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Cumbrian ospreys are back right on time PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 01 April 2021

bassenthwaite ospreys.pngIt might be April 1st but this is no April Fool – the Bassenthwaite ospreys are back.

Volunteers at the old nesting site have spotted two ospreys on the platform sharing a fish. 

It completes a hazardous journey for the breeding pair of ospreys as they have flown thousands of miles from their winter homes in west Africa. 

One osprey had been seen on Monday fishing over the south end of Bassenthwaite and then on Tuesday the pair were enjoying a meal in the nesting platform in Whinlatter Forest. 

A member of the Lake District Osprey Project at Whinlatter, Barbara Thomson said the birds’ return was bang on time.  

“In previous years the earliest they have been spotted has been March 26 but they have been as late as April 9. 

“It will now mean that the nest will be checked regularly by our volunteers who will be keeping a constant look out.” foulshaw ospreys 2.png

Many factors determine the arrival date of the birds, especially the weather and the distance they have had to fly. 

Senegal, for instance, is 3,000 miles but Bioko off the coast of West African coast is 4,000.  

The male and female of a pair may come from different African countries. 

Cumbrian birdwatchers are hoping the warm weather over Europe should encourage a second wave of osprey, including some younger ones on their first migration. 

The Bassenthwaite pair are not the first birds to arrive in Cumbria. 

A pair of breeding ospreys, who successfully raised and fledged two chicks last year, have returned to a South Lakeland nature reserve. 

Blue 35 and White YW arrived at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve, near Witherslack, on Friday 26 March. The male bird was spotted first, followed a few hours later by the female. They returned the same time last year.  

Reserve officer, Paul Waterhouse, hope their return to the nest could lead to chicks for the eighth year running. 

He said: “We’ve been waiting with eager anticipation for the return of Blue 35 and White YW and it’s great to see them safely return to Cumbria.  

"We look forward to what we hope will be yet another successful breeding season. Last summer two osprey chicks fledged, bringing the breeding pair’s total to an amazing 18 chicks so far since 2014! Let’s hope for an equally successful season this year." 

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