A RARE white-tailed sea eagle which was just an hour away from drowning is now thriving on the Isle of Rum – just months after being rescued.

The stricken bird was discovered on the Isle of Mull dazed and struggling to fly last October.

But animal welfare chiefs rescued the underweight eagle and nursed him back to health.

He was ringed and released on November 6, back where he was originally found, at Treshnish Farm, with the help of islanders.

And now the sea eagle has been spotted on the Isle of Rum, around 50km from the site where he was released, feeding on a deer carcass.

The distressed bird was spotted by a member of the public about 200m out to sea last year. Jamie Ramsay stumbled across the bird while on a walk and went back to check on the eagle the next day.

He found him next to a rock, drenched and exhausted. The bird couldn’t move from where he was as the tide rose – experts said he was just an hour away from drowning.

He called the RSPB and the eagle was taken to the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Ramsay said: “I am so pleased to see that the white-tailed sea eagle I found on the Isle of Mull has been spotted alive and well on the Isle of Rum.

“I stumbled across the eagle while on a walk and immediately noticed something was wrong. The bird managed to take to the air but something told me to check he had flown safely to a rocky outcrop.

“I then spotted the eagle about 200m out to sea and in obvious distress. The eagle used his wings to swim back to shore. The next morning I returned at first light and luckily found him huddled next to a rock, drenched and clearly exhausted.

“I noticed that the eagle was below the tide line and the tide was coming back in. I tried to usher him up to higher ground but he seemed to have lost his fight.

“I managed to get in touch with Dave from the RSPB. He was soon on his way and successfully rescued.

“Seeing the image of that same eagle alive and happy, and most importantly in the wild where he belongs, fills me with so much joy.

“I didn’t know much about sea eagles before but now I have learnt their history I can appreciate just how special that bird is.”

Dave Sexton, RSPB Scotland Mull officer, said: “I think he was probably just an hour or so away from drowning as he was cold, wet and exhausted and couldn’t move from where he was with the tide rising.

“He’s clearly thriving and, with all the bad news in the world, it really helped lift my spirits to see this young eagle surviving a tough winter.”