THE heavy seas and foam on the beaches proved too much for one bird last week.
Alstonville's Penny Kempler came across a young gannet at Lighthouse Beach during a walk on North Wall last week.
"I was on the wall when I saw this thing being tossed around in the waves onto Lighthouse Beach, and making efforts to stand," she said.
"The surf was massive and wild that day, a bit like an out-of-control washing machine.
"I usually carry a camera as I enjoy photography, and with my camera on zoom, I could see it was large bird. So I went down onto the beach and, as the tide was going out, the bird was being carried further up the beach.
"It made no attempt to fly and was totally water-logged and covered in sand and flying foam, but had enough life left in it to try to fend off its rescuer from Australian Seabird Rescue."
The bird recovered well, sleeping on a heat pack and being fed "pilchard smoothies".
"It would be nice if council were able to put up notices with Australian Seabird Rescue's phone number on," Penny said.