Osprey chicks named Doddie, Vera and Captain

A trio of osprey chicks has been named by the public after a poll.

The Woodland Trust Scotland held an online vote for naming the young birds at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber in the Highlands, which received thousands of suggestions.

The successful choices were Doddie, Vera and Captain – in honour of former Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir, Dame Vera Lynn and centenarian NHS fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore.

George Anderson, of Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “Our osprey nest livestream found a huge audience this summer, as people at home during lockdown craved contact with nature.

Doddie was named after ex-rugby player Doddie Weir (Lewis Pate/WTML)

“When it came to naming the chicks, people wanted to honour these individuals who for different reasons have all been prominent in the public consciousness this year.”

There were more than 10,000 votes in the naming poll, with 50% opting for Doddie, Vera and Captain, 28% for Thor, Freya and Loki, 14% voting for Ally, Bally and Bee and 8% in favour of Hagrid, Boudica and Merlin.

The youngsters are watched by more than a quarter of a million fans on a livestreaming nest camera which has been running since 2017.

Last year, it attracted an audience of 60,000 viewers but this has shot up to 290,000 viewers so far, with almost two million individual visits to the web page.

The birds are expected to fledge – or take their first flights – in around a week.

The nest will remain their base camp until they migrate south towards the end of August.

Mr Anderson added: “Most Scottish ospreys fly overland down through England before crossing the Channel to France and on to Africa.

“There is every chance that Vera the osprey may fly over those white cliffs made so famous in the song by her namesake.”

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