hms-montrose

9

Top: A Eurasian Hoopoe on a flying visit to HMS Echo in Indian Ocean; 2nd row left: The crane found on the flight deck of HMS Montrose; middle: Monty the Kestrel found resting on the upperdeck of HMS Montrose; right: The playful antics of a humpback whale observed from the deck of HMS Echo in Indian Ocean; 3rd row: Monty the Kestrel found resting on the upperdeck of HMS Montrose; 4th row left: A long way from home - a grasshopper comes to rest on board HMS Echo in Indian Ocean; right: An African Sacred Ibis and Eurasian Spoonbill take a breather on board HMS Echo in the Indian Ocean; Bottom left: One of many dragonflies found Zipping around on the upperdeck of HMS Montrose and right: A brightly coloured dragonfly takes a momentary respite on board HMS Echo in the Indian Ocean [Pictures: Leading Airman (Photographer) Alex Knott (onboard HMS Montrose)/All Crown copyright]
 
Currently operating in the Gulf region representing the UK’s interests and deterring illegal activity on the high seas, HMS Montrose recently found herself in a more conservational role, inadvertently providing a haven for several feathered aviators embarked for refuelling and maintenance.
 
Visitors included a kestrel (instantly named ‘Monty’ by the Ship’s Company) found resting on the Port bridge wing by the Quartermaster, a common Eurasian crane (imaginatively named 'Craney’) who took a shining to the flight deck, several crickets, and dozens of dragonflies on the bridge wings.
 
Meanwhile, Royal Naval survey ship HMS Echo – on an 18-month mission to improve Admiralty Charts using a hi-tech sonar – became a temporary host to exotic wildlife whilst on patrol in the Indian Ocean. Members of the ship’s crew captured images of insects and birds found resting on the ship’s ropes and decks.
 
An African Sacred Ibis, a Eurasian Spoonbill and a Eurasian Hoopoe – along with numerous species of a large grasshopper and dragonfly took brief refuge onboard, whilst about 150 miles off the Horn of Africa in poorly charted waters.