The full moon was red

Observation tower at the Fanel Nature Reserve, Switzerland

On June 4, 52 enthusiastic volunteers woke up well before dawn to participate in our first Osprey Morning of the season, starting with a magnificent full moon glowing red. This simultaneous watch spread over 33 sites (mostly in the Three-Lakes region, but also more locally in the Aar and the Doubs river basins), led to at least five or perhaps six different Osprey seen in total.

The weather was for the most part kind, sunny and no wind, although a few sites caught some scattered showers. The first two observations occurred at the same time: 5:35, with Arthur (F12) engaged in a spectacular “sky dance” for half an hour at Hagneck (still hoping for a visiting female), and another osprey (unidentified) flying over the lake of Morat near Muntelier.

A third one was spotted at 5:41 in the Grande Cariçaie, but too far to see if it was ringed. However, at 6:46 one of our known males, Olympe (F28), was observed eating and digesting a fish on a nearby dead tree until 8:23, after which he flew off with a Black Kite, before returning to perch at 08:33. Then from 8:39-8:40, a pair were seen briefly flying together, before disappearing as suddenly as they had appeared – most likely Olympe with an unknown female. Could she be the same one who spent three days with him at the beginning of May?

In the Haut-Doubs we had some concerns about Flamme (ex-KF6), as he had not been confirmed back in the area which he frequented last year. However, about 28km away an osprey with a left metal ring was first seen perched at 8:24, and started fishing at 9:20, before disappearing with his catch at 9:36. Could it be Flamme, who after moving his territory by a few km between 2021 and 2022, has moved once again?

We were surprised that at the Fanel nature reserve, traditionally much favored by the species, no osprey were seen between 5:30-10:00. But fortunately some people stayed beyond the call of duty and saw Racine (F29) flying in at 11:30, promptly catching a large fish, eating it, and then catching a smaller one and eating it on the same dead tree. He was still there when the observers left at 14:30. While Racine was not duly recorded in the morning, probably one or more of the three unidentified sightings made near Muntelier (5:35) and at Bellechasse (6:38 and 7:40) were either him and/or Taurus (PS7).

Finally after the “official end” of the Osprey Morning, Arthur was seen again at Hagneck breaking branches to build a natural nest around 14:30, less than ten minutes after being photographed 10 km away at the pond of Lobsigensee (where he hadn’t turned up during the whole morning)!

A big thank you again to all the great team who took part in the June 4 Osprey Morning, as well as to those who have already signed up for the next one of June 25. If anyone else wishes to participate, it is not too late, just contact us here!