An unidentified species of bird that has been likened to the New Zealand Kiwi Bird was reportedly sighted on Rathlin Island on Monday morning. The discovery was made by Seamus Keanie, a retired shopkeeper who has lived on the island for over 50 years. The local man describes his sighting of the flightless bird as ‘bizarre’
Mr. Keanie, who was out for his morning walk along the Island’s harbour, stumbled upon the bird at around 8:00am when he spotted the creature pecking at a discarded ear of corn.
“It was a strange enough sight for a Monday morning, at first I thought it was one of the puffins, but then I realised it didn’t have an orange beak, or any wings for that matter”
“The wife thought I was clean mad, but when I showed her the photo she nearly dropped” said Seamus of the discovery
Other locals in the area are baffled at the news of the sighting, which is understandable given that the bird is usually only found in New Zealand, with many now flocking to the scene of the sighting.
“There were a few New Zealand tourists here last month” claims local woman Rose Steele, “I’m starting to think they might have brought it with them for a holiday and forgot all about it”
“The poor wee thing could have fell off the ferry or anything, it’s an absolute disgrace if you ask me – so it is”
The Island, which is already home to a colony of puffins from April-September, is an unusual place for a Kiwi bird to take residence. The locals however, have made the bird feel very welcome on the island and have now named it ‘Jimmy’. It is assumed that the RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre will be taking Jimmy under their wing until his owner comes forward to claim him.
The logistics of getting Jimmy back to New Zealand are yet to be determined.