Osprey

OSPREY PHOTOGRAPHY FROM A BOAT – 1850 SEK per person with a minimum of 2 participants – 2220 SEK per single participant (English/Swedish speaking guide)

For whom:

Dedicated photographers on the hunt for spectacular action photos of these impressive birds.

Period:

From early May to late August. The activity starts at sunrise and takes about 3 hours. For a higher success rate it is recommended to book 2 trips.

The price includes:

  • Guidance by an English/Swedish speaking ornithologist
  • Boat trip, including the use of a life vest
  • Hot drinks and snacks

Please bring your own:

  • Warm clothing
  • Camera material
  • Binoculars
  • Water bottle (optional)

Osprey photography
Take passage on a small boat, sail over Lake Mälaren and photograph ospreys and maybe even white-tailed eagles. You are given the chance to take unique shots of the birds as they descend towards the water surface to catch the fish that are being tossed towards them from the boat.

The boat lifts its anchor shortly after sunrise. This is when the birds are active, the light conditions are at their best and there aren’t many other boats on the lake yet.

Numerous osprey pairs breed on Lake Mälaren and its archipelago. Between April and mid-September they spend their time living on their breeding grounds and catching fish. Six to eight birds usually come close to the boat, eagerly welcoming the easy meals that are in store for them. Several white-tailed eagle pairs also breed in the area and one pair in particular is regularly seen competing with the ospreys.

At the start of the boat trip camera settings are discussed and tips on details are given.

The optimal equipment for osprey photography is a medium sized lens between 300 and 500 mm: light enough to be handheld and thus offering flexibility in movement. For a somewhat heavier lens, a monopod is an option. A tripod is highly impractical on the boat.

On departure the gulls make the perfect subjects for testing your camera settings. After that, you are good to go for the real deal: photographing ospreys.

Once the birds have decided to go for a fish, everything happens fast. Make sure you are prepared and ready. Observe the birds closely as they approach and have your camera ready. The more alert you are, the better your pictures will be.

About the osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
The osprey is one of the most widespread birds of prey in the world, inhabiting all continents except for the poles. The Scandinavian ospreys are migrating birds. Between late March and early April they return from their African winter quarters. It doesn’t take long for them to establish their territories and start fishing in their home waters. The birds in this area have been fed by man for several years and know the drill. The young learn to fly in early August. The male parents usually stay on till as late as September, whereas the females start their autumn migration earlier. The ospreys are in the area until mid-late September.

Other species
Gulls and terns are often seen. It is most common to see the following species during spring and summer:  black terns, little gulls and sometimes Caspian terns. The most dominant species are: great black-backed gull, herring gull, common gull and black-headed gull. Cormorants and grey herons also breed in good numbers.

This activity takes place in the wild, meaning that although you will be visiting the location where these animals live, breed and hunt, no guarantees can be given as to what you will get to see/photograph.