Yellow Two Spots and Yellow Diagonal Bar’s radio signals were noted near each other during early March. Blue 0, 5 and 8 were again located from various parts of the Derryveagh, Glendowan and Blue Stack Mountains during the month. All three birds were roaming over wide areas and were not settled in any one area for more than a week or so.
On the 1st March there was a faint signal from Red A in the north Leitrim direction. Red F was seen foraging over a young plantation in the Blue Stacks (which appear to be a favoured habitat for young eagles) probably in search of hares. Red C, O, T and X were still in Glenveagh on the 2nd March. Red T was seen flying one evening from the open mountain to roost in a mature Sitka Spruce around an enclosed field in Glendowan. I managed to show a small farmer/retired schoolteacher the eagle on his property and he was absolutely thrilled with the views. Red T subsequently roosted on a dead tree on the edge of the Park from 22-25th March, but I was unable to find any pellets under either roosting place.
Red F’s signal was noted to the east of the Barnesmore Gap, toward the Tyrone border on the 8th March. Red C’s signal was coming from the SE of Truskmore Mountain, Sligo, probably from County Leitrim, on the same day.
A red-tagged (1st year, prob. C) eagle and blue-tagged (2nd year, prob. X) were seen flying and soaring in unison in Derryveagh on the 3rd March. On the 9th March Red O, a first year C, was seen in a mutual high soaring flight with a blue-tagged, second year, male eagle. The female then landed on a summit below. The male bird alighted nearby and tried to mount and copulate with the first year female. However she repeatedly spurned his advances over a five minutes spell by moving to face him constantly. 40 minutes later she flew away and then picked up a stick and hung into the wind for the next 10 minutes repeatedly dropping and catching the stick. The second year male was later seen in a brief undulating display flight before landing on a tree, where it made several unsuccessful attempts to forcefully snap off a piece of a branch with its talons.
On the 25th March a Sligo Mountain Rescue volunteer reported disturbing a large bird of prey from the NW cliff face of Knocknaree Mountain (on the peninsula west of Sligo town). This unconfirmed eagle sighting may indicate how the released birds could pass in a southwesterly direction from the Dartry Mountains in Leitrim to the Ox mountains in Sligo and beyond to Mayo and Galway.