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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
Public gaze for nesting ospreys
Osprey (RSPB)
The ospreys lost their chicks in high winds last year
A viewing platform allowing the public to watch a pair of ospreys nesting in north Wales is to open on Friday.

A male and female osprey returned separately to the site in the Glaslyn valley, Gwynedd, just after Easter.

Last year, the pair successfully bred there but then lost their chicks when high winds destroyed the nest.

Schoolchildren helped RSPB workers rebuild the nest last month. A round-the-clock watch is now being kept on the site.

The new hide will allow people to watch through binoculars and a telescope and also provides close-up digital images from a nest-cam.

Gili Armson, from the RSPB's Ospreys in Wales project, said: "The dedicated volunteers and staff, many of whom are from the local community, have been a fundamental part of this project.

OSPREY FACTS
Scientific name : Pandion haliaetus
Wingspan : 5ft
Clutch: 3, but not all fledge
Sexual maturity: Three to five years
Diet : Mainly fish, particularly perch, pike, and trout

"With their help, we have been able to set up a round-the-clock watch to monitor the birds, as nest protection has always been our number one priority.

Last year when the birds were nesting at the site around 10,000 visitors turned up to view and this year even more are expected.

"Our male osprey has already been giving some fantastic displays, soaring more than 1000 feet into the air.

"Seeing these magnificent birds of prey against this backdrop of stunning north Wales scenery will certainly be a memorable experience for all our visitors.

"It would be even greater still if we had some chicks up there in seven or eight weeks time!"

Staff recognised the male, who returned to the nest on Easter Monday, by ring tags put on him a few years earlier.

He was first spotted in Scotland, before he moved down to Rutland in the East Midlands and then came to the north Wales site last year, an RSPB spokeswoman said.

The female returned a week later on 4 April.

The viewing site is free of charge to visitors and is open every day between 1000 BST and 1700 BST until September.




SEE ALSO:
Ospreys return to re-built nest
04 Apr 05 |  North West Wales
Welsh osprey makes history
20 Aug 04 |  Wales
High winds kill osprey chicks
03 Jul 04 |  Wales
Lake's ospreys hatch first chick
05 Jun 04 |  Cumbria
Double joy as osprey chicks hatch
28 May 04 |  Scotland


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