The breeding season here in East Scotland has been a story of mixed fortunes for our sea eagles. The male sea eagle Turquoise Z, who last year raised chicks on nests in Angus and Fife, chose to concentrate on the Angus nest rather than attempt to repeat the marathon two nest season of 2017. Unfortunately they failed at some point during incubation of the eggs, meaning there were no successful nests in the southern half of East Scotland in 2018.

The sea eagles further north faired much better, with two chicks once again fledging from a nest in Speyside and, for the first time in 140 years, two more fledged in Orkney. After two failed attempts in 2015 and 2016, there seems to be a new male on the Island of Hoy and they raised two healthy chicks, a great milestone for the return of sea eagles to the UK (read more here).

The four remaining satellite-tagged young sea eagles have faired well, returning from the west coast to their usual haunts in East Scotland. White L, the Fife pairs’ 2016 chick, has been particularly adventurous, exploring a region more than 200 kilometres across and covering 2,500 kilometres between April and August.

Image – Movements of White L (blue) and Blue V (yellow), the last of the young sea eagles to return from Mull.

There are still promising signs of new pairs across the region and the first of the second generation birds will be reaching the age at which sea eagles start to pair up. Hopefully they will get a better start to 2019, we’re already looking forward to it.