Despite full days radio tracking in the Glencolumbkille Peninsula, SW Donegal and the Inishowen Peninsula, North Donegal only four of the 13 older birds were noted in Donegal during September. However on the 2nd of October, Blue 0 was noted in the Blue Stack Mountains and Blue 8 was seen and recorded in the Derryveagh Mountains for the first time since 23rd May. Yellow Horizontal Bar was noted going to roost in Glenveagh that evening at 7.23 pm and was noted near the food dump the following morning.
Most of the feeding at the food dump occurred between 8am and 12 noon. There was another bout of feeding before dusk between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. Though the birds were seen at the food dump as early as 7.40am and occasionally throughout the day. The males tended to wander away from the park during early October though most returned to roost each evening. Red T was last noted in the Park on the 26th September but was found to the south of the Derryveagh Mountains on the 2nd October and was still there on the 17th. It was absent from Glenveagh for the remainder of the month.
Blue 4 and Blue 5 were noted behind the Glenveagh Waterfall on the 13th. During a spell of fine autumnal weather, on the 16th of October, Yellow Horizontal Bar, Blue 4 and
3 red -tagged eagles were noted soaring over the waterfall for 10-12 minutes. In fact 6 of the red-tagged birds joined in the soaring eagle display at separate times. On the 18th seven of this year’s birds were seen soaring and talon grappling over the waterfall. On the 27th three of the red-tagged birds were flushed from a dead sheep by a farmer in the Glendowan Mountains.
The attached table gives an update on the status of each released eagle. In summary, 26 Golden Eagles have been imported over the last three years. One has been placed in long-term care in Dublin Zoo and 25 have been released. Of the released birds, one is known to have died. Of the 24 remaining birds, 18 have been recorded during October and the status of the remaining 6 is unknown. Two were last recorded in April, two in May and two in July. We suspect these birds have not been detected recently due to a combination of dispersal, radio failure and mortality. We hope that some of these birds will be located over the winter and we appeal for any eagle sightings you have or have heard off to be passed on to the project via the web page.
5 out of 6 birds from the 2001 cohort survived their first year (83%). A minimum of 6 out of 8 birds from the 2002 cohort survived their first year (75%) – the remaining two birds were recorded two weeks before their first birthday and we suspect they too survived their first year. A minimum of 3 out of the 5 second year birds survived their second year (60%). Overall we are very pleased with the survival rates of the sedentary birds.