Wildlife fans watch live footage of osprey chicks hatching at Rutland Water

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A record number of wildlife fans have logged on to live footage of osprey chicks hatching at Rutland Water.

The osprey project website was visited by 18.000 people on Sunday when the first two chicks of the season hatched.

Project officer Tim Mackrill said, “We made some improvements to a special nest camera over the winter that allowed us to zoom in on the eggs when they hatched.

“Although the first one took almost 12 hours to break out of its shell, the second hatched in just 15 minutes, allowing us to record the amazing sequence on film.

“It’s the first time we’ve had such a detailed look at the hatching process.”

A third chick hatched overnight on Tuesday.

The live images are also being screened at the Lyndon Visitor centre.

Manager Paul Stammers said, “People are gripped by the images on the big screen. It just goes to show the interest that these incredible birds generate.”

The footage can be seen at www.ospreys.org.uk