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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 19:56 GMT 20:56 UK
Visitors flock to Lakes ospreys
Ospreys
Thousands of people follow the ospreys' progress on the internet
Thousands of people have flocked to see Ospreys which have nested for the fifth year running at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District.

Officials expect the figure to exceed the 90,000 visitors recorded in 2005.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said the number of visitors would be swelled after news of three eggs hatching at the nest site.

It is expected the rare birds will help to generate about 2m in tourist income in the county.

Fiona McLeod from the Western Lake District Tourism Partnership, said: "The Bassenthwaite Ospreys have been a phenomenal eco-tourism success story.

Giant screen

"They have really caught people's imaginations, giving a substantial boost to tourism businesses in the Western Lake District."

The Ospreys have been nesting near Bassenthwaite Lake since 2001, returning to the Lake District after a gap of 150 years.

It is the first time since the birds started nesting in the area that three chicks have successfully hatched.

People can follow the progress of the chicks on a giant screen at Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre.

Meanwhile the adult birds can be observed feeding on the lake from a viewpoint at nearby Dodd Wood, where volunteers are on hand with telescopes and binoculars.

The osprey pair, known as GreenXS and NoRing, returned to the Lake District in the first week of April and quickly settled down to breed.

Nathan Fox, of the Osprey Project team, said: "We are absolutely delighted that for the first time these special birds have three chicks in the nest."


SEE ALSO:
Third egg in Lakes ospreys' nest
10 May 06 |  Cumbria
Osprey pair return for 6th year
11 Apr 06 |  Cumbria
First ospreys land at Lakes nest
05 Apr 06 |  Cumbria
Thousands travel to see ospreys
18 Aug 05 |  Cumbria
Chick joy for rare birds of prey
28 May 05 |  Cumbria


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