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Wed20th Feb 2008

Recently released White-Tail Eagles found Dead in County Kerry

Two White-tailed Eagles, released in Killarney National Park, County Kerry in August 2007, have been recovered dead. The first corpse, wing tag 5 a male, was found on Monday 18/2/08 and the second corpse, a female wing tag 7, was recovered on Tuesday 19/2/08 . Both corpses were located by radio tracking. Every White-tailed Eagle was fitted with a small radio transmitter, each with a unique radio frequency, prior to being released. The radio transmitters on each bird emits a different type of signal once the birds become static or die. Both birds will be sent for post mortem, including a toxicology test for poison and an x ray at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in County Cork. The second dead bird was recovered next to a dead sheep, which has also been removed for analysis. Both birds were known to be alive on Friday (15/208) in the Upper Lake area, Black Valley in Killarney. Both birds were found dead on a hill in the Glencar area, on the eastern end of the Iveragh Peninsula.

15 White-tailed Eagles were released in County Kerry in early August 2007 and had adapted well to the surrounding countryside over the last several months. They were monitored roosting, flying and feeding within Killarney National Park and had been seen attending several dead sheep carcasses in and around the National Park. They had also spent some time trying to catch spent salmon on the shores of Loch Leanne. The local farmers in and around Killarney National Park, other local landowners and members of the public have been extremely supportive of the project since the birds were released. The Irish Farmers Association has obviously expressed its reservations about the project prior to the arrival of the birds last spring. But the White-tailed Eagle project Manager, Allan Mee has spent a considerable amount of time reassuring farmers wherever the birds settle, and has developed a better rapport with the IFA local leadership and membership in recent months.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service in Kerry are currently investigating the matter. It is not yet known whether the bird consumed poison left out for ravens and crows or died from some other causes. However, the fact that both birds died at the same time in the same area and that one bird was found near a partially eaten sheep strongly suggests that consumed poisoning. The eagles are well known for scavenging dead sheep on the hill - sheep that have not been found by farmers. But if a farmer finds a dead sheep he must either bury it or remove it for collection under Dept of Agriculture rules; whereas anyone laying poison on a carcass is actually breaking two separate regulations regarding poisoning with meat baits and failing to remove dead livestock. All native birds of prey, including released White-tailed Eagles, are fully protected in the Republic of Ireland under Section 22 of the Wildlife Act (1976) and by the Wildlife (Amendment) Act (2000). Under the European Union's Birds Directive, White-tailed Eagles are listed as an Annex I species and are therefore given the highest level of protection under European law.

This is a major disappointment for the Golden Eagle Trust Ltd (GET), which is managing the project in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) through the White-tailed Eagle Steering Group.

The Golden Eagle Trust Project Manager Allan Mee said:

"Obviously, after all the hard work of the Steering Group and the widespread support for the project across Kerry and even nationally, it is very worrying to recover two dead White-tailed Eagles at the onset of the lambing season. But I must stress that the level of support and liaison I have with the Irish Farmers Association has improved enormously over the last five months. I have met scores of farmers where the birds have settled and the vast majority of them are very supportive of the birds and many of them are keenly interested in the birds and their local history in Kerry.

"However, White-tailed Eagles were once driven to extinction in Ireland due to shooting and poisoning and the success of this project in Kerry will ultimately depend on the continuing support and goodwill of all the local community. Even if a hand full of individuals still use poison meat baits, as has been a traditional practice and habit, that could ultimately cause the project to fail. This is a serious blow to the project and we would again appeal to all landowners not to leave out any poisoned meat baits, which is now classed as an illegal activity under the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government poisoning regulations, following recent changes in those regulations. Any deliberate action to kill eagles could result in fines or penalties under the single farm payment scheme."

"We are unsure whether someone deliberately laid out poison for eagles or whether they were targeting crows or Ravens, but the indiscriminate nature of poisoning (which also threatens other protected wildlife, sheep dogs, domestic pets or even children) is no longer acceptable where one is trying to restore eagles. We hope that all landowners can stop using poisoned meat baits this season and in future. The return of these Eagles to the Kingdom, has been widely welcomed, and we appeal to the wider community in Kerry to support this effort and ensure these magnificent birds are simply tolerated around the coasts and hills of Kerry."

"Other forms of poison bait can still be legally used to control crows, ravens and foxes, such as eggs, bread and butter, chips or grain and these baits do not pose a risk to White-tailed Eagles. We do not believe any group can legitimately call for a reversal of the regulations banning poisoned meat baits in Ireland, considering the very real and safer alternative poisoning methods available. Ideally we would like to see people stop using poison. We are mindful of the concerns farmers have regarding eagles in general and we have successfully dealt with similar concerns among farmers in County Donegal, for example. And we are still determined to see White-tailed Eagles re-established in County Kerry, despite this considerable setback."

"At the start of the spring when bird song and snow drops are beginning to herald the reawakening nature in a Kerry springtime, it is a shame to collect two dead eagles. But we still have a dozen White-tailed Eagles alive. Our efforts to re-establish a breeding population, along our coastal landscapes, nesting every springtime as they did for millennia is undiminished."

"We believe the people of Kerry and the people of Ireland will simply not accept these Eagles been driven to extinction, through poisoning, once again".

dead sea eagle
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Mon31st Dec 2007

Irish White-tailed Sea Eagle Reintroduction Project
update period Nov-Dec 2007

SUMMARY
By the beginning of November 14 of 15 birds released in August were still largely "resident" in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area in the southwest of Killarney National Park. Throughout November and December birds began to expand their range, foraging up to 20klm west of the Upper Lake but usually returning to roost at sites on the west side of KNP. During this time most contact with birds was maintained by telemetry although observations of tagged birds was regular up until mid-December particularly along the Upper Lake. One male, tag #1, moved back to the Lower Lake by mid-November and was joined by a second male, tag #9, in mid-December. Both remained largely separate from the main group. By mid-December several birds were foraging over the Brida Valley-L. Brin-Cloon Lough area up to 25klm SW of the release site. During mid-late December birds switched their regular roost to a site at the western edge of KNP. Most birds roosted at this site over the next 2-3 months. Furthest dispersal during the period was by male ð to Knockanore Hill near Ballybunion (57klm N) in mid-December.Apart from occasional use of provisioned food (deer carcasses), birds appeared to concentrate foraging over mountain areas to the west of the Black Valley. Observations suggested that almost all food items were carrion. Reports of birds actively hunting were few although one birds apparently captured a Magpie. Despite close proximity towater birds (mallard, teal, grey heron, cormorant) on the Upper Lake, eagles were never seen actively hunting these species during the period. A brief interaction with the recentlyarrived wintering flock of Greenland White-fronted Geese occurred on 18 November but no further interactions were documented and the geese (13), although often elusive,continued to spend the winter in the Killarney Valley.

Table 1. White-tailed Eagles released in Killarney National Park in 2007. All tags yellow and white on left and right wings respectively. (UL-BV = Upper Lake-Black Valley)

Tag Sex Origin Transmitter Released Last recorded Last location
0 M Vikna B 16-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
1 M Storfjorden (Frøya) B 16-8-07 29-12-07 Lower Lake
2 M Vikna LOST 16-8-07 12-11-07 Upper Lake
3 F Vikna GPS PTT 16-8-07 6-11-07 Dead
4 F Moldtun-Snillfjord B 16-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
5 M Vobsjøen (Frøya) B 16-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
6 M Frøya T 16-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
7 F Flatøya (Frøya) B 16-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
8 M Hitra T 16-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
9 M Leka B 16-8-07 29-12-07 Lower Lake
M Vikna B 29-8-07 19-12-07 N Kerry
X F Kvernøya (Flatanger) T 29-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
?: F Halmøya (Flatanger) B 29-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
/ F Vikna T 29-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV
¦ F Storsteinvatnet (Frøya) T 29-8-07 29-12-07 UL-BV


B = backpack, T = tailmount transmitter

FORAGING
Birds were fed at sites in KNP during November and up until late December but were largely finding food and feeding independently throughout the period. Feeding was discontinued as few birds had been feeding at provisioning sites and no birds were feeding at sites by late December. Observations suggest that most birds fed on sheep carrion located in upland areas in the Black Valley and sites to the west, especially mountains between the Black and Brida valleys. On 3 Nov birds 0, 1, 5, and 8 were observed in hills to the west of the Black Valley and birds continued to use this area throughout the period. Several birds fed in the Upper Lake area on 9 Nov and all birds were present in the same area on 12 Nov. On 14 Dec an eagle was seen feeding on a dead sheep hit by car near Molls Gap (J. Kissane). By the time I arrived no birds were feeding but bird ¦á was signaled in the area. Four birds were located in flight at the head of the Black Valley on 15 Dec and one, bird #6, flew down to feed on sheep carrion on hillside above Lough Reagh. By 17 December several birds were foraging to the west of the Black Valley in the Brida-L. Brin-Cloon Lough area.

DISPERSAL
Apart from daily foraging to the west of KNP, only one bird, male horizontal bar (ðBTO1652), dispersed away from the core area but returned at intervals to forage and roost with other birds in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area. On 28 Nov a sea eagle observed on Mullaghanish Mountain above Baile Bhúirne, Co. Cork (31 klm ESE) was identified as male ð , the first bird known to leave Kerry and cross the county boundary.A report of a sea eagle seen near Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, on 18 Dec also turned out to bemale ð . This male was relocated at Knockanore hill (57klm N) to the east of Ballybunion on 19 Dec. Bird #8 was recorded at Lough Doire Ianna (33klm SW) on the Iveragh Peninsula on 21 Dec. Bird #4 was a Lough Acoose (1klm W) on 22 Dec. A seaeagle was reported from Caragh Lake on 11 Dec but not confirmed. A report of two seaeagles flying over Rossbeigh was also unconfirmed.

MORTALITY
On 6 Nov the body of female #3 (BTO1655) was recovered after a search of a mountain area SWof the release site. Female #3 had been last observed on the N side of Shehy Mountain in October. This bird did not carry a ?conventional? Vhf transmitter (and so could not be tracked in real time in the field) but instead its position was identified by transmissions to the Argos Satellite System from its solar-powered unit, which gave high quality GPS fixes under good conditions. Unfortunately over a two-week period with little sunlight no location data was transmitted. Over a period of some days prior the position and activity (of the transmitter) indicated that the bird was static. Necropsy at the Regional Vet Lab, Cork, revealed that the bird appeared to be in good condition with no trauma detected (weight 6.5kg). Despite being dead some days, based on presence of large numbers of maggots and moderate autolysis of the internal organs, the carcass had not been scavenged. Lab test results were negative for diseases, toxins. Lead levels of9?mol/kg were considered to be background. Subsequent tests at Cork Institute of Technology revealed small traces of alphachlorolose. However given the levels of autolysis (decomposition) and time between ingestion of this poison and testing, it is likely that these levels were significantly higher at the time of death. Air temperature in late October was occasionally down to near freezing at night perhaps contributing to the effects of the poison causing death by hypothermia. GPS data during October and early November indicated that this bird did not move extensively outside KNP, the furthest satellite fix from the release site being the summit of Tomies Mountain on 17 October(see Fig. 1). However, there were long periods where no data were obtained (18-26 Oct).Likewise there were no data on 29 Oct and only one fix on 30 Oct. Therefore there was no reliable indication of where #3 may have picked up the poison. WTSE #3 was the first mortality of the reintroduction project.

Fig. 1. GPS satellite locations ofWTSE #3 in October-November 2007 (representative selection of locations are shown and all others were within the same range).

INDIVIDUAL WTSE ACCOUNTS

Male YW0: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period. Visuals on the Upper Lake and in the high hill ground to the west of the Black Valley in early November. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. Foraging in the Brida Valley with birds #5 and #6 on 17Dec and L. Brin on 22 Dec.

Male YW1: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period. Visuals on the Upper Lake and in the high hill ground to the west of the Black Valley in early November. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. Moved to the Lower Lake late on 16 Nov and resident therefor the most of the period, particularly at the mouth of the Flesk River of the east side ofthe lake.

Male YW2: Lost its tail mount transmitter in mid-September. First visuals of these birds in some weeks in the Upper Lake area on 12 Nov along with all other birds.Female YW3: Recovered dead in KNP just 1.5klm from the release site on 6 Nov. Female YW4: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. In the Cloon Lough area on 21 Dec and at L. Acoose on 22 Dec but had returned to the Upper Lake area by 29 Dec.

Male YW5: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period. Visuals on the Upper Lake and in the high hill ground to the west of the Black Valley in early November. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. Foraging in the Brida Valley with birds #0 and #6 on 17-18 Dec.

Male YW6: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. Located in flight at the west end of the Black Valley and later seen feeding on sheep carrion on hillside above Lough Reagh on 15 Dec. In the Lough Brin and Brida areas (16klm SW of release site) on 17 Dec. Located at Derriana Lough (33klm SW of release site) between Glencar and Waterville on 21 Dec. Returned to the Upper Lake-Black Valley area by 29 Dec.

Female YW7: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period.Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visualson several dates. Foraging in the Brida Valley area on 21 Dec.

Male YW8: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period. Visuals on the Upper Lake and in the high hill ground to the west of the Black Valley in early November. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates.

Male YW9: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area up until 12 December. Present along with all other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. Moved to the Lower Lake by 13 Dec and mostly resident there for rest of period.

Male YWð : Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area with other birds in the Upper Lake area on early-mid Nov with visuals on several dates. Had been present in KNP up until late on 27 Nov. Reported from Mullaghanish Mountain above Baile Bhúirne, Co.Cork (31 klm ESE) on 28 Nov. The bird was photographed and later caught on video circling over the TV mast on the summit. Tag number was later identified from digital photographs. The birds had left the area by 29 Nov and returned to KNP by 4 Dec but away again on 5 Dec. Returned on 7 Dec but gone again by 8 Dec. Not recorded again until relocated at Knockanore Hill east of Ballybunion in north Kerry, 57klm N of the release site on 19 Dec. This was undoubtedly the same bird reported from near Ballybunion on 18 Dec. By 19 Dec ð had left the area and was moving S towards Ballyduff. Not recorded again by the end of the year despite searches of N. Kerry.Female YWX: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period.Visuals in the Upper Lake area up to 14 Dec. Foraging in the L. Brin area on 21-22 Dec where observed on ground but not seen feeding.

Female YW?á : Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period with several visuals up to mid-December.

Female YW/: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period.Feeding on remains of deer shot in the Black Valley on 4 Nov. Visuals in the Upper Lake area up to 14 Dec.

Female YW¦á: Located in the Upper Lake-Black Valley area throughout the period with visuals on several dates. May have fed of road killed sheep near Moll?s Gap on 14 Dec.

Thanks to the following observers for information/sightings of eagles:
Joe Adamson,Donal Casey, John Kissane, Tim O?Donoghue.

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Kerry sea eagles get ready to fly
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Wed31st Oct 2007

Summary
By the start of September all birds were located along the west shore of Lough Leane (Lower Lake), except male horizontal bar who had made it to the Upper Lake just two days after release on 29/8. Our first bird (tag #5) to disperse, left the release area on 15-16/9 to go to the coast at Glenbeigh, 24klm west of the release site in Killarney, but returned by 20/9. Another bird, male horizontal bar ?, left the release area on 20-21/9, was observed on the Dingle Peninsula on 25/9 before, on 26/9, presumably taking the 36klm direct route at the shortest sea crossing to the Skelligs (72klm from the release site) where it disturbed the peace of some 50,000 gannets and the resident peregrine falcons. This must have been an amazing sight for some lucky people. To see eagles back where they belong on the islands of the Kerry coast is something we all want to see in the long run, but I hadn?t thought it would happen quite so soon! Boat operators taking tourists out to the islands reported the sighting (including tag colours) on Radio Kerry while it also made the local, regional and national papers. Reports in the media of impacts on the gannet colony (an injured gannet was seen but was probably coincidence) were wide of the mark considering the eagle apparently only visited the Skelligs for some 15 minutes! The following day presumably this bird was seen being chased by choughs on the Blaskets, and was recorded at two other sites on the Dingle Peninsula. From 28/9 the same bird took up residence on the south side of the Slieve Mish Mts near Keel, some 24klm from the release site, before returning to the Killarney area via Ceann Trá on 10/10. By mid-October all birds had vacated the Lower Lake for the Upper Lake-Black Valley area, c6klm from the release site.

Table 1. White-tailed Eagles released in Killarney National Park in 2007:
All tags yellow on left and white on right wings respectively.

Tag Sex Origin Transmitter Released Last recorded Location
0 M Vikna B 16-8-07 31-10-07 Black Valley
1 M Storfjorden (Frøya) B 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
2 M Vikna T 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
3 F Vikna PTT 16-8-07 31-10-07 Shehy
4 F Moldtun-Snillfjord B 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
5 M Vobsjøen (Frøya) B 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
6 M Frøya T 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
7 F Flatøya (Frøya) B 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
8 M Hitra T 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
9 M Leka B 16-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
? M Vikna B 29-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
X F Kvernøya (Flatanger) T 29-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
? F Halmøya (Flatanger) B 29-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
/ F Vikna T 29-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake
? F Storsteinvatnet (Frøya) T 29-8-07 31-10-07 Upper Lake

B = backpack, T = tailmount transmitter


Foraging
All six birds from the later release on 29/8 appeared to be faring well and finding food at food dumps. However, female diagonal bar flew NW on release and remained isolated from the other birds almost 3klm from the nearest regularly used food dump on the shoreline for much of September. Food was placed regularly in her vicinity and appeared to be much used. Two food dumps established on the lake shore after release in August were in constant use throughout September with food placed at sites every three days and once a week up to mid-October. Feeding was discontinued at these sites in mid-October. Initially food was also placed at the release site but this was discontinued once it was clear birds were no longer coming to the site but were finding food regularly at other food dumps.

Food dumps (Sika deer) were established in mid-September in an area SW of the release site (0.5-2klm away) on open hill ground to provide an alternative to the shoreline food dumps and encourage birds to forage over a wider area. Most birds began using sites in this area from mid-late September through to mid-October and observations at carcasses provided good data on the identity, number, and feeding activity of birds at these sites. Observations by Joe Sheehan, an undergraduate student at UCC, as part of a final year research project, proved good information from early October onwards.

Several birds fed on a dead sheep carcass within the park on 29/9. From 10/10 onwards birds were mostly resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area where they apparently found sheep and deer carrion on the hill and in the valley. On 11/10 N Stronach and I observed male #0 making a couple of playful stoops on a Sika deer stag on the N side of the Upper Lake. Similar behaviour was also observed on the hill SW of the release area (S. O?Donnell). Although mostly using the hill and shore on the N side of the Upper Lake birds occasionally wandered up to 4klm W up the Black Valley.


Individual WTSE accounts
Male YW0: Resident on the W shore of the LL during September but feeding at sites to SW of release site by late September. Of note was the persistent ?begging? calling behaviour of this bird at the feeding site on 1/10, presumably typical of a fledged juv but lacking parents in this case. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 8/10 onwards.

Male YW1: Resident on the W shore of the LL throughout September but feeding on the hill feeding sites by late Sept-early October. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 12/10 onwards.

Male YW2: Previously determined to be a female by biometrics but male following results of DNA sexing. Located on LL in the early part of the month. Dropped its transmitter (tailmount) between 11-14/9. Amazingly the transmitter and tail feather were found intact at Bensons Point near the lake shore without a receiver by Con Moriarty (while I was on Mull, Scotland). Since then #2 was observed at hill feeding sites in early October.

Female YW3: This satellite tagged bird was seen irregularly throughout Sept and Oct but was present during feeding site observations on the open hill ground in early October. Satellite data placed the bird at sites along the shore of the LL and hill country to the west but interestingly never in the Upper Lake area frequented by most other birds by mid-October.

Female YW4: Resident on the W shore of the LL during September and regular at the hill feeding sites SW of the release area in late Sept-early October. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 12/10 onwards.

Male YW5: Resident on the W shore of the LL in early-mid September. Last signaled on LL on 15/9 then relocated at the mouth of the Caragh river near Glenbeigh on 18/9, a distance of 24klm from the release site. Returned to the LL area by 20/9 where it frequented the hill feeding sites until taking up residence in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 8/10 onwards.

Male YW6: Resident on the W shore of the LL throughout September but feeding on the hill feeding sites by late Sept-early October. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 12/10 onwards. Only bird to show up (but not feed) at a carcass SW of the release area on 17/10.

Female YW7: Resident on the W shore of the LL throughout September but feeding on the hill feeding sites by late Sept-early October. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 8/10 onwards.

Male YW8: Largely resident in the Glena-Dinis area throughout September but feeding on the hill feeding sites by late Sept-early October. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 8/10 onwards.

Male YW9: Resident on the W shore of the LL for much of September and early-mid October. The only eagle not to be recorded at the hill feeding sites but apparently continued to use feeding sites on the lake shore. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 13/10 onwards.

Male YW?: The first bird to reach the Upper Lake only two days after release, returned to the LL by the start of Sept. Seen flying over the Gap of Dunloe on 16/9 along with a second bird. Last signaled in the LL area on 20/9. Searched for on Iveragh peninsula (22/9), Tralee Bay-Fenit-Kerry Head (24/9) but no contact made. Confirmed sightings at Baile Coinín, near Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula on 25/9 (C. Knight), Sceilg Mhichíl and Sceilg Beag on 26/9 (E. Holman, B. Wilson, K. & J. Roddy), An Blascaoid Mór (B. Wilkins, M. Sheeran) and Baile Coinín again on 27/9 (E. Holman), and Baile an Duin on 28/9 (E. Holman). By mid-afternoon on 28/9 ? was picked up on the S side of the Slieve Mish Mountains and was located on the ground with several ravens and hooded crows later that day at Gortaleen, near Keel, c1.5klm inland from Castlemaine Harbour. The area was open hill ground with a high density of sheep. Late the following day the bird was accidentally flushed from a small ash tree over the road and within 10m of an unoccupied house. This bird remained in this area for the next 9 days. On 4/10 ? was located in the same area but, late in the day, flew 3klm SE to Roscullen Island on the N side of Castlemaine Harbour. Later still (1918) it flew SE across the harbour to the S shore at Roscullen Point flushing two Little Egrets en route. The bird was again located on Roscullen Island on 6/10 but was nowhere to be found in the area on 8/10 or on the N side of the Dingle Peninsula. However, a sighting at Ventry Harbour on 8/10 (J. Holstead) must have been this bird on the move again. By midday on 10/10 ? had returned to the Killarney area after 19/20 days away. ? remained in the Upper-Lake/Black Valley area for the rest of the month.

Female YWX: Took several days to find its way to the lake shore and join other birds after release but then largely resident on the W shore of the LL for much of September and early October. Recorded by J. Sheehan near feeding site on open hill SW of the release site in late Sept. but did not feed and never frequented monitored carcasses in early-mid October. Recorded in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 13/10 but back in LL area on 16/10. Returned to the Upper Lake by 24/10

Female YW?: Resident on the W shore of the LL for much of September and early October but also feeding on the hill feeding sites by late Sept-early October. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area from 8/10 onwards.

Female YW/: Previously scored as male by biometrics but female following DNA sexing. Bird of most concern following release on 29/8. Resident in small section of oakwood 1.5km NW of release site for much of September where easily located. Fed at food placed on forest floor and on nearby shore. Finally moved back toward the release site on 22/9 and by late Sept-early Oct had made it to feed on the hill to SW of the release area. Largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area by 24/10 onwards.

Female YW?: Resident on the W shore of the LL for much of September. This ?runt? female had been a cause for concern in the early days of captivity having to be hand fed for some days. Thus, it was good to see this bird dominating a carcass and displacing others on the open hill feeding site on 1/10. By 10/10 was largely resident in the Upper Lake/Black Valley area.

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