‘Penguin impersonator’ spotted on Ramsgate beach being cared for by staff at Briar House vets

The Guillemot is now being cared for Photo Caroline King

A ‘penguin impersonator’ that was spotted on Ramsgate sands yesterday (December 14) is being cared for by staff at Briar House vets in Broadstairs and will be moved to a animal welfare site for recuperation.

The little Guillemot caused quite a stir when he was mistaken for a penguin by a jogger who posted a video to facebook.

Broadstairs resident Caroline King also saw the bird when she was out walking her two dogs and decided to return to the beach and rescue him.

She said: “He was on the beach when I was walking my dogs but they were scaring him so after I took them home, I went back with a towel and a pot to put him in.

“Luckily he was very easy to catch! I’d asked for help on facebook because I couldn’t get near him with the dogs and people were very helpful.

“Briar House was also mentioned so I took him there and they were amazing  and took him straight in.

“He’s doing well and has started eating. They are waiting for him to be strong enough to go to the correct recuperation site.”

Caroline confirmed the bird was the same one that had been mistaken for a penguin, adding: “He is the little penguin impersonator. They are incredibly like penguins, they even swim like them.”

Guillemots are native to the UK -unlike penguins. They come to land only to nest, spending the rest of their life at sea.


  1. I saw one of these the other month, maybe the same one, in West Bay Westgate. It was paddling away from shore and I thought it looked like a penguin from distance. No expert but it looked like it wasn’t paddling normally, but still got some distance away from shore fairly quickly.

  2. Interestingly the Sun ran this story convinced by the reporter and their mouth breathing readers that it was a penguin

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