29 May 2023

Meet Buccy (261)


by Rick T.

29 May 2023

Buccy (261) is a male golden eagle who was named and adopted by The Buccleuch Arms Hotel in Moffat.

Buccy came from an estate in the Highlands and was translocated to the south in 2022 as part of the summer releases.

Buccy is thriving in his new home and with the addition of an exciting new event for the Moffat 2023 Eagle Festival, you may have the chance to see Buccy and other golden eagles in southern skies.

Dave Smith, who named Buccy after his hotel, The Buccleuch Arms in Moffat said:

‘We are delighted to be able to name and adopt one of the young Eagles. Our hotel has embraced the project, the eagles and the tourism potential they bring with them with open arms! We even have a 7-foot carved Eagle on our balcony now!’

The Buccleuch Arms Hotel enjoys a very strong action, adventure, and activity culture and, of course, the Eagles have fitted right into this operation.

Driving routes, walking routes, cycling routes, and motorcycling routes have been developed providing the best opportunity to see eagles whilst traversing the beautiful Southern Scotland scenery.

Eagles to the average tourist have a passionate appeal and almost mystic and majestic quality. It is a very easy sell and a very positive addition to any guidance we offer.

To be frank, any tourism operator would be missing a major trick if they did not exploit the many opportunities that the presence of Eagles in the South of Scotland engenders.”

Dave commissioned his 7 foot Golden Eagle carving from Moffat chainsaw artist Pete Bowsher for the balcony of his hotel.

Pete is the father of Sam Bowsher, the chainsaw artist responsible for the stunning Eagle bench which was unveiled at the very first Golden Eagle festival in 2021.

Sam, who recently won the Canadian TV show, 'A Cut Above' said:

"I find the Golden Eagle very exciting! I think I've seen one a little while ago and I hope they're doing well. They're one of my most regularly requested carvings so, the more I see of them, the better my carvings will be!"

Dave added "Reports of our guests seeing the Eagles have increased a lot since 2018 and people are truly excited to encounter these fantastic birds! Who knows, some of them might have even seen Buccy!

Accordingly, we have created an eagle route, specifically worked out to run over the Moffat 2023 Eagle Festival ,where bikers will come from all over the Country for a great ride out with great potential to see Golden Eagles in the wild. We look forward to seeing many motorcycle enthusiasts coming along for the ride.

The ride will be on Saturday 23rd September, meeting outside the Moffat Ram for a briefing at 9.30 am with the route starting at 10.00

There will be no need to ride together but nothing stops you from riding with a friend or small groups for some Eagle sighting and camaraderie.

It is not a race but a day of good routes, some great roads -(which offer excellent chances of an Eagle encounter), and supporting the establishment of Golden Eagles in this region."

Buccy was the second eagle collected in 2022 but being significantly younger than Thistle (the first to be translocated last year), was instead housed with female Sula (B50) who was of a similar age.

Buccy was the third eagle to be released in 2022 alongside his aviary partner Sula (see picture left)

Dave Pierce of the Highland Raptor Study Group who monitors the breeding pair who hatched Buccy said:

“I am fortunate to live in a district where golden eagle pairs have a high breeding productivity and numbers have increased in recent years. I am pleased to be able to locate suitable eaglets from this population to be released in Southern Scotland to supplement the low numbers there. Golden eagles are masterful fliers, a sight to behold and hopefully the project will enable more people to enjoy that experience”.

Buccy was the first of the 2022 eagles to begin exploring further afield making a cross-border trip to Kielderhead nature reserve in Northumberland on 23rd September. After a brief return to the release site 8 weeks later he more recently visited the newly acquired Tarras Valley Nature Reserve near Langholm.

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog and to all of you for your continued support!

Eagle pictures: John Wright