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Excitement as osprey arrive

Last modified: 19 April 2013

Osprey female on eyrie in morning light

The team at Bassenthwaite are hoping for a successful 13th breeding season.

Image: Chris Gomersall

There is a new osprey in town – in fact, there’s maybe two – and members of the Lake District Osprey Project are delighted to welcome the new pair.

They are the first arrivals for what the LDOP hope will be the 13th season at Bassenthwaite for the world-famous Lakeland Ospreys. The LDOP team are all keeping their fingers crossed that the pair – believed to be different birds to previous years – will use the nest site to breed.

A pair of ospreys first nested near the north Cumbrian lake in 2001, raising a single chick – the first ospreys to do so in Cumbria for 150 years. Since then, ospreys have nested successfully near Bassenthwaite Lake every year, raising a total of 24 chicks.

More than a million visitors to the site have witnessed these iconic birds of prey soaring over the woods or swooping down to the water to fish. They have also enjoyed close-up nest camera footage of new chicks.

However, this wildlife spectacular should not be taken for granted, as even if the ospreys return – which is never guaranteed – they do not always return to the same site.

Nathan Fox, of the LDOP, said: “We are really excited to have these two birds at the nest site. They have been busy bringing in nesting material and fishing, so hopefully they will use the site here to breed.

“It’s interesting they are different birds to previous years. The female is unringed and we believe she is a different bird, but the male, who is also unringed, is definitely a new visitor here as he has distinctive markings.

“Hopefully, the birds which have used the site to breed previously will also return – that would be fantastic.

“We encourage people to come and see these magnificent creatures – and fingers crossed, visitors will soon be able to enjoy great views of the ospreys and their chicks.”

A dedicated team of staff and volunteers are providing 24-hour nest protection, as well as staffing the viewpoint at Dodd Wood, until September, and the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, where hopefully live nest cam pictures will be screened onto flat screen televisions.

Osprey fans can get the latest news at www.ospreywatch.co.uk, at www.facebook.com/ospreywatch, or by following on Twitter @lakelandosprey.

The Lake District Osprey Project is a partnership between The Forestry Commission, the RSPB and the Lake District National Park.

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