They're back - and they're making themselves at home.
Bird lovers are celebrating the pitter-patter of killer talons after two recently- re-introduced white-tailed sea eagles on the east coast fledged a male chick.
This is Britain's largest bird of prey, with a wing span that can reach 8ft - not quite capable of causing a solar eclipse but enough to give a hang-glider a serious fright. At a time when so much news about the environment highlights the negative, it is a delightful thought that the white-tailed sea eagle could soon be a relatively common sight around eastern Scotland, even if it could cause a major kerfuffle on the bird table.
As it becomes better understood how human activities impact on other species, there is growing public enthusiasm for the idea of supporting animals that were once commonplace in Scotland but have suffered catastrophic decline due to habitat loss, exploitation and persecution.
Otters (which now have their own underpasses beneath roads in parts of south west Scotland) and ospreys (which were wiped out but now have 220 breeding pairs) are cases in point.
Now sea eagles are back, it is to be hoped that humans never again become their nemesis, but take to heart the precept that this landscape is shared.
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