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Veteran osprey returns to nest

One of the UK's oldest breeding birds of prey has returned to Scotland to nest for the 21st consecutive year.

Lady the osprey was spotted in the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve in Perthshire on Monday.

The bird, now thought to be around 26 years old, was identified using a close-up image of her iris taken with a camera hidden in her nest.

She was seen landing on a nesting site at the reserve, which belongs to the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), on Monday lunchtime. She stayed for a few minutes before disappearing from the area until dusk.

The bird, which travelled some 3,000 miles from West Africa, will now be under 24-hour protection to keep her safe from wildlife crime.

Robert Potter, SWT's north east reserve manager, said: "At the first possible opportunity, we used the camera to zoom in on the bird. To our delight and astonishment, the close-up allowed us to confirm that this bird is, in fact, our resident female osprey, known by many as Lady."

He said the bird was an "incredible specimen".

The average osprey lifespan is eight years but Lady is thought to be more than three times that age.

She has laid around 58 eggs in her lifetime, with 48 chicks going on to hatch and successfully fledge the nest.

Mr Potter said: "Last year, we thought this bird would die on her nest but, at the 11th hour, it managed to regain its strength. Today, despite the odds, it looks healthy after just completing a 3,000-mile migration from West Africa."


From Belfast Telegraph