Six and a half weeks and 650kg of food later it was finally time to release the first batch of this year's sea eagles this week. As always, the stunning release photos don't tell the whole story, 7 of our birds flew strong and high, but one bird took 20 minutes to take off whilst another crash landed and ended up hanging upside down from a gorse bush, that the young eagle found to be surprisingly bendy! Project assistant Elaine Fraser and I lowered it carefully to the ground at which point it ran off too quickly for me to catch it through the bracken! Luckily it stopped before stumbly across the media photographers and took off again later that afternoon! All birds had found safe roosting spots by Wednesday evening.
The 2 biggest females (sisters collected from a nest containing triplets) weighing 6.1kg were found to be roosting together on Tuesday. As well as all the UK media attention we were joined by a Norwegian film crew this year and by Tore who came to see how the chicks (wing tags 5 & 1) that he collected near Bergen were faring and to see the landscape that they would make their home.
Prior to release 3 of the 2008 birds have flown over the release site and I hope that they will meet up with this year's birds over the coming weeks.
In the last 2 weeks we have also had a visit from a 2008 male irish bird, wing tag H who has been seen near Comrie and another 3 year old west coast bird has been in the Glen Turret area.
People living nearby the release site have been out eagle spotting the last 2 evening and are pleased to see the third batch of east scotland sea eagles take to the skies. All the birds are fitted with turqouise wing tags with white letters/numbers this year and any sightings are gratefully received at: firstname.lastname@example.org