Direct… or less direct departures

Osprey Racine F29 fishing

Although some Ospreys from higher latitudes are still crossing Switzerland, “ours” have already migrated to warmer climes. We had thought that the last to go was Arthur (F12), seen the morning of September 11 at Hagneck (lake of Bienne), just before his departure.

Three others had already departed before him. Olympe (F28) was last photographed by Enzo Bertolo on August 26 at the Fanel Nature Reserve (lake of Neuchâtel), where Taurus (PS7) was apparently also seen for the last time on September 3, together with Racine (F29). The last observation of Flamme (ex-KF6), was on September 6 in the Haut-Doubs in neighbouring France, a day after he was seen catching a big fish in the lake of Taillères, on the Swiss side of the border.

We believed that Racine had migrated on September 4 (after he was seen at Fanel in the morning), but what a surprise when Olaf Oczko and Klaus Becker spotted him on the 5th at Moos near Radolfzell, on the German side of the Lake of Constance (165 km to the north-east)! He was then regularly noted there until at least September 16, before being observed one last time, at Fanel again, by Claudine Waespe on the 22nd. Recently we also learned that Racine had already been photographed by Jochen Büchler at Moos on July 29, two days before he was discovered back in the Trois-Lacs region. A good example of how two year old birds can at times turn up in the most unexpected places.

Another surprise was the long stay of an unringed female in the Grande Cariçaie (lake of Neuchâtel), where she spent part of the summer in the same area as Olympe. Both birds were even seen once displaying by Martin Zimmerli: a precocious behaviour for a two year old male, and promising for the future.