Eager crowds turned out yesterday in the Lough Derg village of Mountshannon to catch a glimpse of the ‘stars’ of the Golden Eagle Trust re-introduction project, Caimin and Saoirse.
The two white-tailed sea eagles have made Lough Derg their home over the past three years and recently hatched a chick that is expected to take flight in the next few weeks.
Named by local children, Caimin and Saoirse created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in 110 years.
The six-year-old male and five-year-old female, were collected as chicks on the island of Frøya off the west coast of Norway by the Golden Eagle Trust.
Yesterday, the two birds and their as yet unnamed chick, were visible by telescope in spite of the rain from the new viewing platform located on the shores of Lough Derg.
Norwegian ambassador, Roald Næss and Clare mayor, Cllr John Crowe (FG) formally opened the viewing point for locals and visitors to view the birds 1km off shore on Cribby Island.
The 100 eagles re-introduced into Ireland since 2007 have all come from Norway.
White Tailed Sea Eagle Manager, Dr Allan Mee said: “It is unique to have something like this in front of a village — it is the only site we have in Ireland like this.”
Dr Mee said that the pair — who are in Lough Derg since 2011 — were the only white-tailed sea eagle breeding pair to successfully breed this year.
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