Unusual Bird Released at Eastbourne Beach

On Christmas Day 2020 a Velvet Scoter was rescued after being found under a table at the Waterfront shops at Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne. The bird was being very aggressive towards anyone who approached and was clearly scared.

The bird was taken to East Sussex WRAS where it was treated and its strength built up. The bird was taken back to Eastbourne beach today (11th Jan 2021) for release back into the wild.

The velvet scoter is a black seaduck. It has a long bill, a thick neck and a pointed tail. In flight, it shows a white patch on the rear of the wing - this can also be seen when birds sitting on the sea flap their wings. This Schedule 1 species does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor to the east coast, especially in Scotland, Norfolk and north-east England. The large flocks in winter are vulnerable to oil pollution and depleted fish stocks. It is unusual for them to be found at Eastbourne.

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