Two white-tailed sea eagles are making waves after travelling all the way from the Isle of Mull to the Isle of Wight.
The birds have set up home in a new part of the country as part of a government breeding programme.
The male and a female were born in 2019. They are part of a project to reintroduce the species to their former haunts across the British Isles.
Managed by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England, the project aims to release up to 60 young sea eagles from Scotland by 2024.
The releases are taking place on the Isle of Wight where the last known sea eagles bred in 1780 before they were persecuted across the UK to the point of extinction.
In 1975, a reintroduction project to Scotland began on Rum with birds donated from Norway.
The first successful nesting occurred on Mull in 1985. There are now thought to be about 150 pairs established in Scotland from Islay to Orkney.
Natural England approved a licence in 2019 to begin a similar translocation project using chicks from Scottish nests.
The two Mull sea eagles were the first to be collected and were the first to be released on the Isle of Wight in August 2019.
Their historic first flights and explorations across their ancestor’s former range have thrilled and delighted the project managers.
The male came from north Mull while the female came from the south of the island.
The Mull sea eagles were both fitted with lightweight satellite tags which have tracked them for the last two years.
The male spent his first winter in Oxfordshire then much of the summer of 2020 in North Yorkshire where he found a plentiful supply of rabbits.
By late summer he had moved to Norfolk where he hunted black-headed gulls. In January 2021 he slowly made his way further south before arriving back on the Isle of Wight on February 8.
The female didn’t leave the Isle of Wight until March 2020 when she made her way north to Yorkshire and fed on rabbits. They even occasionally met up. She has also drifted back to the south coast of England.
The fortunes of the Mull sea eagles can be followed online.
RSPB Scotland Mull Officer Dave Sexton said: “To witness the first sea eagle releases in England and to know they were from Mull was a very moving experience for me. They have thrived ever since.
“I’m just thrilled to have been part of this important chapter of British wildlife conservation history.”