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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Ospreys vacate Lakes' nest site
Lake District osprey chick
The osprey chicks were ringed in the nest
Ospreys which have attracted about 90,000 visitors to a nesting site in Cumbria, have left the UK for Africa, officials have said.

Record crowds made the trek to Bassenthwaite Lake in the Lake District to see the two adults and two chicks.

The adults have been visiting the same site every year since 2001.

The Lake District Osprey Project (LDOP) said the birds had moved on to African wintering grounds after generating about 2m for the local economy.

The adult female was the first to migrate on 21 August to start the 3,000-mile journey to West Africa. The young female osprey born in the Lakes nest this year, followed soon after.

'Tremendous support'

The adult male and the second chick, believed to be a male, stayed a little longer and were last seen on 11 September.

Graeme Prest of the LDOP said: "It was an anxious start to the season when winter storms destroyed the ospreys' nest and we had to rebuild it from scratch.

"Fortunately, the adult birds accepted the new nest and in July we were able to celebrate the successful fledging of two young ospreys.

"There has been an incredible level of interest in the ospreys again this year and we have had tremendous support from our visitors and the local community."

Visitors were able to see the ospreys from a special viewpoint at Dodd Wood and watched live pictures beamed from a camera overlooking the nest at the Forestry Commission's Whinlatter Visitor Centre.

Experts hope the pair will return to the same site again next year.

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18 Aug 05 |  Cumbria
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27 Jul 05 |  Cumbria
Lakes osprey chick takes flight
22 Jul 05 |  Cumbria
Chick joy for rare birds of prey
28 May 05 |  Cumbria
Early birds catch osprey egg joy
25 Apr 05 |  Cumbria


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