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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
First egg for new osprey couple
Ospreys at Bassenthwaite
Fish King recently caused alarm when he developed a swollen eye
Cumbria's most famous bird of prey could soon become a father for the 11th time after his partner laid an egg.

Fish King, an osprey who has nested at Bassenthwaite Lake since 2001, mated with a new female after his long-term partner failed to return from Africa.

The egg was spotted on an in-nest camera by members of the Lake District Osprey Project team on Monday evening.

Ospreys normally lay clutches of three eggs, so hopes are high that more will follow over the next few days.

Fish King sparked alarm a few days ago when he was spotted with a swollen eye, which was serious enough to stop him leaving the nest to hunt.

However, he soon recovered and is now catching plenty of fish for himself and his new mate.

Bill Kenmir from the Lake District Osprey Project said: "We're all very excited that the new female has laid an egg. Everyone will now be watching the nest for signs of more eggs."

Economy boost

GreenXS, the female with whom Fish King has raised 10 chicks, has not been seen since she left the Lake District for winter.

At Loch Garten in Scotland the eggs laid by one female osprey were recently kicked out of the nest when the male's regular mate returned to the area later than usual.

However, it is thought that if GreenXS does belatedly appear in the Lake District, Fish King will not allow her back into the nest.

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




SEE ALSO
Eggs hope for new osprey couple
25 Apr 07 |  Cumbria
More love rivalry at osprey nest
20 Apr 07 |  Cumbria
Love nests to attract rare birds
18 Mar 07 |  Cumbria

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