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Designer nest for osprey

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Old Friday 11th March 2005, 21:01   #1
Chris Monk
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Designer nest for osprey

From 'This is the Lake District' web site:

By Ruth Lythe

THE world famous osprey nest at Bassenthwaite Lake is to be re-built after January's storms completely destroyed the breeding site of the rare birds of prey, writes Countryside Reporter Ruth Lythe.

Osprey first nested at the Lake in 2001, when a pair of the spectacular fish-catching birds bred in the Lakes for the first time for at least 150 years.

The nest became a focus of global attention with pictures beamed from a camera overlooking the nest revealed to the world via the Internet.

Millions of people have followed the private lives of the Lakes osprey and watched as the five young have been successfully reared in the nest over the last four years. But disaster struck in January this year when near hurricane force winds blew the bird's nest off the top of a tree at Wythrop Wood, near Keswick, and wrecked it.

The nest, which was built from branches and moss, and was the size of a double bed because the birds, when fully grown, have a wingspan of about five feet.

Osprey use the same nest year after year and, with the birds due to arrive back in the area next month, the Lake District Osprey team was faced with the possibility that the birds would have nowhere to nest on their return to the county.

So, in a race against time, a team from the osprey project partnership has constructed a new nest in the osprey's chosen tree and are hoping that the birds will never know that anything has changed.

The new "super nest" is designed to withstand the worst that the Cumbrian weather can throw at it in future. It has been constructed with a secure timber platform as a base and a cocoon of weld-mesh to give it added strength. Branches, twigs and moss have been painstakingly applied by hand to re-create the appearance of the lost nest.

Now the team can only wait and hope that the osprey will approve of their new designer home and that these special birds will settle down to nest again this year. The osprey point at the Forestry Commission's Dodd Wood, near Keswick, will re-open to visitors on Monday, April 11.

Last edited by Chris Monk : Friday 11th March 2005 at 21:03.
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Old Friday 11th March 2005, 21:06   #2
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Thanks for the info, lets hope they take to thier new designer nest..
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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 08:11   #3
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As a volunteer on the project I can reveal that the nest has been enhanced ever since early nesting attempts began but the recent gales took it out completely. The actual tree was reduced in height to form a better platform and give the nest more stability - believe me, it's huge! Despite the best efforts of the nest building team the Ospreys themselves do an amazing job of rebuilding and add incredible amounts of material. I'd estimate that in addition to a small skip load of twigs (some of which were around 5 feet long) they also added a few wheelbarrow-sized loads of moss. So mush so that the microphone was almost buried last year.

Anyway, lets hope that the birds do indeed return within the next months and with a bit of luck we might also get on of the chicks from the first couple of year's (although I'm personally convinced that happened last year!).
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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 10:59   #4
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Hi martin,
Well done with the osprey nest, sounds like a great piece of work to be involved with.
If you or any of your team are in north staffs in the future get in touch and i will show you the one at tittesworth res. that severn trent paid someone to build, you wont stop laughing for the rest of the day its about the size of a dustbin lid and no access to it unless the osprey can do an impression of a harrier jump jet !
It tells you all about it in the visitors centre so impresses a few people and is a good P. R. exercise for severn trent, but those who take a close look know what an utter joke it really is.

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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 14:27   #5
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Anyone know what the website is that you can view the osprey cam from
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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 15:06   #6
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i will be up there as soon as they return, fantastic birds. i visited half a dozen times last year and watched them fishing and feeding the chick - brilliant!
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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 17:03   #7
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Originally Posted by timmyjones
Anyone know what the website is that you can view the osprey cam from
This is the link to last years osprey project
I presume it will be the same this year
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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 17:07   #8
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Good to hear the news, lets hope they like the new des. res.
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Old Saturday 12th March 2005, 20:30   #9
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I'm only a volunteer on the project and had nothing to do with the nest building itself but the staff and other volunteers do indeed deserve lots of praise for their commitment and enthusiasm.

The web address is correct and I understand part of the technology linking the camera and the visitor centre is to be replaced with something more reliable for this year (last year it seemed to know whenever it was a bank holiday and oblige by breaking down!).

The Tittesworth nest sounds amusing. I'd like to see a picture.

The birds should be back in about a month's time so it's possible we may spot some on passage back to Scotland before then (I seem to recall there were sightings before the end of March). Ironically, I'll be in The Gambia as the birds are on migration but if any of them are a little late in leaving I'll give them a nudge!.

I hope all the birds return safely and especially hope the Welsh birds return and breed again.

Hope to see lots of BirdForum members come and visit us in Cumbria.
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Old Tuesday 15th March 2005, 16:09   #10
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There was a story on our local news today here in Wales about Ospreys. The first pair to have bred in Wales nested last year, but their nest collapsed and the young birds a new nest with a strong firm base has been built for them and put in place of the old one. Everyone's just hoping they'll come back this year and try again, I really hope so. Fantastic birds.
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