On the 18th of February, our 2014 fledgling from Fife finally left his natal woodland! “14White A” has been roosting in and around his nest wood since he fledged in August last year. It’s rather unusual that it’s taken him so long, (7 months in fact!) however with such great habitat and food availability nearby all year, why bother?!
The bird carries a satellite transmitter which allows us to follow his movements very closely. He has moved north across the Tay and was seen above Panmure estate and Carrot hill before heading north to Glamis area. Keep your eyes peeled if you live in this area – it’ll be great to back up the satellite data with some nice sightings!
Here is his best mug shot taken last summer showing his wing tags and satellite transmitter;
If you get any sightings of him, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org we'd love to hear about it!
Last weekend I received a very welcomed sighting of a 2012 released white-tailed eagle. As there were so few birds released in 2012 – only 6 compared with around about 15-19 in previous releases (and the wing tag colour isn’t the easiest to read) I rarely receive any visual confirmation of their whereabouts from colleagues or members of the public.
However, despite having limited contact with her, one bird has made some exciting journeys through Scotland already. “Grey T” (or Earl Grey T as she became known to some) has recently appeared on the Isle of Rum - home to some of the first white-tailed eagles to be released as part of a formal reintroduction to Scotland between 1975 and 1985 by John Love. She was seen sitting on a beach in the north of the island.
Grey T was last seen roosting with a large group of young white-tailed eagles on Skye in 2013. White-tailed eagles are sociable birds and often form communal roosts – especially young birds.
The following photograph was taken by Sean Morris on Rum.
Thank you Sean!
As if by clockwork, and with the first cold snap last Tuesday, Turquoise H, our 2009 released female white-tailed eagle appeared on Loch Leven! This is the 5th year running that Turquoise H with her partner Turquoise X have arrived there for winter.
The loch has been popular with birds released in all years since the first release in 2007, with 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 birds also being seen on the loch, and even a west coast bird in April 2009.
Turquoise H and X made their way here within weeks of being released, and have been returning regularly since. They were first seen on Loch Leven in August 2009, but since their first appearance, they have only ever returned to Loch Leven in the winter. They were next seen in December 2009 and stayed through until early March when they moved away again. The same pattern was repeated in 2010 but they arrived earlier in September for a few days returning again October to stay for the winter. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 their visits became very restricted to the winter time – arriving in December and leaving again in February.
The pair are now 5 years old, and this year they attempted to breed for the first time! (not at Loch Leven) Unfortunately, as is commonly the case with first breeding attempts, the pair were not successful. There is still some speculation over what the cause of failure might have been. Some of the possibilities are poor nest site selection (leading to exposure to bad weather), predation (by a fox for example) or that the eggs got chilled during incubation and failed to develop. But the good thing is that they attempted! and they will have one year of experience under their belts before next season when they can try again!
...although it would have been very nice to have seen a youngster accompany the pair to the loch this winter!
The birds have been seen roosting in their usual spots on Castle and Reed Bower Islands. They have also been seen during the day on St Serfs Island. Enjoy the view from RSPB Loch Leven’s cafe with a warm cuppa :-)
Check out this great atmospheric picture of Turquoise H taken by Karen Hartnell on Wednesday last week -
And if that’s not enough for you and you want to see even more eagle action, head down to Argaty Red Kite feeding station (http://argatyredkites.co.uk/index.php), where they had their first ever visit by a West of Scotland white tailed eagle yesterday afternoon! The bird had a silver BTO ring on its right leg and a black anodised ring on it’s left leg which is the system used on the west coast to ring white-tailed eagles.
This great photo was taken by Ivor Wilson who was at Argaty at the time -
Head down to the hide for 1:30pm to see the kites being fed and (if you’re lucky) the white-tailed eagle causing a stir!