Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 15:54 UK

Ospreys snub lakeside nest site

Ospreys at Bassenthwaite
Ospreys have nested at Bassenthwaite since 2001

Cumbria's famous ospreys have snubbed a nesting site they have used since 2001.

After seven seasons at Wythop Woods on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, the birds surprised watchers by switching to the other side of the Lake.

Experts say it is unusual for a pair of ospreys to move in this way, as a well-established nest is often used by many generations of the birds.

This year's arrivals are the male who has nested at the site since 2001, and the female he paired up with last year.

'Starter homes'

Graeme Prest of the Lake District Osprey Project said: "Over the years we have learnt to expect the unexpected when it comes to our ospreys and clearly this year it's going to be no different.

"It looks like it's going to be business as usual for our ospreys, but just at a different nest and it means that we'll need to alter our osprey viewing arrangements for visitors slightly.

"We think that the Bassenthwaite area can support several pairs of ospreys and so we've put up artificial nest platforms around the lake to give new colonisers a helping hand.

"It looks like the returning ospreys have shunned the old nest site and have taken a shine to one of these new starter homes."

Since ospreys first nested in 2001, more than 500,000 visitors have watched the birds nesting and rearing young from the viewpoints provided by the project, which is a partnership between the Forestry Commission, the RSPB and the Lake District National Park Authority.

It is estimated that the ospreys boost the local economy by up to 2m every year.

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09 Jun 07 |  Cumbria
First egg for new osprey couple
01 May 07 |  Cumbria

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