Pirate FM News

VIDEO: Is This The Cornish Penguin?

penguin

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:02am 19th November 2014.

Is this video of a penguin swimming off the coast of Cornwall?

The footage has been shot by a Pirate FM listener, who got in touch after we told you about another reported sighting in Looe.

Richard Staff from St Blazey was fishing at Polkerris when he noticed the bird. He said: "It definitely looks like a flightless bird. If it is a penguin, I've got no idea how it got here. It's had a fair old swim, unless it's escaped from somewhere.

"I was wishing for mackerel on the day. There could have been a lot of whitebait moving around in the water below me. There quite often is, because mackerel chase them into the harbour at high tide and fill their boots, as it were. It could have been after them."

Pirate FM has shown the footage to the RSPB. Spokesman Tony Whitehead told us: "This is something that does happen occasionally. People will see these birds and mistake them for penguins but, in this case, this bird is a razorbill. The two birds that always get mistaken for penguins are razorbills and guillemots.

"The UK is responsible for more penguins than any other country in the world. That's because of all the overseas UK territories in the southern hemisphere. We don't have them here on the UK mainland but in all those overseas territories we're responsible for an awful lot of penguins."

Razorbills are black and white birds with a thick black beak. The birds only come to shore to breed and spend the winter in the north Atlantic.

Earlier this week Pirate FM told you how a man had called into Looe Tourist Information Centre saying he had seen a penguin.

Staff said: "On Wednesday, a man came into Looe Tourist Information Centre claiming he had seen a penguin on Hannafore Beach.

"I explained that it was probably a guillemot or an oyster catcher but he was sure it was a penguin (he had seen one in New Zealand).

"The gentleman phoned up yesterday to ask if there had been anymore sightings. If anybody is up that way enjoying the sunshine today, please keep an eye out for a lost penguin, and if you see it please tell us."

In February Chantelle Smith reported seeing a penguin waddling past her in Polkerris, making the new video the third reported sighting so far this year.

Have you spotted a penguin in Cornwall? Let us know below - and watch the video here...

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