This year’s breeding attempt had failed by late April. There was concern when the male bird, Yellow Two Spots, was not seen near the nest site in late April and early May. But a second Yellow tagged eagle was seen near the incubating female on the 9th May. The female was last seen sitting on the egg on the 10th May - the due hatching date was the 5th May. Two eagles were seen soaring and gambolling together on the hillside near the nest on the 16th May and the local farmer also saw this pair the day before.
On the 13th May, a Blue tagged eagle and a Yellow tagged eagle were seen together in a second known territory. I searched all the nearby suitable nesting areas and found some regular perching spots and some downy eagle feathers around the rock faces where the eagles had been noted previously. Blue 0 had roosted on these rock faces one night last November. Finally, I decided to investigate a crag about a kilometer away from the recent sightings. Last winter a farmer told me that his elderly aunt used to call this crag ‘Eagle Rock’. There was some eagle down and a moulted eagle primary feather below ‘Eagle Rock’, which prompted a thorough search. Eventually I located a rudimentary nest on an exposed ledge. It had up to 25 pieces of wood rush and 8 heather twigs arranged in the shape of a nest. The surrounding vegetation had been flattened and the nest material was probably added over the previous 3-4 weeks. There was one eagle wing covert and almost a dozen pieces of eagle down present also. Our second territorial pair, Blue 0, a three-year-old female and Yellow Three Spots, a four-year-old male, built this nest. It is interesting that the pair built a nest at a site known to local people in previous centuries. The place name was never documented and only survived, for over a hundred years, through folklore’s oral tradition. Blue 0 was radio tracked in the same area on several separate dates during May and early June.
Green K and Green N were radio tracked in the Bluestacks during May. Green X was near the Donegal/Fermanagh Border in mid May as was Green O. Red F, a second year female, was radio tracked in a distinct area on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd May.