First date?

German Osprey BT24 with Arthur F12 at Hagneck, Switzerland

Arthur (F12) has been seen at Hagneck with a ringed female! On July 18 Benjamin Gygax saw him carrying a fish, followed by a second Osprey, clearly identifiable as a female. He took the above photo and was able to read the black ring on her left leg: BT24. Thanks to the fantastic ringing programme in Germany coordinated by Daniel Schmidt, we learned that BT24 had been ringed on 29 June, 2020 by Henry Lange in a nest on a pylon in the province of Brandenburg. It is quite exceptional that an Osprey returns to Europe after its first migration, possibly indicating that BT24 didn’t travel all the way to Africa last autumn but rather wintered in the Mediterranean region. Let’s hope that she may be seen again this summer, or even return next year to Switzerland. Note that during the third Osprey Morning, Arthur had already been seen flying together with another Osprey between Hagneck and Lüscherz, but the birds were too far away to see if the second one was male or female, and if it was ringed.

Osprey Arthur F12 carrying a branch at Hagneck, Switzerland

On June 27, we admired for the first time Arthur “diving” into dry tree tops to break dead branches, and on July 17 he collected and carried a particularly large one over the artificial nest platform (photo). However, after flying about with it for a while, he then dropped it, so he still has a bit of learning to do – and he needs a female to give him a hand!

Elsewhere, on July 18 we finally managed to read the ring of another German-born female, AB13, where we suspect that she has been spending at least part of the summer. Reading her black ring was very difficult, as it was so faded that it looked greyish.  The reason why this bird – ringed in 2014 by Dieter Roepke on a pylon in Mecklenburg – is in Switzerland at this time of the year remains to be elucidated.