Tayside and Central Scotland

Lady the osprey returns to Loch of the Lowes reserve

Lady the osprey Image copyright Scottish Wildlife Trust
Image caption Lady the osprey has laid almost 70 eggs and reared 50 chicks over two decades at Loch of the Lowes

An osprey has returned to a Perthshire nature reserve to breed for the 24th consecutive year.

Lady the osprey has laid almost 70 eggs and reared 50 chicks at Loch of the Lowes.

The 29-year-old female, thought to be the oldest breeding raptor in the world, was spotted at the site near Dunkeld at 06:49.

Thousands of people watch her every year on a Scottish Wildlife Trust webcam.

Staff and volunteers at Loch of the Lowes had been on the lookout for Lady, who migrates to Scotland each spring after spending the winter in Africa.

She was identified after the sighting using close-up images of her plumage and eye markings.

Lady has already begun courtship with her regular partner - known as Laddie - and wildlife centre staff are hopeful the pair could again produce chicks this season.

'Successful migration'

Scottish Wildlife Trust ranger Emma Rawling said everyone at the centre was "thrilled" to see Lady return.

She said: "She is a very old bird and for her to undertake another successful migration is testament to just how special she is. However, it does demonstrate the conservation success story of the species as a whole.

"To think that ospreys were extinct in Britain just over a century ago really brings home how accomplished the concerted effort of conservation has been in that time.

"The questions now are whether she will breed, if any eggs will hatch and whether any chicks fledge."

The trust operates a special Ospreycam on their website for bird watchers to follow Lady's progress.

Ospreys were extinct in the British Isles between 1916 and 1954, but it's estimated there are currently between 250 and 300 nesting pairs in the UK.

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