Last month a team of East Scotland Sea Eagles volunteers went on a training weekend to Mull to learn all about nesting eagles and nest protection. With east of Scotland released birds now beginning to settle, and after the success of last year’s nest, it’s important we all learnt what to look for and how to protect them as best we can for the future. Thanks to funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, we were able to take six volunteers to Mull for this very “specialist” training! RSPB’s Mull Officer, Dave Sexton, very kindly gave up his weekend to share his knowledge and expertise with us to help us prepare for nesting eagles in the east! We even got a pre-season and behind the scenes look at the 5 star Mull Eagle Hide. Maybe something we can aspire to in the future? Thanks Dave for all of your help!
The volunteers are currently busy putting their new skills into practice! There will be more on this shortly!
We managed to capture this fascinating and hilarious bit of interaction between our 2013 fledgling and his father during the autumn. Looks like this youngster will do well!
It’s been over 5 months since 13White1 fledged the nest in Fife, and summer feels like ages ago! Despite this, our juvenile hasn’t ventured that far yet, but with the next breeding season about to start, it won’t be long until he’s moved on by his parents. With birds on the west coast adding sticks to their nests already, our east coast pair won’t be far behind. Hopefully there’ll be a few more to celebrate this year!
Last week, RSPB staff and volunteers pulled down the aviaries that housed the young eagles for the East Scotland Sea Eagle release project. The 10 aviaries were built especially for the project in 2007 by Gilles and Mackay-a shed company in Errol, in time for the first cohort of eagles being flown in to East Scotland from Norway. The aviaries measured 3m by 3m and contained a “nest platform” and big perches for the birds. The front of the aviaries were made of wire mesh with a large release hatch, and all other 3 sides were of wood so that the birds were never exposed to project staff. They were fed through a small hatch in the back with a curtain, and peep holes were made so that the birds could be monitored without staff being seen.
The aviaries lasted well over the 6 years of releases, and hardly needed any repairs made to them. They have seen 85 eagles reared and set free!
Despite this, the team made light work of it, and they were all dismantled, flat-packed and moved off site in a single day!
The team which included Vicky Turnbull and Tommy Pringle–Tay reserves warden and assistant warden, and their team of amazing volunteers from RSPB Loch Leven; David Baynes, Brian Innes and Ken Brown.
Graham Craig from RSPB Tay reserves with his practical expertise made sure everyone kept warm by not slacking, and Neil Powrie, the local farmer was kind enough to donate his entire day to helping by loading the aviaries onto his tractor trailer.
RSPB staff from Perth and Aberdeen offices also pitched in and helped make the day successful and fun!
The aviaries are now being stored by Forestry Commission in the hope that they might be put to good use in the future!
It’s sad to see the aviaries come down-it was home to Claire Smith for the first five summers while she was project officer, and the same for me at the end of 2011 and 2012. But looking forward, we have a very exciting time ahead of us having had a successful breeding attempt this year, and hopefully more to come this coming season!
A HUGE thank you to the volunteers and staff who helped dismantle the aviaries!!!
Here are some photos of them in action….
Thanks to Kate Walters for taking the pictures!