Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Osprey surprises offshore workers

Osprey
The Osprey was spotted on the Armada platform

An osprey turned heads when it was an unexpected guest on an offshore platform, the BBC Scotland news website can reveal.

The osprey was photographed by a worker as it sat on the BG Group's Armada platform, about 138 miles off Aberdeen.

One worker said: "It's not something you see every day, maybe the recent high winds caused problems and it was having a rest."

RSPB Scotland said it was a "stunning sight".

Richard Thaxton, RSPB Scotland's Loch Garten osprey centre manager, said: "Thousands of pairs of osprey breed in the summer in northern Europe, before migrating 3,000 miles to West Africa for the winter.

"This bird could either have set off in the wrong direction from Scotland, or perhaps been blown off course after leaving Scandinavia.

"It's probably not uncommon for ospreys to use oil rigs to rest on a long journey, but what a stunning sight."

'Move on'

He went on: "We know from satellite tracking of our two chicks from Loch Garten this year that it's a perilous journey.

"One chick, Deshar, headed out into the North sea at the start of his journey before returning to land, and unfortunately died in the Atlantic.

"The other, Nethy, made it safely to Senegal last week. Thousands followed their journey online at www.rspb.org.uk/ospreytracking."

Mr Thaxton added: "If this osprey was recently still in the North Sea, then it really needs to get a move on before winter kicks in."



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