Sunday, 20 January 2019


Those of you that follow my blog will remember my images of the juvenile Tawny Owl in the garden of my friends Reg and Jill. 

At the time I put Reg in touch with Simon of the Hawk and Owl Trust.  He turned up some six weeks ago and erected a Tawny box in the tree for them and said he would return in the Spring to see what if anything was in situ.

I had an Email from Reg the other evening with an image showing what appears to be an adult Tawny sitting in the entrance to the box taking in the bit of sun we had on that day. Simon was also delighted and feels sure the bird will breed in the box this year.

Needless to say I had to have a visit to see if I could get some images, it was however not a nice day and I managed no views of the owl.

I had an email from Reg recently to say the Tawny was sitting in the entrance to the box at 09.58 hrs, the sun was out again so I must try harder when we have some sun.

 Juvenile Tawny Owl from earlier in the year.

New Tawny box as erected by the Hawk and Owl Trust six weeks ago.

Ingenious image as taken by Reg using his I phone through his binoculars.

What appears to be an adult Tawny owl having taken up residence in the new box, Hawk and Owl trust say they will monitor the box in a few weeks time. This bird is being seen on a regular basis on a sunny morning.

Robin, Whilst waiting to see the Tawny.

Whilst Reg and myself waited to see if the Tawny would show, this little beauty came to see us. It staid with us most of the time we were outside.


I arrived at Eyebrook for 12.35 hrs and immediately went to the Upper Bunker hide, large numbers of Lapwings were well out on the mud with a few waders but at the distance I took no images and headed down the Reservoir to the gateway where I had previously seen the Smew. I arrived to find four gents with scopes and upon asking if any Smew were about, was immediately  invited to have a look through a scope and I had four Smew all together, two Drakes and two Red heads, these birds were however a silly distance away but one of the gents managed to find one Drake closer so I took a few images in hope they would not be that bad,the bird still being well in excess of 200 metres away. After this we waited to see if any of the birds came any closer only to have a Short-eared Owl fly past with the wind behind it, we did not see it for very long, however we all moved out onto the road and saw the bird appear over the hedge and cross the road only to disappear behind the high hedge on the opposite side of the road.

The gents had been counting the Smew and had got a total of seventeen, six of which were Drakes, two of these Drakes were young birds and had not full plumage yet.

I then moved down to the Lower Bunker hide and met up with the gent who I told about the Short-eared Owl on top of the hill, he told me he had seen the bird on the afternoon I told him about it but has been monitoring the area on a daily basis and for the previous three days has been seeing three birds in the fields, so after seeing what was about from this hide we decided to visit the area again together.

We  had a large number of Greylag geese near to the hide then we had a fleeting visit by a Red Kite followed by two more that circled for a few minutes then all hell broke loose. 

The fields on the opposite side of the road are in a shooting estate and 20 to 30 guns all started firing at the same time and everything scattered from the Greylag, Mallard and all the rest of the water birds, the gent I was with stated that would be the end of the afternoons birding, so we decided to visit the area where we had seen the Shorties, this being abou a mile away. However we had not been looking out for the Owls for long when the shoot appeared in the fields on the opposite side of the road so we gave it best and I went on a drive about looking for any Red Kites or Buzzards. I saw a few Kites but the second you lifted the lens in the air, they dived and disappeared from view very quickly.

 Smew Drake, Eyebrook Reservoir, from the gate.

This bird was in excess of two hundred metres away so a lucky shot. They really are a beautiful duck.

Lapwing from the Gate.

Whilst waiting to see if any Smew came any closer I managed to get this image shot between the tall grass.

Greylag Goose, Lower Bunker Hide.

These birds were within fifty metres of the hide and didn't appear over bothered when I entered the area and met up with the gent. So it was a case of get a few images.

First Red Kite to appear, Bunker Hide.

This bird only gave us a fleeting visit before flying over the reservoir to the far side.

Second bird to arrive, quickly followed by a third and they both then circled an area not far from the hide, just a case of rest the camera on the side and shoot away.

Third Red Kite, wonderful birds to watch in flight.

Last image managed before the shooting commenced, not many seconds after this everything was away to the far side of the reservoir.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them.

I intend to meet up with the gent again and have another try for the three Short-eared Owls.

About Me;

Titus White:
Hi I am Richard Peglers friend Titus White, and those who follow Richards posts will understand the name and reason for it. I have been birding with Richard for 3 years and a volunteer at Rutland Water on the Osprey Project for 2 years. My early images were taken on a Nikon D80 with a 70 - 200mm lens. I updated the lens to a 70 - 300mm VR lens but still was not happy with the results. Eventually when Nikon announced the D7100 I decided to change so upgraded the camera and also invested in a Sigma 50 - 500mm lens.
I first met Richard through Arthur Costello as I was having the occasional visit from Little Owls on our land. We eventually found the Little Owls through another contact about 100 metres away. Photo's will follow on future posts.
I have recently upgraded my camera to full frame, this is a challenge I am at the moment enjoying trying to get the best out of the beast.
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