AN osprey chick has hatched in its nest near Bassenthwaite Lake and it is hoped more will follow.

Members of the Lake District Osprey Project noticed all the telltale signs 37 days after announcing an egg had been laid.

Forestry England ranger Nathan Fox said: “Thirty seven days is the average incubation period so this is true to the day.

“We’re not sure how many eggs there are, the nest is very large and they are tiny, but the usual clutch is three.”

This is the second year this pair have bred, last year they had one chick.

Nathan works at Whinlatter and regularly checks the nest - from a distance.

“We could tell from the behaviour. The male brought in fish and the female stood up and put little morsels of fish into the nest,” he said.

They are expected to grow quickly as a result of being fed such a high protein diet.

The chicks will get a health check in about five weeks.

“A climber will go up to the nest and bring the chicks downs, they will be measured and weighed and have rings put on each leg to identify them,” said Nathan.

One leg will have a coloured, numbered ring which means they can be identified in the field. The other leg will have a metal ring with a unique serial number.

In past years these have been found in the Sahara desert or inside crocodiles, said Nathan.

Because covid restrictions mean only the climber and ringer can access the chicks, satellite trackers will not be attached to birds as has been done in the past.

“By 12 or 13 weeks they will be heading off to Africa on a 3,000-mile migration to somewhere they have never been,” said Nathan.

“In 2001 we had the first osprey nest in the whole of England, now we have lots more in the county and other parts of England.

“It’s really great news for the species.”