Archives for July 2010

Alma’s anniversary

It’s a year ago today that Tayside Police retrieved Alma’s body from Milden Estate in Glen Esk, Angus. Despite intensive investigation no one has yet be charged with the illegal poisoning of the two year old female golden eagle that we had been tracking. I telephoned the Tayside Wildlife Crime Officer this morning but he had no news of any breakthrough, but the police are always hoping that someone may pass on crucial information which could help identify the culprit. If Alma had not been illegally killed she would now be three years old and the tracking would have been getting more and more interesting as by now she would have been starting to take an interest in male eagles as well as vacant nest sites. With luck, she could have started breeding at four years old. It’s tragic she was killed.

In the field it was another good day as I checked the east Moray ospreys in bright sunshine. It was great to find that Beatrice has three well grown young in her nest. I got a chance to look carefully at her mate and I’m satisfied he was the same unringed male that was there in 2009. I also checked the two chicks in another nest, which we ringed a week ago and fitted a Talisman Energy satellite transmitter to the male. They were both lying in the nest in the sun this afternoon, while the female kept guard in the tall larch next door.

Breeding success of local ospreys

A good day round the Badenoch & Strathspey ospreys – all except one nest have young. I found two chicks in seven nests and three chicks in the first one I checked, which were the offspring of green/white J – the very first osprey I satellite tagged in 1999. She’s the one that wintered in Extremadura and probably still does. A lot of variation in age with some nearly ready to fly and the youngest just coming up to three weeks of age.The other nest in Strathspey, Loch Garten, also has three young, so it’s a productive year in that area. I gather the first Loch Garten chick has just fledged so they are well ahead of the rest. It’s been a hectic summer, and as the days go on I’ll be bringing more satellite tagged birds online once they are starting to leave their nest sites. One new young Osprey from the Moray east sub-colony was fitted with the last of the GPS transmitters funded by Talisman Energy in Aberdeen. We’ve also tagged ten new golden eagles, 2 peregrines and 2 hen harriers so far. Recently, I’ve also tagged two osprey chicks for the Lake Distirct Osprey Project and 2 young sea eagles on Mull.