Page last updated at 23:38 GMT, Saturday, 11 April 2009 00:38 UK

Veteran osprey lays Easter egg

The osprey
The female osprey has been with her mate for 15 years

The UK's oldest breeding pair of ospreys have produced a record-breaking 53rd egg in time for Easter.

The pair surprised conservationists in Scotland by surviving a gruelling 3,000 mile (4,828km) migration from Africa.

Volunteers at the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve in Perthshire had been worried that their 20-year-old female Osprey would not return.

But the birds, who have been together for 15 years, arrived within days of each other and began breeding.

Rangers had been concerned that the female would not survive the migration.

But in March she swooped into her nest and started to prepare for her mate.

The male duly arrived a few days later and the couple resumed their 15-year relationship.

In time for Easter, the record-breaking 53rd egg was laid - another valuable boost to Perthshire's growing osprey population.

The egg should hatch in six weeks.



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