Saturday, 30 August 2014


We had visits to Rutland Water on the 21st of August as Richard and myself were on Osprey duties, we had an afternoon and evening out on the 28th and I sneaked an extra visit in on the 24th of August. My extra visit became a mixture of a disaster and being positive. I went out to monitor at Little Owl site 17 to see if I could find or confirm the tree we see them in as being the nest site. On arriving I could see two birds in the tree. This site is well away from any beaten track and not much traffic passes, anyway I had to drive by and turn in the field, then drive back up in the field to where I can see the birds from the drivers side so as to be able to get some images. This I did and was just picking up the camera to get my first images when a Landrover and cattle trailer came charging down the hill, past the nest tree at speed with a great clatter and bang. The little owls did a split, one flew to the left into the field behind the nest tree and the other flew in the opposite direction into the hedge. Sit it out Titus I thought, they will be back??. Next a tractor and trailer loaded with hay came down the hill and through the gate to the adjoining farm, politely the driver waived and I returned his waive. Then a tractor came up the hill with the trailer empty going to get it filled somewhere close by, again the driver waived, I found it difficult to but I waived back. Again I settled and tried to find the elusive little owls but with no luck. All of a sudden another tractor approached the gate, the driver got out and opened the gate, came through and stopped by my car, got out and came over and said 'are you here to look for the Barn Owls', this somewhat took me by surprise but I replied saying I was looking for the Little Owls, his answer being he had seen some in the tree I was next to, also more closer to his farm and more farther up the road, usually on the road. But a girl who worked for him on the farm had for the previous few weeks on a regular basis seen Barn Owls in the tree. We carried on talking for another ten minutes or so before he got back on his tractor to go and get his "last bales of the day" but it was getting dark by then so I sat it out for another half an hour but to no avail but this is a site I will visit another evening and sit farther up the hill and stake it out to see what happens. Shows it always pays to talk with friendly farmers.

Little Owl Site No. 2.
We are still only seeing the one bird at this site. We had difficulty in getting an image due to the birds position in the tree but after a bit of juggling about with the car by Richard we managed to get the top two shots. The third image was from the previous week.

Swallow near to Little Owl Site No 9.

Female Osprey 'Maya' on post adjacent to nest.

Female Osprey on nest camera post waiting for 33/11 to return with a fish.
Ospreys at other site have started migrating. Site B birds have all departed.
These images were taken from Shallow Water hide over a distance of 240 metres.

Heron to the front of Waderscrape Hide at Rutland Water.
It had been reported and a photo supplied of Heron taking the water voles in the channels to the front of the hide. Upon looking at the photo our leaders have decided that in fact the bird had taken a rat. Richard visited the hide on Wednesday to get some images of the Spotted Crake and said he saw plenty of water voles so hopefully they will continue to flourish.

Little Owl Site No. 12.
One of the favourite sites for the birds is in the pipes. Light was not good and image very poor but worth showing for interest.

Little Owl Site No. 17.
From when we arrived the adult never stopped watching us. The juvenile had the occasional  sleep. Luckily today we had no disturbances from landrovers or tractors.

This image was purely taken as a record shot, the time was 20.30 and it was shot at an ISO of 9000 +.
Only added it to show it can be done but not perfect.

Migrant Hawker dragon fly, our garden.
During the day we saw several dragon flies with me chasing them like a demented duck.
Finished up with only the above image but saw several different Hawkers and Darters.

Young grass snake in my pals garden compost heap, as you can see the tip of its tail is still dark so they are still very young. He has had grass snakes for several years laying eggs in his compost area. He saw the adult several weeks ago and and I saw her with him in the compost but when I was with him only the tip of her tail was visible. Today he saw three young on the top of the compost.

Friday, 22 August 2014

To Show I Take Other Images:

These have been taken over the last two to three years on trips to Rutland, Cannock etc. Richard and myself go out between once and twice a week dependent on the weather and over the winter visit Cannock Chase and Calke Abbey occasionally.

Common Shelduck, Rutland Water.

Wheatear, Near Tilton on the Hill.

Goldfinch, Calke Abbey.

 Chaffinch, Calke Abbey.

Greenfinch, Calke Abbey.

Coal Tit, Cannock Chase. 

Difficult birds to get an image of, they are so quick and never stop moving.

Robin, Cannock Chase.

Cock Pheasant, Nr Little Owl Site No. 5.
May be very common but very beautiful.

Buzzard Nr Little Owl Site No. 5.

Sky Lark Nr Little Owl SIte No. 11.

Red Kite Nr Little Owl Site No. 5.

Blue Tit, Cannock Chase.

Nuthatch, Cannock Chase.

But We Must Have Some Little Owls!

Little Owl Site No 5. 

Little Owl Site No. 5.  

Saturday, 16 August 2014

 Another Afternoon and Evening with Little Owls.

Richard and myself set off for another jaunt with the Little Owls on Thursday the 14th. We set off a little dubious as to the outcome due to heavy showers that had been around and promised for the afternoon. As it turned out we had a wonderful afternoon not only with the weather but also the Little Owls. Richard called in on his local patch on his way over to me and finished the day with 14 Little Owls. I managed a reasonable second place with 13, unlucky for some. This all with the fact we wanted to get home early as Richard was on early duty at Bird Fair at Rutland Water. We also found another new site.

If you wish to comment on this blog please click on the "comment" at the bottom of the images.

Little Owl Site No 2.
This is a site we have only seen one bird at for a while and after this visit we are of the opinion we have lost the male bird. He was very laid back, he used to just sit in the nest tree whilst we took our images, where this bird appeared more nervous but still allowed us to take the images without flying off.

Buzzard near Little Owl Site No 3.

Little Owl Site No 4.
Not sure as to what he was looking at but it had certainly got his attention

This is the site we visited last week after the farmers wife said she had seen some Juvenile Little Owls, we assumed they were displaced birds from Site 5. We watched the birds for well over half an hour with great amusement as to some of the antics they got up to. 

We at one point had this bird in the tree as in this image and the one below. We also had another bird sitting on a circular feeder the other side of the gate. The bird on the feeder or as we thought was continually calling its sibling.

It then moved onto the gate and did some wonderful moves, bobbing up and down and playing with the bit of baler twine. Richard and myself decided to take some video, a new venture for me, by the time we had remembered how to operate the cameras in video mode it had returned to the feeder. After a short time it flew up to the tree to join its sibling, it was only then we realised the calling was still continuing to our left and after a short time we spotted the adult below.

Little Owl Site No 17.
We have another little owl site within a few hundred metres of our site No 5.

Little Owl Site No 10.
An adult and a juvenile, taken as a record shot as the birds were 190 metres away.

Little Owl Site No 9.
It appears to be an adult in the nest hole with another bird just visible farther in the hole to its right.

Little Owl Site No 12.

These have always been very difficult birds to get good images from. Today we decided to try and get a bit closer, we walked across the field not looking at the bird until we had gone past the barn and he couldn't see us and then started a pincer movement across towards the barn only to see him fly across the field and land in a tree some 40 metres from my car. We carried on across the field to where we thought the nest tree had been, went through a gate into the next field, discussed the nest holes visible and returned to and went through the gate into the original field. Instantly a little owl flew out the tree only about 3 metres above our heads and set off to the tree where its partner in crime had settled. Again shows the need to scan every inch of every tree.I managed a useless image of the second bird in the middle of the hedge on the far side of the field.

Hare near Little Owl Site No 9.

Little Owl Site No 13.
Even though we had not seen any signs of the birds breeding, I got this image on Wednesday of an advanced juvenile, will visit again soon and see what can be found.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Richard and myself had an afternoon travelling to Rutland water where we were on Osprey duty and owling on route, and again owling on our return. We visited all our normal sites and found owls at many. I finished with a grand total of eleven little owls seen and Richard with ten so all in all a great day.

An Extra Osprey.

For several weeks at Rutland Water  John Wright the field officer has been convinced we had another bird arrived  but nobody had been able to get an image of this elusive Osprey, which for John is very unusual. It had been suggested by some that it was 8F/12, a 2012 bird from Manton Bay. Whilst we were on duty we had an intruder Osprey arrive into the bay and as usual with us, it did not come that close. Other people have had birds in the dead tree in front of the hide, all we have in the dead tree are cormorants!
However we managed to get some shots and with considerable cropping could read the ring and the bird turns out to be a female Osprey from Site B 2F/12. So we have 21 adult Ospreys and 11 fledged young at Rutland Water at the moment, what a wonderful achievement for those who started the Osprey Project.

Addition, 8F/12 has also been seen in Manton Bay sitting on the same post as 33/11.

This is a much clearer image but you cannot read the ring number.

Little Owl Site Number 1.
We arrived at the site in Richards car so the tree with the little owls in was on my side of the car. With the window open I could just see one through the branches so said to Richard to get out so he could get a shot. As he got out a second little owl appeared and disappeared immediately but still managed a shot through the branches.

Little Owl Site No 5.
With the young having dispersed  farther across the farm the adults are taking a well earned rest. On visiting the site where we had seen them last week, both young flew about but we were unable to get any shots. The farmer still sees the birds on a regular basis.

Little Owl Site No 5.

Little Owl Site No 9.
We arrived to see an adult sitting on the corner post to the field not far from the nest tree and looking straight at us. It then flew down into the field, no doubt to pick up some food and I managed to get some images of the bird flying back up to the post.

Little Owl Site No 9.
The above two images were taken on our way back from Rutland water. By then we were loosing the light so image quality down somewhat. We found the two juveniles, one on a post and one in the nest tree.

Little Owl Site No. 10.
Little owl juvenile. More a record shot as bird was 190 metres away.

Little Owl Site No 15.
Little Owl juvenile. We have seen birds at this site before but not since I started my blog so for me its a new site

Common Blue Damsel Fly. Immature female.
Rutland Water.

Female Common Darter.
Rutland Water.

Migrant Hawker, image caught in flight, more through luck than expertise.
Rutland Water.

Ruddy Darter with somewhat Tatty Wings.
Rutland Water.

On our way home we saw a Little Owl sat on top of a telegraph pole at a site where Richard had seen a bird a considerable time ago. So little owl Site No. 16.

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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