Osprey hatches her chicks in Scotland after gruelling Africa trip

One of only two female ospreys from Wales breeding successfully in the UK has hatched her chicks in a Scottish national park.

One of only two female Welsh ospreys breeding successfully in the UK hatched out two chicks in Loch Lomond.
One of only two female Welsh ospreys breeding successfully in the UK hatched out two chicks in Loch Lomond.

The osprey, named Clarach, was raised live on webcam as part of the Dyfi Osprey Project in mid-Wales.

She has flown 250 miles north of where she fledged to raise her chicks in front of another camera, installed as part of the Aberfoyle Osprey Project in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Clarach is the first osprey fledged from the Dyfi nest to make it back from the gruelling migration to Africa to breed in the UK, and her exploits at Aberfoyle are being monitored on webcam.

The four-year-old female is also the great grandchild of “Mr Rutland”, one of the most famous ospreys in the English osprey re-introduction programme. Mr Rutland was taken from his nest in north Scotland in 1997 under special licence, and moved to Rutland in the East Midlands to help the British osprey population grow and spread.

He returned to breed in the Rutland area until 2015, fledging an impressive 32 chicks.

Clarach arrived on the nest at Aberfoyle on 20 April and formed a partnership with an un-ringed male. Her chicks are Mr Rutland’s first confirmed great-great grandchicks.

Emyr Evans, from the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We’ve all been incredibly excited to hear that Clarach has returned safely from her perilous African migration, and has now settled down to raise a family of her own.

“Clarach was also spotted last year at nests with cameras across the country, including Glaslyn, Rutland and Kielder. She’s clearly a bird who’s not shy about showing off to the public.”

Now in its 14th year, the Aberfoyle Ospreys is a partnership between RSPB Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland based at The Lodge Forest VisitorCentre, Aberfoyle.

Sarah Lester, the Wildlife Information and Education Officer for Forest Enterprise Scotland and RSPB Scotland, said: “Clarach originally hatched three chicks, but sadly one didn’t survive.

“However, the remaining two are doing great.”