TWO osprey chicks finally flew the nest recently after attracting huge interest across the county, with hundreds of thousands tuning in to watch the young birds' progress.

Blue 410 and 41 were born earlier this year after mum, Blue 35 and dad, White YW returned to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve in March.

Paul Waterhouse, Senior Reserves Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “The osprey family has not been seen at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve for a couple of weeks now, so we assume that the male and the two juveniles have started their migration south – as usual, the female left earlier, in August.

"Our osprey webcam has been watched over 800,000 times during the season and many people told us it was an 'emotional lifeline', as they coped with the pressures of the Coronavirus pandemic and life under lockdown.

"Thousands watched the highs and lows of the osprey season – the anticipation of the parent birds returning; the excitement when three eggs were laid, followed by sadness when one chick failed to survive; the antics of the chicks learning how to ‘ take off’, before they finally fledged and embarked on their first long migration to West Africa.

"This is the seventh year running that this highly successful breeding pair of ospreys have raised chicks at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve and we look forward to their return in the spring.”