Radar (F16), born in Germany and translocated to Bellechasse in 2019, has just been spotted back in Europe on May 14 by Niels and Jacoba Ryckeboer near Louvain in Belgium (470 km north of his release site).
Our first reaction to this good news was to think that this male, named after the radar-shaped design on his head, was not really living up to his name! Time will tell if he is just doing a little exploring before returning home, or whether he might try joining the nearest breeding Osprey population to where he was seen (at the Biesbosch National Park in the Netherlands, where three pairs bred last year).
However, exploration is common for a bird of his age. For example, Fusée (PR9, born in 2016) was seen back in north-eastern Switzerland – 140 km away from Bellechasse – on May 10, 2018, before returning to the Three-Lakes region on July 28. Likewise Taurus (PS7, born in 2017), was spotted on May 22, 2019 in France near Dôle – 120 km away from Bellechasse – before eventually returning to his reintroduction area on June 29. So we will be keeping a close look out for Radar, hoping to see him back home soon.
In the meantime we are grateful to Niels and Jacoba Ryckeboer for finding our fourth confirmed male returnee (one from each of the years 2016 to 2019), and for letting us know that Radar, despite being mobbed by a Lapwing (photo above), is looking well.