Immature White-Tailed Eagle © John N Murphy
We were delighted today when the news finally broke to the public about the nesting White-tailed Sea Eagles in Clare and Kerry. The last couple of weeks were torture trying to keep the news under wraps ,that the White-tailed pair in Mountshannon on the shores of Lough Derg, had two chicks hatched out about 12 days ago, and that both birds were being well looked after by the parents. After the disappointment of last years season when young hatched but did not make it through their first day, it was great to hear that birds successfully bred again in Ireland and here in Clare, for the first time in over 130 years. Better still, it was on our own back doorstep and a great privilege for the residence of east Clare and the rest of the county.
The emergence of young eagles in Kerry over the last few days also added to the good news. It now looks very positive for the future of White-tailed Eagles in Ireland. All of this is of course down to the dedicated years of work carried out by Dr. Allan Mee, Lorcan O’Toole and Declan Clarke, along with members and supporters of the Irish Eagle Trust. Eventually all their efforts came to a pinnacle with the emergence of birds in Clare and Kerry. Our Congratulations to you all.
We ask all who plan to visit Mountshannon over coming weeks, to please respect the eagles as they go about raising their young on the island off Mountshannon. The birds are being monitored 24 hours a day and an exclusion zone is being place around the island where the birds are nesting. If you want to see them in action, the best place to observe them from is the pier at Mountshannon. Trained staff will show you the birds through a telescope and will explain what stage the birds are at as the summer progresses. PLEASE HELP US TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WHITE-TAILED EAGLES SUCCEED IN BREEDING HERE IN CLARE.
John N Murphy, Chairperson, Clare Branch, Birdwatch Ireland.
Other birding news. There were three Hen Harriers (two males and a female near Doo Lough, along with one male Hen Harrier and seven Raven.