As the days start to get shorter its time for our released birds to start dispersing and older birds to be on the move again, taking an interesting in the building geese flocks. Well...this is the theory, 6 of our 2009 birds (3 males and 3 females) have got other ideas, still roosting and feeding in the release wood and spending lazy days flying together and showing talons, looking amused at angry kestrels buzzing them as they perch in the trees and occasionally turning round to snap at a buzzard chasing them in flight. It is a privilege to hear them calling at each other before roosting at night when putting deer on the food dump andon Tuesday I watched as a large female ‘H’ knocked a smaller male ‘Z’ off its perch on a small Scots pine branch! One of our local group's favorite spots is a large rabbit warren and I was amazed to see a fox appear from its nearby den completely unawares of the four large eagles who were very interested in its progress, once it realised it was being watched it was well out in the open and had no choice but to keep going but soon started trotting off after tag V (a male) took a couple of low swoops at it!.
Some eagles have taken an interest in the geese, tag 0 (female) has been at the Eden estuary this week and two eagles were spotted of the Isle of May at the end of September in hot pursuit of some pink-footed geese.
Our 2008 male, ‘Ralf’ has just celebrated a year in the north east of Scotland and can still be seen regularly at Loch of Strathbeg.
There are a lot of differences between individual eagles and their behavior each year and sadly this year has seen a higher number of casualties with a further 2 eagles lost, a male was the victim of a train collision near Lunan bay and a female collided with some overhead wires in Fife. Our survival rates are still in line with those of the west coast releases, but sadly this doesn’t make picking up dead birds any easier.
Another male, ‘P’ has made it up to near Killiecrankie in Perthshire whilst the remaining 2009 birds are still mixing with our 2008 birds on the north of the Tay and we received reports of a 2008 Irish released bird in Aberdeenshire in the last month. Whilst two of our 2007 males are currently in Mid-lothian.