Staff at a Bridlington building supplies firm were left amazed at witnessing a ‘shag’ in their showroom.
The goose-sized bird waddled into MKM Building Supplies on Bessingby Industrial Estate where it jumped into a bathroom.
Kitchen specialist at MKM Building Supplies Steffi Taylor, 35, said: “We saw it first outside stood on a bollard and, with me being an animal lover, I wanted a closer look. It was so cute and it just waddled into the showroom like a penguin making a funny flapping sound.”
The staff believed the bird was a Razorbill initially and they called the RSPB to go down to retrieve the bird where they got a surprise.
“Everyone just found him gorgeous,” said Steffi. “We thought he was a Razorbill at first and you can only imagine the reaction of the staff when we found out it was a shag. Inside it jumped on to boxes, went inside a bath and was sat on the loo for quite a while too.
“We even gave him the name Shaun the shag.”
In the UK shags breed on coastal sites, mainly in the north and west, and more than half their population is found at fewer than 10 sites. They are on the Red List meaning it’s a globally threatened species.
RSPB intern Chris Callow went down to collect the bird and, expecting to have to dig among pallets and bags of cement for it, was surprised to see it had wandered into the showroom.
Chris said: “The bird was not in any way alarmed or agitated – the staff had even given his feathers a stroke.
“So I put on gloves and eye protection then picked it up and put it in a cage – but not before I showed it to a few interested customers.
“They are coastal birds so why it ended up in a bathroom showroom, we’re not sure. It could have been blown off course by the inclement weather and just chanced on an open door to a warm, dry place.”
The shag was brought back to the reserve, on Wednesday 6 January, where it was handed over to Jim Ward of Wildlife Rescue in Scarborough. The bird was given some food and an overnight rest before being released back into the wild on the cliffs.
“We’re all delighted that Shaun was not harmed and he has been released back to the wild,” said Steffi.
“He came in at 10.30am and was with us for around half an hour but it certainly made the day more entertaining.
“I certainly never thought I’d say that we had a shag at work!”
Chris said: “As an RSPB intern you get to undertake a whole variety of tasks but rescuing a shag from a bathroom showroom is guaranteed to be one thing on my CV that few others can claim.”