Cumbrian osprey return

The Lake District Osprey Project confirmed this week that the famous fish-eating birds of prey have returned to their nest near Bassenthwaite Lake .

Staff and volunteers from the Project had been eagerly awaiting the return of the popular birds from Africa where they spend the winter months.

Bill Kenmir of the Lake District Osprey Project said: “This is the ninth year we have seen ospreys in the Lakes but we’re always very excited when they fly back in again. The first sighting of ospreys in the area was on the 31st of March but we can now confirm that they are the same pair that were here last year.

“The Lake District ospreys have proved to be a big hit with visitors and local people alike since the first pair nested here in 2001. Over half a million people have come to see them in action since then and we’re expecting thousands more visitors in the coming months.”

The birds have flown back to the new nest that they moved to last year, on the south eastern side of the lake.

It means that visitors will again be able to get great views of the birds from a Viewpoint which has been set up in Dodd Wood, only 400 metres away from the nest. The Viewpoint is open all daylight hours, with staff on hand with telescopes from 10am-5pm daily, as part of the RSPB’s ‘Dates with Nature’ Project.

Osprey - credit BBC Cumbria + LDOP

Osprey chick - Image BBC+LDOP

Live pictures from cameras overlooking and inside the nest will shortly be beamed to a giant videowall at the Visitor Centre on the Forestry Commission estate at Whinlatter Forest, near Braithwaite. There is also an exhibition area dedicated to the ospreys.

An osprey project diary and images from the nestcams can also be viewed on the Project’s website and the BBC Cumbria website at

The return of the birds raises hopes for a ninth successful nesting season for Lakeland’s famous ospreys.

A team of about 70 volunteers will now help mount a 24-hour guard on the nest to stop egg thieves. The eggs are normally laid in May and hatch 5 weeks later. 

A pair of ospreys first nested near Bassenthwaite Lake in the Lake District in 2001, the first ospreys to do so for at least 150 years. The birds that have arrived back this year are the male that first nested in 2001 (known as ‘No Ring’) and the female that he paired up with in 2007 after his original partner failed to return.

It is now easier than ever before to visit Dodd Wood and Whinlatter thanks to the Osprey Bus which was launched in 2008.

The liveried bus service named after the spectacular birds of prey operates around Bassenthwaite Lake at weekends, Bank Holidays and school holidays.

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