What do short eared owls, chiffcahffs and blue tits have in common?
In this case the answer is –
All these birds have been seen out at sea on oil rigs.
I’ve been lucky enough to hear about this from Mark and Michael who work on oilrigs. I’d like to share this offshore bird world with you. Mark said –
The weather is often wild outside, but more often it is the fog which brings the birds down on the rig as they don’t know where they are going.
We get 2 types of owl fairly regularly – the Long Eared Oil and the Short Eared Owl.
The short eared owl (SEO) is on the handrail outside in foggy weather in the central north sea
Mark goes on to say –
One of the interesting things is that we often get Raptors such as Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and Merlins which will spend a few weeks with us hunting round the rig for smaller birds which have become exhausted and therefore easy to catch.
Below is one of Mark’s photos of a Kestrel
Mark has also seen other birds such as Great spotted woodpecker and woodcock, but has not been able to get photos of them.
He says – You have to be very patient to get a good photo of any bird.
Thanks to Mark for showing us another bird world.
It’s amazing that it’s not only the sea birds that fly out to sea.
I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for the smaller birds that find themselves out at sea on an oilrig, but I suppose the oil rig saves them from a watery grave.
I’m used to seeing garden birds flitting on and off bird tables. I think it must be great to see birds landing on an oilrig inthe middle of the sea. I hope most of them survive.
Thanks to Michael and Mark who have given me a fascinating look into a different world of birds. I hope I can learn more.
Please let me know if you have any photos.
COPYRIGHT OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS BELONGS TO MARK ETHERIDGE.