After an unsuccessful attempt to release the Irish sea eagle recovered from the Aberdeenshire coast yesterday at RSPB’s Loch of Strathbeg reserve, the bird has now been taken to SSPCA’s national centre for further rehabilitation. Despite having recovered at the vets from his ordeal last week, it became apparent when he was released that there were still some issues that needed to be addressed. The bird was unable to take off, and after recapturing him, we realised that his feathers were still coated with a kind of “grease” that was clearly affecting his ability to fly.
The bird is now spending a few days with the fantastic team at the SSPCA centre where he will receive “spa treatment” (a bath in fairy liquid or similar) to attempt to get this substance off his feathers. Hopefully after week or so of drying off and much preening, he will be looking fabulous and ready to face the crowds again!
A new exhibition, which opens on Wednesday this week (9th November), is offering residents of Broughty Ferry the chance to help design the finishing touches to a Sea Eagle sculpture planned for the banks of the Tay.
In November 2009 students from the illustration programme of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, created work telling the story of the return of Sea Eagles to East Scotland for a public exhibition in Dundee. The winning design was a sculpture of three eight foot copper coloured feathers created by Kirkcaldy student Ellen Brown, “It’s great to see it all beginning to come together as I never thought it would really happen”.
Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the support of Dundee City Council plans are now underway to build the sculpture next year on the banks of the Tay. Carrie Watt of RSPB Scotland said: “Next term students at DJCAD will be back in the studio creating designs that will surround the sculpture, but before they can do that they are looking for inspiration. So we’re asking the public to come along to Broughty Ferry Library between the 9th and 12th November, to discover more about Scotland’s Sea Eagles and give us ideas for what they think the students should include in their designs.”
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Feathers by the Firth is an important part of a project to save one of our rarest birds. The RSPB has successfully reintroduced sea eagle chicks to the area but now we need to ensure their long-term survival. This exhibition will give people the opportunity to learn more about this iconic bird of prey and the role it plays in Scotland’s biodiversity. That knowledge will hopefully help safeguard the existence of the Sea Eagles for future generations.”
Feathers by the Firth will run from Wednesday 9th November until Saturday 12th November at Broughty Ferry Library. On Saturday, the final day of the exhibition there will be Sea Eagle badge making from 11am-4pm. I’ll be there Friday afternoon until 7pm and all day Saturday so come along for a chat and learn more about this stunning work of art and the eagles!
A sea eagle, released as part of a reintroduction project in the Republic of Ireland, has been the subject of a dramatic rescue on the Aberdeenshire coast.
RSPB Scotland, with help from Banff based business North 58˚ Sea Adventures, were called to a remote cove, inaccessible by land, near Pennan, following reports of an injured bird.
The distressed eagle was first spotted by sea kayaker John Creighton and his wife on Saturday, with RSPB Scotland alerted the following day. After further investigations, the location was confirmed and a rescue mission launched.
It wasn’t until we approached the beach that we saw that the eagle was alive, but was clearly tired and wet. Despite being there for three days, it was still fairly feisty and it actually took a while for us to retrieve it. Eventually I had to flush it off the cliffs by swimming towards it! Fortunately, thanks to John raising the alarm and to the amazing expertise of North 58˚ Sea Adventures we managed to bring it safely back to the mainland and it’s currently recovering from its ordeal at the vets.
Ian Page, the skipper of the North 58˚ boat, Buchaneer said: “We had a falling tide and we were losing water and light. We could see Rhian running down the beach and then heading into the water. It was quite a decathlon but an excellent result.”
The bird has been identified as a young male released in Ireland as part of the Irish Sea Eagle reintroduction project in 2010.
Project Manager of the Irish Sea Eagle Reintroduction programme Dr Allan Mee added: “It was a shock to hear one of our young Sea Eagles was found in poor condition but fantastic that it’s been rescued and now has a real chance of recovery. This bird is the fifth confirmed Irish released Sea Eagle to have travelled to Scotland over the last 4 years. We are indebted to Rhian and the rescue team for their efforts”.