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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Eggs hope for new osprey couple
Ospreys at Bassenthwaite
Fish King has nested at the site for seven consecutive years
The Lake District ospreys look set for another successful, if controversial, mating season after a mysterious female successfully wooed the resident male.

Fish King arrived at Bassenthwaite Lake a week ago, but GreenXS - the female with whom he has raised ten chicks - has yet to return from Africa.

He has now begun mating with his new companion, and hopes are high for a clutch of eggs within two weeks.

However, there are fears that GreenXS could return to jeopardise the pairing.

Fish King, who has nested at the same site since 2001, is now catching fish for his companion and the pair have packed the nest with moss, a sign that chicks could soon be on the way.

Nathan Fox, of the Lake District Osprey Project, said: "The moss provides a soft and warm environment for any eggs so it looks like everything is going ahead.

"The fact that fish King is providing his new mate with fish also helps to strengthen the bond between them.

Economy boost

"However there is a possibility that GreenXS will come back and try to force the new female out of her nest, which she will see as her established territory."

Visitor numbers at the Whinlatter Forest visitor centre, where live images from the nest are beamed onto a giant screen, have been boosted by the unfolding drama, as they were in 2005 when Fish King fought off competition from another male.

Tens of thousands of people visit Whinlatter and the Bassenthwaite viewpoints each year and the ospreys are estimated to boost the local economy by up to 2m annually.

When Fish King and GreenXS nested at the lake in 2001, they were the first recorded pair to breed in Cumbria for at least 150 years.


SEE ALSO
More love rivalry at osprey nest
20 Apr 07 |  Cumbria
Love nests to attract rare birds
18 Mar 07 |  Cumbria
Visitors flock to Lakes ospreys
01 Jun 06 |  Cumbria

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