A BEACHCOMBER made an unusual discovery when he found a puffin that had been washed up on Shoreham Beach.
John Harris, who lives on a house boat in Shoreham Beach, was watching the storm last Wednesday afternoon when he stumbled across the bird, which had sadly died.
Mr Harris picked up the puffin and took it home, hoping to look it up in a book and identify it.
He left it outside overnight but when he went to retrieve it the next morning it had disappeared, possibly taken by a fox.
Mr Harris said finding it had come as a big surprise.
“I live on a house boat so I often have a look along the beach, but that’s the strangest thing I have found,” he said.
Steve Baker was also on the beach that afternoon, watching the storm.
“The weather was incredibly spectacular,” he said. We found the puffin just lying there. It was a real shame really because you don’t often find thing like that.”
Mr Baker said the pair had tried to identify the bird and came to the conclusion that it was a juvenile puffin, due to its dark face.
“We figured it was a young one that got caught up in the storm,” said Mr Baker.
Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service senior officer Billy Elliott said he had never heard any reports of puffins in the area before.
A spokesman from RSPCA Mallydams Wood in Hastings said they had dealt with puffins in the past, but only on rare occasions.