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Last Updated: Friday, 28 May, 2004, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Double joy as osprey chicks hatch
Osprey chick (generic) Picture by Chris Gomersall/RSPB
No chicks were born at the reserve in the previous two seasons
Two osprey chicks have been born at a Highland reserve which has waited three years for a birth.

RSPB staff at Loch Garten got their first glimpse of number one hatchling on Wednesday after being alerted by calls from the nest the previous night.

The second chick arrived on Friday and it is hoped there may be one more in the nest by early next week.

Site manager Richard Thaxton said the progress of EJ and her partner, Henry, was viewed on a webcam.

There was relief earlier this month when it emerged that there were three eggs in the nest at the Abernethy Forest Reserve.

Chipping out

The discovery was made after EJ was seen removing a broken egg from the nest following weeks of ferocious fighting with another female osprey.

RSPB staff thought on Tuesday evening that they were hearing the noise of a chick chipping out of one of the three remaining eggs.

The next vital sign came the following morning when EJ offered food to the hatchling.

Henry and EJ at their Loch Garten nest
A small, waggling head was then seen responding to the offering of food.

Mr Thaxton said: "It was a wonderful, magical moment when the wee head first appeared, not only for all those involved on site, but for all the visitors and people around the world who have been following this year's events on the osprey webcam.

"After the trauma of the squabbles between rival females that we saw earlier in the season, it is a huge relief to have now arrived at the successful hatching stage."

It is hoped that the third egg is now in the process of hatching at Loch Garten, Scotland's oldest osprey nesting site.

"It is particularly pleasing to be back on track with a chick, having had none for the past two seasons, and especially so in this the 50th anniversary year of the ospreys return to Scotland," added Mr Thaxton.

First osprey chick's global debut
18 May 04  |  Scotland
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07 May 04  |  Scotland
Osprey couple finally settle down
31 Mar 04  |  Scotland

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