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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Osprey chick feared dead
Osprey chick - Norman Healy/Forestry Commission
The ospreys are nesting at Bassenthwaite Lake
One of two Lake District osprey chicks is feared dead, according to bird watchers in Cumbria.

The Lake District Osprey Project said one of the chicks born to the nesting pair near Bassenthwaite Lake had not been seen for some time.

Two chicks hatched a week ago, but only one chick now remains in the nest.

The news comes after the project team studied recent pictures recorded by a camera overlooking the nest site.

They have concluded that the adult birds are now just feeding the one chick.

Graeme Prest, chair of the project steering group, said: "We are sad that one of the two chicks has perished.

"It is very disappointing news, because we were hoping to have two chicks fledge from the nest for the second year running.

"However, the first few days after hatching are always the toughest time for the tiny osprey chicks, and sadly, the youngest one simply lost the battle for survival.

Special viewpoints

"We are still fortunate to have one chick remaining in the nest and we will be watching its progress anxiously during the coming days and weeks."

The nesting pair arrived at the site near Keswick almost two months ago.

More than 30,000 people have already visited special osprey viewpoints and more have been checking developments over the internet.

The Lakes pair are an important part of the return of breeding ospreys to England after an absence of more than 150 years.

This is the third year that the ospreys have nested near Bassenthwaite Lake and they have already successfully raised three chicks - one in 2001 and two chicks last year.

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