Fears for missing sea eagle after signal is lost in Aberdeenshire
Gamekeepers and land managers from an Aberdeenshire estate have appealed for help in locating a sea eagle whose satellite tag was last recorded in woodland near the River Dee.
Invercauld Estate, near Braemar, said its ranger and gamekeepers have been working hard to find the sea eagle whose tag last signalled on Saturday.
The tag was said to be last operating within a native woodland and scots pine regeneration zone on Invercauld.
Pellets are understood to have been found in the vicinity of the search, which suggest the sea eagle had been roosting there.
But neither the bird nor its tag have been located within the woodland or estate.
Efforts continued to find the bird on Wednesday with one other sea eagle and two golden eagles spotted but as yet, there have been no known sightings of the absent sea eagle.
Angus McNicol, estate manager at Invercauld, said: "We have spent the last two days trying to locate any trace of the missing sea eagle and we will be continuing our efforts to watch the area in case there has been a technical malfunction of the tag and the sea eagle returns to roost again.
"For several months our ranger has been working with the RSPB's sea eagle project officer to track the movements of the sea eagles in our area and if the tag is no longer transmitting then it is a concern to us.
"Invercauld hosts a vast range of bird species and other types of wildlife and we want to learn if any harm has come to the bird.
The estate is part of the East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and bird species include golden eagles, sea eagles, buzzards, merlin, kestrels, golden plover, curlew, lapwings and black grouse.
It also works with conservation bodies including the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland on their wildcat breeding programme
Mr McNicol added: "We realise that such cases where a tag stops transmitting will invariably attract comments about persecution but it is clear that gamekeepers, conservationists, and the Cairngorms National Park Authority all want to see this bird alive and well.
"We would ask anyone with information that could aid the search to speak to the RSPB or ourselves immediately."