The world is full of good news and bad news.
The good news today is that on the night of the 17th No 14 roosted in the wooded hills to the east of Lake Maggiore and West of Lake Lugano in Northern Italy. More detail when the maps come through.
Many of you will have heard the bad news broadcast by RSPB Bill Kenmir that the singular Golden Eagle of Haweswater has gone missing since storm Desmond and is now presumed to be dead. He gave so much pleasure to the many that watched him soar over the fells but for all that his was an unfulfilled life.
He arrived 2001 to pair up with an old female. Not ringed, the youngest he could have been at that time was 3, and more likely, 5 years old. Thus he was probably between 19 and 22 years old at his death. His female disappeared in 2004 and was estimated to be about 27 years old. Sadly she had been too old to breed when he arrived so they had no young. The last chicks to be hatched in England were in 1996.
Every year since her death he has displayed in the Spring skies above Haweswater watched through the RSPB telescope at weekends, everybody willing each season for this to be the ONE when he would attract a mate. It has not happened and now it is too late.
The tragedy is not that this eagle has died – he lived to a good age- but that through constant persecution and our inability to share our world with other living creatures, it is unlikely there is any surplus young stock to replace him.
Even if this could be reversed, with massive housing and industrial development already being implemented for the West coast our rural habitat is eroded. Golden Eagles need a large hunting territory and if in the future they cannot find it in Cumbria, long acknowledged to have the best biodiversity of all the counties of England, then they will find it nowhere.