Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Eggs saga osprey returns to breed

Osprey EJ on the nest at Loch Garten. Picture by RSPB Scotland
A webcam image of EJ on the nest at Loch Garten last year

A female osprey at the centre of a feathered soap opera has returned to a Highlands breeding site following a 3,000-mile journey from West Africa.

EJ had incubated two separate clutches to rival males at RSPB Scotland's Loch Garten reserve, near Aviemore, last year but they all perished.

The wild birds conservation charity said it hoped a male would join her over the next few days.

From Monday, live images of the nest site will be streamed on the internet.

Last year's breeding season at Loch Garten was brought to an abrupt end following a series of unfortunate events.

A male called Henry kicked the eggs fathered by a rival from a nest before his own clutch failed.

I'm sure everyone remembers the saga last year, where she laid two different clutches to two different fathers
Richard Thaxton
RSPB Scotland

It was thought that he accidentally trampled on one of his three offspring while trying to free himself from a piece of fishing line.

Days later the two remaining chicks also died.

Richard Thaxton, RSPB Scotland site manager at Loch Garten, said staff were delighted by EJ's return.

He said: "I'm sure everyone remembers the saga last year, where she laid two different clutches to two different fathers, although sadly not one chick survived.

"She has successfully reared young at Loch Garten in two of her five previous seasons with us and we are really hoping that she can get back to form this year."

Mr Thaxton added: "Her regular mate Henry is probably en route, on the 3,000 mile annual migration from West Africa, and we hope he arrives soon so that the pair can settle down to breed."


SEE ALSO
No chicks impacts on bird centre
03 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Loch's last two osprey chicks die
21 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Osprey stands on and kills chick
15 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Staff ecstatic as chick hatches
14 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Close watch on osprey's egg feat
21 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Jealous osprey's eggs incubating
15 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Jealous osprey makes up with mate
11 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Bird kicks rival's eggs from nest
24 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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