Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 14:03 UK

Osprey couple reunite at 'summer home' in the Lakes

Ospreys at Bassenthwaite
The birds have attracted thousands of visitors to Bassenthwaite

A popular male osprey has returned to Cumbria for the 10th consecutive year, reuniting with his female mate.

The osprey, known as No Ring, came to Bassenthwaite in 2001 and was the first to nest in the Lakes for 150 years.

He has since raised nine broods with two different females and paired up with his most recent mate in 2007.

After a winter apart and a 3,000-mile African migration, the birds are now mating and a new clutch of eggs is expected soon.

They have been observed gathering sticks and moss for nest building and experts have said they are in no doubt they are the same birds that nested last year.

'Nest protection'

Pete Barron, of the Lake District Osprey Project, said: "We are delighted that the ospreys have returned for a 10th season.

"They have been busy mating so we are hopeful the female will be laying eggs very soon.

"We now have a dedicated team doing 24-hour nest protection to ensure the ospreys are left undisturbed."

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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