The ArgusSurprise in Seaford as migrating bird destined for Senegal is blown off-course by storm (From The Argus)

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Surprise in Seaford as migrating bird destined for Senegal is blown off-course by storm

The Argus: Surprise in Seaford as migrating bird destined for Senegal is blown off-course by storm Surprise in Seaford as migrating bird destined for Senegal is blown off-course by storm

This poor bird is thousands of miles off-course and isolated from his feathered-friends after getting lost in violent storms during migration.

Puzzled homeowners Patricia and Andy Hornsbury spotted the mystery bird in their back garden in Cliff Close, Seaford, last Monday morning.

A call to the RSPCA discovered the dark grey animal was a Great Skua - a large seabird which should, by now, be with its friends in Senegal on the east coast of Africa.

It normally breeds in Iceland and Northern Scotland before migrating down the west coast of Norway, along Northern France and down the east of the Atlantic Ocean to Africa.

However experts at the Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for Protection of Birds said the lost animal inadvertently found its way to Sussex after getting caught up in recent storms.Mrs Hornsbury, 55, said: “My husband teaches wildlife photography so he was a bit surprised when it landed in the back garden. “We thought it must have blown well off-course due to the weather, the poor thing.

“We went all the way to Gambia last November to photograph different birds. We may just stay here in future.”

The bird is currently being cared for by the RSPCA at its Mallydams Wood wildlife centre in Hastings.

A spokeswoman from the charity said: “Mallydams Woods is caring for two Great Skuas at the moment, which is very rare.

“It is unusual to see these birds in our centres at all, let alone two in the same week.

“The birds normally live out at sea, but were weakened by the recent bad weather and so were found at shore.

“They are being fed and cared for by our staff at the moment. lt is too early to say if and where they will be released back to the wild.”

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