Over the twelve year history of the nest, young had been reared in eight of them. The original pair who first built the nest were pioneer birds, and both were young with no experience. They spent all their first summer together building the nest. In the second year only the male returned, the female had been shot in Africa. He didn't find a new mate until late May of that year, and she was a young bird too. She laid one egg but didn't hatch it. After that this pair got into the swing of it and reared eight young over the next  four years. Then, in the sixth year in the history of the nest, disaster struck. The previous year two egg collectors had spent July following every Osprey they saw carrying a fish.  Some led them straight to nests with chicks. They carefully mapped each nest. Forward planning. The following year they came in the dead of night and robbed the nest of its two eggs. After that the pair were in disarray and built a new nest but did not relay. In year seven BEL became the female to the nest, the previous female having died, and bred with her mate every year since. So the history is up to present day and the point of it all is to say that, tucked behind the hot water tank in an airing cupboard in a house somewhere in Oldham is a map. A map of Osprey nests. On the evening of the 8th May a dark blue car parked off the road beneath some Scots Pines, hidden from view. Two men with binoculars left the car and headed through the trees. They spent 45 minutes cautiously crossing through open heath and small woodlands to a point marked on their map. From the cover of some Scots Pines they carefully scanned the area with their binoculars. "There" said one, "from the wood, third tree out, with the top broken out". "Got it", said the other, studying the nesting tree. "Now we just sit and wait". The night was long and uncomfortable. One man slept whilst the other watched and listened, they took it in turns. At about 2.45am one nudged the other. "Here we go, all set?"
It was incredibly dark at the bottom of the tree as two men set down their rucksacks. Without talking they took out ropes and harnesses. Clipping a strop round the tree and onto his harness, one began to climb, paying out rope as he went. The other watched and listened. With his partner half way up he heard the sitting bird leave the nest with a single call. Less than twelve minutes had elapsed when a small canister containing the two eggs came down on a rope. The man on the ground took it and gave two short tugs on the rope. Another two minutes and his companion had lowered himself onto terra firma.