Owl takes a break on North Sea platform
Oil workers discover migrating bird
A MIGRATING owl caused a stir after landing on a North Sea oil platform.
Workers on Brae Bravo thought it was a hoot when they found the long-eared owl, which was covered in grease and oil.
Staff on the Marathon Oil installation cleaned up the owl, fed and watered it and sent it on a boat to be cared for at a rescue centre.
Today an RSPB expert said the nocturnal creature would have been migrating south for the winter – and decided to have a rest on the way.
Hywel Maggs, the RSPB’s regional farmland birds officer, described the bird as a “stowaway” on the platform, which is 130 miles off the coast of Aberdeen.
Mr Maggs said: “The long-eared owl is a resident species in the UK but also in northern Europe.
“Birds from Northern Europe and Scandinavia will be migrating during the Autumn to the UK and further south. And this bird would have been on its way to its wintering ground.
“The owl has ended up on a platform as quite often birds that are on route will stop off wherever possible.”
The bird, which has distinctive long ears and piercing orange eyes, was dubbed Ollie by staff on the platform.
Mr Maggs said the stop-off-point in the open sea would have been too much of a temptation to resist for the owl.
And he said the main reason for the bird’s stop would have been to have a break from its journey.