Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 15:52 UK

Osprey spotted at Bassenthwaite Lake nesting site

Bassenthwaite osprey
The female osprey was captured by a web cam on Friday afternoon

Hopes are high that one of a pair of nesting ospreys has returned to a site in the Lake District.

In 2001, a male osprey became the first to nest in the Lakes in 150 years.

Since then, it has returned to Bassenthwaite each year, raising nine broods with two different females and attracting thousands of visitors.

On Friday a female osprey was spotted at the nest site which has been used by the birds in previous years, sparking hopes that the birds have returned.

Nathan Fox, of the Lake District Osprey Project, said teams would be monitoring the situation over the weekend.

Satellite tracking

He said: "It's quite early for ospreys to be back here, but that could be just the way of the weather.

"The bird spotted on Friday and early Saturday is female and is unringed, which is promising because our regular ospreys are also unringed.

"It's still unclear as to whether this one is ours or whether it will stay, but it has come to the nest on several occasions over the last 24 hours, so all we can do is hope."

Any osprey chicks which hatch at Bassenthwaite this year will be fitted with tiny satellite tracking devices for the first time.

Visitors to Bassenthwaite can watch them through high-powered telescopes at the Dodd Wood viewpoint, overlooking the lake.

Live images from the nest are also beamed to a big screen at the nearby Whinlatter visitor centre.

The osprey project is managed by a partnership of the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park Authority and the RSPB.

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