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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Lake District ospreys take flight
The three osprey chicks
The chicks have taken their first successful flight
Three rare osprey chicks hatched near Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria, have successfully taken their first flights.

The weekend flights were the first time the chicks, believed to be a female and two males, have flown from the nest.

All three have since been seen in flight by bird watchers, and are being fed by their parents.

The adult ospreys and their chicks have become a star tourist attraction in Cumbria, with tens of thousands of people visiting public viewing sites.

Graeme Prest of the Lake District Osprey Project, said: "We are delighted by the fantastic news that the ospreys chicks have made their first flight.

'Hard work'

"With impeccable timing, the young ospreys took flight just as the summer holidays started.

"To watch five ospreys flying over Bassenthwaite Lake will be an unforgettable sight for visitors to the Lakes, local people and the project team alike.

"The successful return of ospreys to Lakeland is a tribute to the hard work of all the volunteers and staff involved in this project."

The Bassenthwaite ospreys re-colonised England naturally in 2001 as part of a population expansion from Scotland, where numbers have been increasing since the first pair returned to the Highlands in the 1950s.

It was the first time that ospreys had nested in the Lake District for at least 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.

Ospreys get clean bill of health
05 Jul 06 |  Cumbria
First ospreys land at Lakes nest
05 Apr 06 |  Cumbria
Thousands travel to see ospreys
18 Aug 05 |  Cumbria

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