Lough Derg eagles to soar again this summer

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Fionn Crombie Angus and his dad Jonathon Angus, Mountshannon taking in the views from the White Tailed Sea Eagles Viewing & Information Point at Mountshannon. Photo Sean Curtin
Fionn Crombie Angus and his dad Jonathon Angus, Mountshannon taking in the views from the White Tailed Sea Eagles Viewing & Information Point at Mountshannon. Photo Sean Curtin

THE popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing and Information Point at Mountshannon Pier on Lough Derg has reopened following a hugely successful pilot opening last summer.

More than 10,000 people flocked to the shores of Lough Derg between mid-July and September to catch a glimpse of the first successful breeding pair of White Tailed Sea Eagles in Ireland in 110 years.

The Viewing and Information Point, which is operated by the Mountshannon Eagle Group, in conjunction with the Golden Eagle Trust and Mountshannon Community Council, features telescopes and information and displays about the White Tailed Sea Eagles, regarded as Ireland’s largest and most spectacular breeding birds.

Clare County Council, which funds the facility, says it generated more than €500,000 for the local economy in 2014 while a visitor survey found that 43 per cent of people said the attraction was the primary factor influencing their decision to visit the area.

The eagles, a seven-year-old male and six-year-old female, were originally collected as chicks on the island of Frøya off the west coast of Norway by the Golden Eagle Trust.

The birds were released in Killarney National Park before relocating to Lough Derg in 2011.

The pair, named Saoirse and Caimin, created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in 110 years.

The pair successfully hatched another chick in 2014 with the local community in Mountshannon expressing hope of another successful hatching this summer.

Visit www.mountshannoneagles.ie for more information.