Norfolk

Northern gannet found on Norfolk trampoline

Gannet on trampoline Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The "huge" bird was discovered resting on a trampoline in North Wootton

A seabird commonly found in the North Atlantic has been rescued by the RSPCA after it was found in a Norfolk garden.

Dawn Austin discovered the gannet resting on a trampoline in her North Wootton garden on Tuesday and contacted vets when it did not fly away.

The animal welfare charity suspects the bird "was blown off course".

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said there were no "obvious injuries" but the gannet was "very weak" and vets were doing all they could to help him.

Gannets are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and can dive at speeds of 60mph (96.5kmh) to catch fish.

The animals are also known to colonise in the North Sea and English Channel, as well as both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Gannets have a wingspan which can reach up to 2m (6.6ft)

Ms Austin said: "I had gone to let my dog out in the morning and when I looked out in the garden I saw this huge bird sitting on the trampoline just staring at me.

"The bird didn't look injured or distressed so I presumed it would just fly off. But when I came home he was still there - but this time sitting in the sunshine at the bottom of the garden."

After managing to safely catch the bird with a towel, Ms Austin took the gannet to the RSPCA East Winch wildlife centre.

While the RSPCA were grateful for Ms Austin's help they have advised people not to try and catch large wild birds themselves.

Centre manager Alison Charles said: "As with lots of wildlife we never know why they sometimes get into difficulty and end up needing our help.

"We suspect that he was blown off course - but we do not know why."

Ms Charles said staff at the centre were feeding him three times a day as he was unable to feed himself, but they hoped that "having a chance to rest and recover" would help him "find the strength to pull through".

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