At the end of March, I spent a few days on Skye helping Anna Crawford and Robin Reid who monitor the breeding sea eagles there, to locate birds that are incubating. It was good to see breeding adult birds and see what we have to look forward to in a few years time. The wild-bred adults were just as curious and tolerant of people as our youngsters with an adult circling low overhead as I watched its partner incubating and another male with pink tags (born in 2003) flying low over the village of Dunvegan. We also identified the wandering East coaster as a female, ring number 96 and tracked her flying over Loch Harport as she head to a communal roost on the 25th. She was the first bird collected in Norway in 2008 and of the other two chicks, she shared an aviary with in Fife, the male has stayed close to the Tay and the other female last located on the Solway.
Bird 7 has popped back from Mull to visit the 2007 birds at the communal roost and ‘Ardmore’ a 2008 female, named by Ardmore Highland Malt who kindly support the project has been true to her name and has been seen and radio-tracked not far from the distillery in Kennthmont, Abderdeenshire!
With the geese moving on, March has seen some of the eagles spending more time back in Fife, with ring 88 (Alan) and ring 80 travelling north-east back from Auchterader, but another two birds continuing to spend time near Carsebreck. Bird 61, a male has been seen over Edinburgh. Ralf continues to spend time on and off at Loch of Strathbeg and can be seen showing off his colour ring and juvenile plumage in this photo by Duncan Goulder, Assistant warden.
Perth museum has recently opened an exhibition on ‘return of the native’ that includes a section and exhibits on the East Scotland Sea Eagle project.