It was owl in a day’s work for the environmental services team at North East Lincolnshire Council who rescued a distressed bird from a fallen tree in Grimsby at the weekend.
The tawny owl had a close call when it was discovered in a huge fallen conifer tree just as workers were about to use chainsaws to clear it from Abbey Road.
Lead arborist Phil Smith placed the owl carefully in a box and took it home, but he feared the worst as the animal’s eyes were shut and it was breathing very deeply and lying still.
Phil said: “It was clearly shocked and looked pretty distressed. We took it out and wrapped it in a towel, when we noticed it appeared to have injured its wing.”
After taking advice from Cleethorpes Wildlife Trust, Phil left the bird in the care of his wife as he went back to work. He returned later to find it had recovered and was flying around the family living room.
He added: “I was so pleased to see it, and to be honest was almost in tears – it seemed perfectly fine.
The owl was taken to Cleethorpes Wildlife Trust for a health check before being taken back to the area it was found for release.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for the environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The wind speeds and strength of the two storms but particularly Eunice, is something we do not witness often and it’s testament to the dedication of our teams that they work, day and night, to ensure our borough is kept as safe as possible.”
Wind speeds of up to 80mph battered the area during Friday, February 18 and into the night. Council workers were called to almost 20 incidents of fallen trees and large branches blocking roads, and strewn across parkland and green spaces.
The team worked into the night to clear debris in St James Square. They returned to the Duke of York Gardens early on Saturday, February 19 to assess the situation with a large section of Willow tree that had been felled.
After making it safe the night before, the area around it was taped off to be cleared completely on Monday morning, which people are being asked to avoid at the moment.