The eagles have landed!

With the cold weather setting in, our annual winter visitors have returned to their roosting sites on Loch Leven for another year.  Regular sightings of the White-tailed Eagles on St Serf’s Island have been reported from the cafe at RSPB Loch Leven, as well as frequent reports of at least one bird between Reed Bower and Castle Island.

Digi-scoped image taken from the RSPB cafe - Uwe Stoneman

Digi-scoped image of two eagles on St Serf’s Island, taken from the RSPB cafe by RSPB Reserves Manager Uwe Stoneman

Since the East Scotland Sea Eagle Project began back in 2007 there have been 85 young eagles released from a secret location in Fife.  It was thought that Loch Leven could potentially provide excellent habitat for some of the reintroduced population, and this has proved to be the case, with at least 2 individuals roosting here through the winter months for each of the last 5 years.

Two birds in their enclosure, prior to release

Two birds in their enclosure, prior to release

The eagles were all fitted with coloured and lettered wing tags prior to their release to aide monitoring efforts.  So far this year ‘turquoise X’ wing tag has been confirmed at Loch Leven, with the other wing tag as yet unconfirmed.  The birds fitted with turquoise wing tags were released in 2009, meaning that they will be approaching sexual maturity with full adult plumage now visible.  The first successful breeding attempt on the east coast of Scotland for nearly 200 years actually occurred in Fife earlier this year between two turquoise wing-tagged individuals, indicating that the population is becoming self-sufficient.

A White-tailed Eagle, photographed in Poland

A White-tailed Eagle, photographed in Poland

Please report any sightings, particularly wing-tagged sightings, by emailing Rhian Evans –   eastscotlandseaeagles@rspb.org.uk.

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
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