The radio signal from Blue O picked up in Mayo in November 2004 has turned out to be an errant signal from another local radio tag not attached to an eagle – so there is no evidence that Blue O was in Mayo. Blue O was radio tracked or it was identified by wing tags in its territory on the 5th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 21st and probably on the 26th February. This 3-year-old female has now established a territory and was seen mutual high soaring with its probable mate on the 7th December 2004. It is likely it is paired up with a four year old male, Yellow Three Spots, which was radio tracked in the same area on 1st February, though its radio appeared to be intermittent when it was last seen on the 24th January.
Green A, Green H, Green F, Green K, Green O and Green T were noted in Mid Donegal during the first half of the month. Supplementary feeding was stopped at the end of January but Green N and Green X were still in Glenveagh on the 21st February 2005. The last of the 9 remaining first year birds, Green C, was radio tracked just outside Buncrana on the Inishowen peninsula, to the north of Glenveagh, on the 10th February.
Red K, a second year male, was noted moving about Cark Mountain and the edges of Glenveagh during the month. Blue 3, a three-year-old male without an active radio tag, was seen in the head of Glenveagh on the 24th February 2005 and it may be beginning to establish a territory in the vicinity.
A lot of effort was spent during the month trying to pin down Yellow Two Spots and Yellow Diagonal Bar, the four year old territorial pair. Though there was a weak signal from Yellow Two Spots on the 21st February it’s radio signal was probably only intermittent by then and has not been working since. This pair was seen at several locations 7 kilometres apart during the month.
At last on the 28th February, I spotted the pair of Golden Eagles chasing a pair of Ravens above and around a suitable nesting site. After a long circuitous walk checking potential nest sites and possible feeding sites the two wing tagged eagles appeared overhead and drifted away again. I quickly checked as many of the ledges as I could and eventually I scrambled up to look under an obvious overhang- i.e. an overhanging rock, which often shelter eagle eyries. It became obvious the main overhang only had a steep sloping rock face underneath it. But I scrambled up the last few feet anyway and there it was, a new neat small green Golden Eagle nest just under the extreme edge of the overhang.
What a great nest site choice. The nest was primarily made out of fresh heather twigs and sprays and a few old dried out stalks of thistles and some fresh green woodrush. I could not see a single branch from a tree in the nest. The nest was already firmly cupped. How appropriate, a green nest made with thistles – Brilliant!