I don’t know what first got me interested in ospreys, following my experience with the flock of geese flying home to rest that night. I could write so much about how birds became the central part of my life in 2010, and about the emotional impact that they had upon me. IT WAS AS IF I HAD BEEN GIVEN THE GREATEST GIFT EVER. This, from what seemed to be the ashes of my life.

I had not wanted to return to my home county from beautiful Derbyshire in 2009, but it had become a very necessary move, as my husband had become quite sick with post polio syndrome, and had ended up in a wheelchair, which meant that he had had to give up work. We could no longer afford to live in Derbyshire, so sold up and moved back to Lincolnshire, which was a much cheaper place to live. I felt desolate at leaving my beloved Derbyshire. We had always wanted to live amongst the hills, which we finally achieved when we moved to Derbyshire in 2001. It truly was the happiest and most fulfilling time of my life, for more reasons than just the hills. Though the hills were the central factor in my life. And so, the last thing that I ever wanted to do was move back home again. I thought at that time that nothing good could ever come of it, and that nothing could ever match Derbyshire. My heart was heavy. As was my husband’s.

It was with the greatest of pleasure and amazement that we discovered something equally as good, and even better than what we had known in Derbyshire. And, it would never have been discovered in Derbyshire, for our minds were on different things. We would not have been open, perhaps, to this new discovery. I always believed that not much good could come out of flat, seemingly boring countryside. Give me the challenge and the excitement of the hills ANY day! How WRONG I was. I was to discover the glories of my home county anew. It was a PURE GIFT.

I cannot remember the order in which it all happened, after the geese experience, but after discovering herons, swallows that flew in huge flocks over our car at dusk, swooping onto the pond for food before bedtime, making a noise almost as loyd as an aeroplane in flight, my mind turned to ospreys. I vaguely remembered that ospreys had become almost extinct in our country, but with loyal commitment, love and care, and a good deal of luck thrown in, they had been re-introduced again, from just one breeding pair in Scotland. I became intrigued to find out more, and here was where my love affair with ospreys began, and in particular with Lady, who was until 2014 the oldest breeding osprey in the U.K. She nested every year up in Scotland at the Loch of Lowes, and we were able to watch her and her mate on the webcam. But that fuelled a deep desire to see an osprey in the flesh, so to speak. I never thought my dream would be realised. But it was! I will write more of this, but in 2014 it was not known whether Lady would reappear at the Loch of Lowes or not, for her 26th. breeding season. If she did, it would be a miracle. And at that time I was awaiting my own miracle – the news that my cancer had gone into remission. I felt, deep inside me, that if Lady reappeared, miraculously, then just as miraculously, my own cancer would have disappeared, miraculously. On a day in late March 2014, Lady came back. The very next day I was informed that my cancer had gone into remission.

2014 was to be the last year that Lady returned to her Scottish nest site.

I am still in remission, though much deteriorated.

A few dats ago, both Laddie and Lassie returned to what was Lady’s nest at the Loch of Lowes. Laddie appeared first, then, a few days later, Lassie joined him, amidst great joy at seeing each other again, and sky dancing the like of which has never been seen before. Followed, of course, by rather a lot of “nookie.” Lassie will, hopefully, within a week or so, have laid her first egg, and the whole life cycle will have begun all over again.

Watch this space for more of the Bird Soap Opera. I still have to tell you about EJ, of Loch Garten fame, and many more stories concerning Lady, and ospreys.

Oh, did I tell you that I DID see ospreys, on more than one occasion. And I didn’t have to travel far! They came to within five miles of my home! If I could find and post photos, I would, but cannot donthat for the moment.

Watch this space!


  1. How wonderful Lorraine.
    I’ve seen the large birds in santuaries, but never out in the wild. We wanted to tke Mum to the bird sanctuary but sadly never managed to, though we did and I was able to share the experience with her in my letters.
    In contrast, we had a pair of tufted ducks raise a successful brood of 8 in the park here. Our first year! I look forward to more news of your ospreys, and will be posting pics of our ducks and geese as they become parents and develop creches as they did last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. blindzanygirl

    Bless you Di. I really wish I could pist photos but they are on my okd kaptop computer, and I can’t see to yse it any more. Mi have lost all my precious photos and hubby can’t seem to do anything about it. I had some amazing pics of isorets flying low right over my head in a filed about fuve miles away. We have been there this afternoon, but all that I could do was cry because I can’t see any more. Crying is not my thing at all, but it just made me feel so low. Never to see thise wonderful thungs again. But wenlooked uo osprey sughtings on the web, and they are all coming in now, with many more expected right up until the end of April. Mi had no udea tbere were so many now. The ohotos I had showed so clearly all their markings underneath, and tbeur HUGE wings. Just beautuful..i mysy try to look up some more sightings tonight, but I am just so sad right now. It has been such a beautiful sunny day though. Things don’t normally get to me like this, but they have tiday. Oh well………..tomirrow is another day. Let the light shine tomorrow! Lots of love to you Di xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz

    I love birds. Well, not just birds, but any wildlife of a furry, or feathered kind. My passion started when I was young, I think 7, or 8 years old.

    When I was 9 my first drawing was of a horse.
    After that, I would watch wildlife programmes and have my head in books. At some point in my twenties, I swayed from it. Not intentionally. Life I suppose that was happening. But underneath, that passion wasn’t far away.

    I don’t believe I have seen an osprey, but a peregrine falcon I have seen up close at a sanctuary somewhere and I couldn’t believe just how big it was. So different to watching on camera, when seeing one up close, so watching them outside in the wild, I can imagine my excitement and fascination for them.
    With me starting to play with watercolours, maybe one day I will paint birds and other wildlife, if not get back into my sketching and colour them with my pencils, like I used to.


  4. ellem63

    “nookie” Lol, that made me smile. Having been brought up in Glasgow, it’s a very familiar phrase. 😂

    I loved reading this, Lorraine. I look upon birds as gifts too and I believe that God sends us just what we need at the right time. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing!!… both you and the ospreys have hope in spite of the challenges that lie ahead “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” (Emily Dickinson) and through your eyes we can see your wonderful world… you are not blind at all… 🙂

    (got in a hurry and forgot to butter my popcorn)…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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