White-tailed Eagle – 2010

Haliaeetus albicillaEryr y MôrVagrant

The White-tailed Eagle breeds in SW Greenland, W Iceland; N & C Eurasia S to Greece and Turkey, S Caspian Sea, L Balkash and Manchuria, wintering S to N Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Pakistan, N India and SE China.  

35-44 pairs were nesting in Scotland by 2008 following introduction schemes started in 1975.

An immature was shot on the 2nd of February 1908 by B.Edwards near Whitchurch in Mynydd Preseli. It was reported as a Golden Eagle in “The Cardigan and Tivy-side Advertiser”. However on the 13th June 1928 B. Lloyd and C. Oldham were able to inspect the specimen and identify it as a White-tailed Eagle.

A 2nd or 3rd winter bird was seen at Skomer on the 10th and 11th November 1993 which departed along the line of the southern shore of St Bride’s Bay but was not seen again.

The 1908 bird must have been an immigrant as none were then breeding in the UK. The 1993 bird may also have been an immigrant but could have come from the Scottish population.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

Rare breeding birds in the UK in 2008, British Birds Vol. 103, 507.

White-tailed Eagle in Pembrokeshire, British Birds, Vol. 35, 230.

More about the White-tailed Eagle in Pembrokeshire