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Rare sea duck saved after crash-landing in Horsham

The RSPCA was called to collect a rare sea duck (on a list of threatened species) which was believed to have been blown off course and crash landed in a Sussex garden.



The common scoter, which is an all dark sea duck was discovered in a garden at a property in Broadbridge Heath, Horsham, on the morning of November 27.

The male sea duck was unresponsive and did not appear to want to fly, and so the worried caller rang the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby attended and took the bird to the RSPCA’s Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre, in Hastings.

He said: “I was quite surprised when I realised what type of bird this was, and it’s quite an unusual collection for the RSPCA. It’s not a bird I have ever been called to deal with before.”

Richard Thompson, wildlife rehabilitation team manager at Mallydams, said: “The scoter is doing well. He has a small fracture on the top of the keel bone, which was probably caused when he crash landed.

“Fortunately this will heal quite well. We’ve also washed the scoter in order to remove contamination and ensure that when he goes back on the water he is fully-waterproofed. He’s now out in one of pools and is showing great improvement, all being well we hope that we can release him as early as next week.

“I am so pleased that we have been able to rehabilitate him successfully so that he can then be released back to the wild.”

Sadly the UK breeding population of this diving sea duck has declined and it is now a Red List species.

It is also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, being listed under Schedule 1. One of the main threats to this species are oil spills as wintering populations are particularly vulnerable these as well as habitat degradation.

Last year, the animal welfare charity’s 24-hour cruelty hotline received 55,821 calls over Christmas (1 December – 31 December). More than 8,000 animals spent Christmas in our care last year.

This Christmas, the charity is asking the public to support Delivering Kindness at Christmas. To donate, please visit

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Woman with four young children kicked in face and robbed

Police are investigating after a 32-year-old woman was attacked and robbed in North Street, Horsham, shortly before 5pm on Wednesday (22 May).



The victim, accompanied by her four young children, had bent down to pick up some shopping that had fallen from a baby buggy.

A man who initially appeared to be helping her then kicked her in the face and made off with a bag containing food and tobacco.

He was described as white, in his mid 20s, with a patchy beard. He was wearing a black baseball cap, ripped green t-shirt, a cream jacket, dark jeans and dirty white trainers.

He smelt strongly of alcohol and body odour.

His victim was left bruised and shaken.

Anyone who saw what happened or who noticed or knows the suspect, is asked to contact Sussex Police online ( or by phoning 101, quoting serial 1132 of 22/05.

Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, either online or by phoning 0800 555 111.

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