Two ospreys who successfully raised two chicks last year have returned to Cumbria.
Both ospreys, known as Blue 35 and White YW, returned to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve, near Witherslack, in south Cumbria on Friday.
The male White YW was followed a few hours later by the female Blue 35 (last year they returned on 26 and 27 March).
Paul Waterhouse, reserves officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, looks after Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve. He said: “We’ve been waiting with eager anticipation for the return of Blue 35 and White YW and it’s great to see them safely return to Cumbria.
“We look forward to what we hope will be yet another successful breeding season. Last summer two osprey chicks fledged, bringing the breeding pair’s total to an amazing 18 chicks so far since 2014. Let’s hope for an equally successful season this year.”
Last year, the Foulshaw ospreys were a social media sensation and the number of people following the views of the live osprey webcam doubling over the previous year.
During the first lockdown, many osprey watchers said the webcam was a ‘lifeline’, bringing them close to nature during difficult times during lockdown.
One of them, Andrea Lowrie, said: “The osprey webcam actually got me and my little boy through the lockdown 1.0 as we would sit for hours watching as the eggs hatched and the chicks grew until they were hunting for themselves. It was a joy.”
Paul added: “We were overwhelmed at the level of support we got for our osprey cam, from all over the country, indeed the world.
“People wrote to us, sent donations and even sent us their osprey poetry, inspired by watching these wonderful birds of prey at close quarters. We were touched at how this wonderful wildlife spectacle, which we’re so lucky to witness here in Cumbria, brought comfort to so many people at a difficult time and we hope everyone will continue to watch it this season as well.”
This year, the webcam is back up-and-running and for the first time, it now includes sound so you can hear the birds calling to each other as they bring fish back to the nest.
You can watch the ospreys close-up at https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam