Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 10:47 UK

Lakes osprey chick is feared dead

Osprey chick number 10
White 10 was tagged with a ring giving her number

One of the Lake District's osprey chicks is feared to have died in bad weather conditions.

The female bird, know as White 10, has not been seen since making her maiden flight at Bassenthwaite on 17 July.

Staff and volunteers of the Lake District Osprey Project mounted an "intensive search" after she failed to return to her nest in heavy rain.

A spokesman said the bird's two sisters, White 8 and 9, were "fit and well" after having fledged.

Graeme Prest, of the project, said: "Sadly we can only presume that the chick has perished, probably due to the heavy rain immediately after it left the nest."

The three chicks, which were tagged with rings displaying numbers and letters, are the ninth brood for a male bird which arrived at Bassenthwaite Lake in 2001.

He was the first osprey to nest in the Lakes in 150 years and prior to the new brood he had reared six chicks with the current female and 10 with his previous mate.

The birds attract thousands of people to the area each year, providing a boost to the Lake District's economy.



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