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Last Updated: Friday, 30 April, 2004, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Lake osprey pair incubating eggs
Ospreys in Cumbria
Thousands of people have seen the ospreys on the Internet
Birdwatchers in Cumbria are celebrating after announcing a pair of ospreys are incubating two eggs.

The birds returned to their nest at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District earlier this month.

On Friday, the Lake District Osprey project announced two eggs have been laid and it is hoped a third one could be on the way.

A 24-hour guard has now been mounted to protect the nest from egg thieves or other disturbances.

Bill Kenmir from the project said: "It is very exciting that the ospreys have returned to the Lakes again this spring and are already incubating eggs.

150-year absence

"The next few weeks will be an anxious time for us all, as the ospreys will have to cope with the changeable Cumbrian weather and, sadly, rare birds such as ospreys are still at risk from the illegal activities of egg thieves.

"For both the ospreys and their guardians, the hard work is just beginning."

The first egg was laid on Monday with the second arriving on Wednesday. If all goes well, the eggs should hatch in early June.

A team of 30 staff and volunteers are helping to guard the nest.

The ospreys have been using the Bassenthwaite nest since 2001, which marked a natural recolonisation of England by the birds after an absence of at least 150 years.

They have raised four young since they first nested.

There are public viewpoints near Keswick and live images from a camera overlooking the ospreys' nest can be seen on a screen at he Forestry Commission's Whinlatter Visitor Centre as well as on the Internet.

Birds reunited after winter apart
19 Apr 04  |  Cumbria
Delight as osprey returns to nest
11 Apr 04  |  Cumbria
Osprey couple finally settle down
31 Mar 04  |  Scotland


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