Page last updated at 12:13 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 13:13 UK

New nest confounds ospreys team

Osprey landing at Bassenthwaite
The new nest is much closer to the Dodd Wood viewpoint

The decision by the Lake District's resident ospreys to switch to a new nest has proved a technical headache for conservationists.

Since 2001, Northern England's only nesting pair have settled in the same tree near Lake Bassenthwaite, from where a webcam captured live images.

But this year the rare birds nested on the other side of the lake.

Now staff at the Lake District Osprey Project have been forced to rig up a temporary camera near the new nest.

Workers from the Forestry Commission have installed the new camera on a nearby tree, but were unable to capture close-up images for fear of disturbing the birds.

However, the new angle means the ospreys can now been seen taking off and landing at the nest, shedding a fresh light on their activities.

Incubating eggs

The images from the webcam are beamed to nearby Whinlatter Visitor Centre, which attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Project spokesman Nathan Fox said: "We build the second nest in the hope of attracting another pair of ospreys, but didn't expect the original ones to use it.

"However, you can still see the birds coming and going, and although we can't get the same close-ups, we can still guess that the female is incubating eggs by the way she is behaving."

The new nest is also nearer to the project's Dodd Wood viewpoint, meaning visitors can see closer and clearer images of the ospreys through telescopes overlooking the lake.

The male osprey has nested at Bassenthwaite since 2001 and has so far raised 13 chicks with different females.

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

Egg watch at osprey nesting site
05 May 08 |  Cumbria
Ospreys snub lakeside nest site
27 Apr 08 |  Cumbria
Hopes high for return of ospreys
07 Apr 08 |  Cumbria
Chicks confound weather worries
26 Jun 07 |  Cumbria
Third chick for Lakeland ospreys
13 Jun 07 |  Cumbria

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