Grand old Lady returns to loch for a 22nd year

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SHE’s the frequent flier who likes to return to the same quiet spot every year, helping to raise its profile across the world.

Lady, the oldest breeding osprey in the UK, has returned to the Loch of the Lowes reserve near Dunkeld, Perthshire, for the 22nd year, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has confirmed.

The osprey was seen by millions of birdwatchers across the globe last year after staff at the nature reserve set up webcams around her nesting site.

Scottish Wildlife Trust Perthshire ranger Emma Rawling said Lady returned to the nest at 8:31am yesterday.

She aded: “She has been positively identified, thanks to her distinctive iris plumage. It is an amazing achievement for her to return to Loch of the Lowes for her 22nd breeding year, making her at least in her mid-twenties. We are certain she is the oldest breeding osprey in the UK.

“In 2010, she was ill on the nest and thousands of people around the world watched her remarkable recovery online. She returned in 2011, but her eggs failed to hatch; we feared that might have been the last we would see of this bird, but she is back again.

“This is due in no small part to the amazing conservation efforts here at Loch of the Lowes. We’ve had 24-hour protection on the osprey nest that will continue as long as this osprey stays.

“Perhaps that’s also why I think it’s the best place in the UK to see ospreys. From our hide, you can see them fishing in the loch, and there is a great view to the nest. Thanks to our high-definition web camera, viewers in the visitor centre and around the world get a unique viewinside an osprey’s nest.”

Ospreys usually live ten to 15 years in the wild. Scotland’s most famous osprey had laid a total of 58 egg – three times the number produced during an average osprey’s lifespan.