Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 10:57 UK

Osprey chick breaks through egg

Osprey chick among eggs
The osprey emerged from the egg about 0415 BST on Sunday

There is a new arrival at a wildlife reserve in Perthshire - the first osprey chick of the season.

It is the 50th hatching for the elderly mother osprey at the Loch of the Lowes, near Dunkeld.

The bird has been returning to the site every year since 1991. She is possibly the oldest breeding osprey in Scotland, at over 20 years old.

The chick made its way out of its shell at about 0415 BST on Sunday, having taken a few days to break through.

A crack appeared in the egg on Friday, widening to a small hole on Saturday evening, before the chick burst through to freedom on Sunday.

The mother osprey has now laid 52 eggs, with 43 chicks having successfully fledged from the nest site at Loch of the Lowes.

Graeme Walla, Perthshire ranger at the reserve, said: "We have all become egg-stremely egg-cited; egg-static you could even say, for we have been patiently waiting and watching for this moment."

We are absolutely overjoyed that we have yet another osprey chick here at Loch of the Lowes, while waiting expectantly for the other two eggs to hatch, over the next few days
Graeme Walla
Ranger

"The volunteers working through the night to ensure the protection of the eggs were lucky and delighted to be able to watch the arrival of the chick close up on our high definition screen.

"The pictures live from the nest were fantastic to watch and we are absolutely overjoyed that we have yet another osprey chick here at Loch of the Lowes, while waiting expectantly for the other two eggs to hatch, over the next few days."

Peter Ferns, visitor centre manager, added: "Thanks to around 70 volunteers who take it in turns to man the round-the-clock watch to safeguard these magnificent birds, without whom, the Loch of the Lowes osprey nest would be rich pickings for egg thieves, something we were particularly worried about this year as it was the 50th egg.

"We are relieved that the chick has now hatched and look forward to seeing its siblings."


SEE ALSO
Three eggs at osprey nesting site
19 May 08 |  Highlands and Islands
50th egg laid by elderly osprey
11 Apr 08 |  Tayside and Central
Birds' egg thieves given warning
03 Apr 08 |  Tayside and Central
Elderly osprey set for 50th egg
30 Mar 08 |  Tayside and Central
Staff sorrow as osprey chick dies
31 May 07 |  Tayside and Central
Egg number 47 for elderly osprey
17 Apr 07 |  Tayside and Central
Egg delight over 'lucky' osprey
16 Apr 07 |  Tayside and Central

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