Monday, 4 April 2011

This lady keeps returning

Surrounded by miserable stories, of wars getting nowhere and radioactivity getting everywhere, it’s a relief to come across at least one piece of good news. That was provided by the Lady of the Loch.

She’s a female osprey, apparently also known as a fish eagle, who has made it back to Scotland from her annual migration to the Gambia for a record 21st time. She’s the oldest osprey in Britain and perhaps the oldest in the world. Her nest is now the size of a double bed, she’s laid 58 eggs and has launched 48 fledglings onto the world.

Lady keeps adding to her nest
What I particularly liked about her story is that it reminded me of part of my own family. My son and daughter-in-law live in Scotland too. There they inhabit a pleasant nest significantly larger than a double bed and which, like Lady, they enjoy improving. It's a great place for a fledgling, in this instance our granddaughter Aya.

And in January they joined us for a memorable trip to the Gambia.

Of course, there are differences. They brought the fledgling with them. What’s more we didn’t spend the whole of the autumn and winter there, but just a week – work commitments and budgetary limitations affect us rather more than Ospreys. But like Lady, I felt invigorated by the trip and today, as I walk around London in shirtsleeves enjoying the return of spring, I feel that the brief break in the sun gave me just the strength I needed to get through all the greyness of the winter.

Aya: a fledgling in Lady's wintering place, The Gambia
Now we need the sun to last a while over here. For Lady’s sake as well as our own.

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