The upside of the bad weather is that it gives me a chance to catch up on some data entry and update my blog.
The majority of the 2008 released birds are still roosting north of the Tay estuary and moving back and forth into Fife. Their main diet still seems to be rabbit, which they are often seen catching and which we find in pellets at their roost site.
Two birds have broken away and moved south-west, a male, ring number 88 was spotted at Carsebreck, near Blackford on the weekend, this bird has been quite sedentary, one of the last to stop roosting near the release site, so its great to see him beginning to explore. This area supports large numbers or wintering wildfowl and was visited by birds last year. A female, ring number 92, has moved further south, roosting at Flanders Moss and becoming the third East Scotland sea eagle to visit the Argaty red kite centre over the last 18 months.
Bird ‘5’ is being seen regularly on Mull at Loch Scridan and Calgary bay on the west coast of the island where bird ‘C’ another of our females has been spotted recently. Now in her second year plumage you can see her lighter feathers starting to come through, compared to the darker plumage of the younger birds.
In the last blog I mentioned that a bird had been spotted up at St Fergus just south of our Loch of Strathbeg reserve, on a wet and windy Monday I headed out with some RSPB residential volunteers and tracked the bird down sheltering from the weather in a thin strip of plantation woodland. It turned out to be ‘Ralf’ who had last been in the area in October before moving back down to Fettercairn. He has been showing well again at the cemetery, much to the annoyance of RSPB staff who would love to add sea eagle to the 2009 reserve bird list!
Our field teachers are preparing to go into some more local schools over the next two months to tell them about sea eagles. Meanwhile, in Norway, the adult birds are starting to nest build so just like Dave Sexton on Mull, Alv Ottar who coordinates our chick collection is keeping a close eye on them to see where they choose to nest and where our next lot of chicks will come from.