culbin Sands when he discovered the stranded sea creatures - which stretched across a 100m expanse of sand on the Moray Firth coast

Hundreds of bodies were discovered in the water in a small area of bay at Pettico Wick, at St Abb’s Head, with many more washing up on the shore.

It is thought around 40 per cent of all the young in the colony perished during Storm Arwen, which struck at the height of pupping season for the species.

Rangers at the National Trust for Scotland, which manages the reserve, said the scale of the devastation was unprecedented.

Ciaran Hatsell, who works at the site, said the storm had left a "pretty grim scene" in its wake.

Hundreds of starfish and other sea creatures were washed up on the beach at Culbin Sands, a nature reserve about five miles east of Nairn, in the aftermath of Storm Arwen. Picture: Charlie Maciejewski

"To see piles of dead pups in the water – just bodies floating – was really hard to see,” he said.

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Winds nearing 100mph and massive waves battered the east coast of Scotland during Storm Arwen, leaving a trail of devastation and dead wildlife in its wake - including countless sea creatures and shellfish in the Moray Firth and more than 800 seal pups at a nature reserve at in the Scottish Borders. Picture: Charlie Maciejewski
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