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Cumbria Wildlife Trust celebrate the return of a pair of breeding ospreys to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve.

Blue 35 and White YW, the two ospreys who successfully raised and fledged three chicks last year, have returned to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve, near Witherslack.

Read on to hear more from Paul Waterhouse from Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Paul Waterhouse, Reserves Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re delighted to see the return of Blue 35 and White YW to Cumbria with what we hope will be yet another successful breeding season. Last summer all three osprey chicks fledged, bringing the breeding pair’s total to an amazing 21 chicks so far since 2014! We all watched and wondered if the smallest chick (nicknamed Tiny) would make it, but he did! Let’s hope for a successful (but hopefully less nail-biting!) season this year.”

Ospreys from the webcam c Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Paul adds: “We’re delighted to have a new viewing experience for all Foulshaw osprey-watchers, wherever you are in the world! The new interactive camera is simple to use: go to our osprey webcam page, head to the interactive camera screen, and scroll around the nest – you can also zoom in and out. Huge thanks to Axis Communications who kindly donated the new 180-degree camera. We’ve been using their cameras across our sites for seven years, for security and documenting footage. This new interactive camera will give our osprey-watchers an even more immersive way of following these majestic birds of prey.”

Osprey pair Blue 35 and White YW started nesting at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve in 2014, following major habitat restoration work from the 1990s onwards. They are still recovering in the UK from historic persecution, which led them to become extinct in the British Isles as a breeding species.

About Ospreys: Ospreys are migratory birds of prey, present in the UK in summer and migrating to West Africa and the Iberian Peninsula during winter. Satellite tracking has shown them flying up to 430 km in just one day. It takes them about 20 flying days to complete the journey, but, in autumn, birds stop off to refuel at lakes and reservoirs, catching their fish in spectacular fashion as they dive towards lakes, stretch out their talons and scoop them out of the water with ease.

Osprey in midflight

Identifying Ospreys:

  • Head: Mainly white, with a black ‘highwayman’s’ eye stripe
  • Body: dark brown above with a white underbody
  • Wing from below: long and narrow, white with brown barring and black ‘elbow’, and long black finger-like wingtip feathers
  • Tail from below: white with dark bars
  • Eyes: yellow (orange when young)
  • Size: wingspan 152cm–167cm (about 5 feet). Females are between 10–20% larger and heavier than the male.

Juveniles are similar to the adults but paler above, less marked below, and feather edges are creamy-white. They also have orange eyes.

Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve is open to visitors, near Witherslack, off the A590. With an accessible boardwalk around the nature reserve and several viewing platforms to watch the ospreys on their nest – you’ll need to bring your binoculars!  Volunteers will help you locate the ospreys and show you the nest close-up on the webcam.

To view the live osprey webcam go to their website here and join the conversation on social media using #FoulshawOspreys

Secret Side of Foulshaw

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is offering a special half-day wildlife experience at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve this spring and summer. For more details head to their website here.

Lakelovers is delighted to be a Corporate Sponsor of Cumbria Wildlife Trusts and encourages its teams to volunteer for the important charity. Stay with us during Spring and visit the Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve yourself.