AN OWL who landed on a North Sea oil rig has been released back into the wild by the Scottish SPCA.
The short eared owl was taken to the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross after being found on E.ON’s Huntington platform last month and being flown to the mainland with returning crew members.
Centre manager Colin Seddon said: “After this owl was rescued we took in a further five who were also found on North Sea oil rigs.
“There have been previous instances where birds have landed on rigs but to have this many owls in such a short space of time is unusual.
“These owls have quite likely flown over from Scandinavia, Russia or Iceland to spend the winter in Scotland.
“Most were merely exhausted, which could be due to high winds and stormy conditions.
“Some also had oil on them from the rigs which thankfully we were able to remove successfully.
“Of the six short eared owls, we have so far released five on the east coast north of Dundee.
“The remaining owl is currently in an aviary at our centre and will be returned to the wild shortly.
“Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”