A FEMALE osprey has arrived back at a Scottish nature reserve for the 12th year in a row.

EJ touched down at the RSPB's Loch Garten Osprey Centre at 1.25pm on Monday, a day ahead of her usual arrival in the Cairngorms. The 18-year-old bird winters in West Africa every year and staff are now awaiting the arrival of her long-standing mate Odin.

Richard Thaxton, RSPB Scotland site manager at Loch Garten, said: "It's brilliant to see her and to have her back. She's very familiar to us and a much-loved bird. In typical fashion she arrived brandishing a freshly caught trout, picked up locally, en route back to her nest.

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"Since her arrival she has been to the nest several times and begun some spring-cleaning and housekeeping, moving sticks around and generally pottering about, all the while on the lookout for an arriving male osprey, also due any day now." He added: "While we should not count our chicks before they hatch, if all goes well and a mate arrives, they lay and hatch eggs, EJ will hopefully rear the 100th chick."