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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Ospreys prepare for first flight
The three osprey chicks
The osprey chicks are expected to fly in the next few days
Three rare osprey chicks are preparing to take their first flight from their nest in Cumbria's Lake District.

The triplets of Wythrop Forest, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, were taken from their nest and given a check-up which they passed with flying colours.

In recent days, the six-week-old birds, believed to be two males and a female, have been spotted flapping their wings.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said the chicks would take their first flight in the next few days.

The rare chicks, who are thriving on a diet of fresh fish, are being monitored by the Lake District Osprey Project and the (RSPB).

The chicks' parents have been nesting in the area since 2001.

Osprey viewpoints

Graeme Prest, of the Osprey Project, said: "To have a family of ospreys flying over Bassenthwaite will be a real red letter day for the project and an amazing sight for visitors to our viewpoints."

The chicks have been ringed to identify them as they usually fly to Africa for the winter.

So far 52,200 people have been to the osprey viewpoints at the Forestry Commission's Whinlatter Visitor Centre and Dodd Wood.

Before 2001, there had been no ospreys in the Lakes in 150 years.

The Lake District Osprey Project is a partnership between The Forestry Commission and the RSPB with the support of the Lake District National Park Authority.

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18 Aug 05 |  Cumbria
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28 May 05 |  Cumbria

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