Link House makes an ideal base for Osprey viewing being only 5 miles from Dodd Wood where the view points are located and only 3 miles from Winlatter Visitor centre where there is more information and exhibition on the Osprey project. While you are looking for the Ospreys you might also see deer, red squirrels, otters and many other bird species.
Ospreys are spectacular fish-eating birds of prey with a wingspan of nearly five feet. For more information about the Bassenthwaite Lake Osprey Project go to: www.ospreywatch.co.uk
In 2001 a pair of ospreys which nested beside Bassenthwaite Lake became the first wild osprey to breed in the Lake District for over 150 years.
The birds were encouraged to stay with the help of a purpose built nest provided by the Forestry Commission and the Lake District National Park. This was the culmination of several years of hard work, Ospreys have summered in the Lake District since the mid 1990's, on their return in 2001 they immediately added sticks to the nest.
Once the eggs were laid, wardens kept a round the clock watch to prevent disturbance and deter egg thieves. Ospreys usually lay three eggs, which take about six weeks to hatch. The young stay in the nest for six or seven weeks. In late summer, the adult female will migrate south, leaving the male to teach the youngsters the art of fishing.
Bassenthwaite Lake is a National Nature Reserve, owned and managed by the Lake District National Park. Most of the surrounding woodland is managed by the Forestry Commission and provides valuable habitats for wildlife.
In 2010, one of the Bassenthwaite chicks from 2007 bred with another unknown Osprey and laid eggs in South Cumbria but unfortunately none of the eggs hatched, apparently not unusual for young inexperienced Osprey pairs. The pair were later seen on the coast nest building in late Summer which is known as frustration behaviour and often occurs after an unsuccessful breeding season.
An Osprey believed to be another Bassenthwaite chick from 2007 was seen regularly around the Thirlmere area during 2010. Hopefully this one will pair up in the future.