OSPREYS make an epic journey every year from the UK to north Africa.
And now they’ve got somewhere to stop off before leaving the south coast.
A nest has just been built at Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve in Fareham.
Hampshire County Council worked with Portsmouth Water to create it for the fish-eating bird of prey.
Every spring and autumn, the birds regularly visit the Titchfield Haven, near Hill Head, as part of their migration.
Despite providing a suitable platform on the marsh many years ago, the birds have never shown any interest in nesting.
Experience at other reserves has found that ospreys are lazy birds and they prefer to take over an old nest, rather than build their own.
Mike Crutch, a volunteer at the reserve, said: ‘I thought if I built a large nest this may encourage the ospreys to set up home. It’s made on a cartwheel base, with branches interwoven to form the bowl shape required.’
Richard Levett, senior ranger for the council, explained the problem the team faced was how to get the 20lbs nest safely up about 24ft on to the existing platform.
Portsmouth Water provided the team with a cherry picker lifting platform along with the assistance of one of its employees, Steve Geary.
‘Together we managed to manoeuvre the nest in to position and fix it to the platform. All we can do now is wait,’ added Richard.
Tracey Viney environmental and biodiversity specialist for Portsmouth Water, said; ‘It was great to be able to help out with this conservation project.
‘We hope that the ospreys will use the nest in the spring when they return from Africa.’
Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve is open to the public every day.