Sea eagle back in the skies over the Inner Hebrides after being found waterlogged

A rare white-tailed eagle which was just an hour away from drowning is now thriving on the Isle of Rum - just months after being rescued.

The stricken bird was discovered on the Isle of Mull dazed and struggling to fly last October and was rescued and nursed back to health by the Scottish SPCA under the careful watch of the RSPB

He was ringed and released on November 6 back at Treshnish Farm where he was originally found with the help of islanders.

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Now the huge raptor – also known as a sea eagle - has been spotted on the Isle of Rum, around 50km from the site where he was released, feeding on a deer carcass.

The white-tailed eagle after he was rescued. Pic: RSPB

The eagle was rescued after he was seen in the see more than 200m from the shore of Mull.

Jamie Ramsay stumbled across the bird while on a walk and the next day found him huddled next to a rock, drenched and exhausted.

The bird couldn't move from where he was with the tide rising and experts said he was just an hour away from drowning.

Jamie called the RSPB for help and they had the eagle taken to the Scottish SPCA's National Wildlife Rescue Centre.

The eagle after he had recovered and was ready to take to the skies again. Pic: RSPB

Jamie said: "I am so pleased to see that the white-tailed sea eagle I found on the Isle of Mull has been spotted alive and well on the Isle of Rum.

"I stumbled across the eagle while on a walk and immediately noticed something was wrong.

"The bird managed to take to the air but something told me to check he had flown safely to a rocky outcrop.

“The eagle used his wings to swim back to shore.

"The next morning I returned at first light and luckily found him huddled next to a rock, drenched and clearly exhausted.

"I noticed that the eagle was below the tide line and the tide was coming back in. I tried to usher him up to higher ground but he seemed to have lost his fight.

"The Scottish SPCA were unable to attend and I managed to get in touch with the RSPB.

"Seeing the image of that same eagle alive and happy, and most importantly in the wild where he belongs, fills me with so much joy.

"I didn't know much about sea eagles before but now I have learnt their history I can appreciate just how special that bird is."

Sea eagles are the UK’s largest bird of prey and can have a wingspan of up to eight foot. They were persecuted to extinction by farmers and gamekeepers and suffered loss of habitation.

Before their recent re-introduction, the birds last bred in England and Wales in the 1830s, in Ireland in 1898 and in Scotland in 1916.

The last UK-bred bird was shot in Shetland in 1918. European populations of this bird also suffered from heavy persecution, which led to significant declines and extinction in several countries.

But they were reintroduced in the 1970s and sea eagles and have slowly gained a foothold once again with more than 100 breeding pairs in Scotland.

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