BIRDS rescued from the Dorset Coast covered in an oil additive have been released from Portland Bill.

The 21 guillemots were the first birds to be released in Dorset after spending nearly a month at the RSPCA centre in West Hatch near Taunton being cleaned and cared for.

Paul Oaten, wildlife centre supervisor, said it was 'very rewarding' to see the birds released back into the wild.

He said: "It's been nearly a month since they came in, so it has been interesting to see the whole progression, and finally getting to the point of putting them back where they belong."

The birds were transported from West Hatch in 11 cardboard boxes in an RSPCA van, and were set free on the west coast of the bill.

The cliff was chosen because it was close to the area the birds were found, and was high enough for them to fly off before settling onto the water.

The birds were checked carefully by vets and tagged before being released, and more are expected to be set free of Portland in the next few days.