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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Ospreys leave Lake District nest
The three osprey chicks
Three chicks were born to the adult pair in Cumbria
Five ospreys, that attracted tens of thousands of people to the Lake District during the spring and summer, have left the area for Africa.

A pair of adult ospreys raised three chicks at Bassenthwaite Lake, where the rare birds have nested since 2001.

This year more than 91,300 people visited viewpoints set up by the Lake District Osprey Project near Keswick.

Wildlife experts are hoping the nesting adult pair will return to Cumbria again to breed in 2007.

The season has been hailed as another success by the osprey project team, which is a partnership between the Forestry Commission, RSPB and Lake District National Park Authority.

'Sad moment'

The project's Graeme Prest said: "It has been our most memorable year so far.

"We are delighted that for the first time, visitors were able to enjoy watching the unforgettable spectacle of five ospreys soaring, swooping and diving over Bassenthwaite Lake."

Mr Prest said the team was particularly delighted that two of the chicks born this year were males. Male ospreys are more likely to return to their place of birth, giving hope that the youngsters may return to nest in Cumbria in the future

He said: "It's always a sad moment when the ospreys are no longer here to liven up the day, but we hope they will successfully make it through the winter and return to the Lakes next spring."

When the ospreys re-colonised Bassenthwaite in 2001, it was the first time they had nested in the Lake District for at least 150 years.

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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