Friday, 24 October 2014


We decided to have one more trip to Rutland Water before we change the clocks, to attempt to get a closer image of the Great White Egret. We arrived at Rutland Water having visited some Little Owl Sites on the way out and planned to do the same on the return visiting the sites we had not seen birds at.

On arrival, where else was the G.W.E. other than in the position or within metres of it from where I first saw the bird several weeks ago, so we stayed a while in the Egleton Centre hide watching and waiting for it to move. This it decided to do but not to come any closer to us and just patrolled the far bank of the lagoon so we took a few record shots and then went for a walk around the hides seeing what if anything special or rare was in attendance. Surprisingly we still saw some dragonflies but no Hobby to chase them.

We took a few shots some of which are below and then set off to see if we could see anymore Little Owls on our return.

Our tally on Little Owls was three in total. Two on the outward journey and one on our return. These being one at Site 5, this being on the far side of the field in a hedge so no image was attempted, one at Site 17 and one at Site 9. Not the best numbers but better than a round zero!


Had some concerns on a previous Post dated 20/09/14 "BACK IN OUR OLD ROUTINE" with the Meadow Pipit and some kind lady and gentleman in Norfolk have confirmed my thoughts due to the Meadow Pipit having the long hind claw where the Tree Pipit has much shorter claws.

Also have had an E Mail from Arthur Bird saying that the images I got of the Hobby on Post " A SINGLETON TO RUTLAND WATER" Dated 11-10-14. The bird is a juvenile as it has no red trousers, thank you Arthur.

Little Owl Site No. 17.

As we drove down the farm track, we saw the bird in its favourite position, keeping out of the breeze and not in the faintest bothered by our presence. We both took our images whilst it kept its eye on us to see we behaved and then we got on our way to Rutland.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

We visited this site on our return  and the light was leaving us so with a high ISO and + 2 EV I managed the above image of the bird in the nest hole. Is a second bird sitting in the nest hole to the left and farther in the cavity, difficult to say.

Great White Egret, Lagoon 1, Rutland Water from the Egleton Centre.

Again the bird is a silly distance away, 460 metres plus. 

Started on the right and then headed to the left and started to disappear behind the headland.

Came out from behind the headland and set off left.

And still farther left but no closer unfortunately. Always another time!!!!! 

Green Sandpiper,Lagoon 3, Rutland Water.

Awful light but not a bad image for saying.

Redshank, Lagoon 3, Rutland Water.

Two or three of these birds in the shallows area to the front of the lagoon.
Pretty bird.

Gadwall Drake, Lagoon 2, Rutland Water.

Gadwall, sound asleep and at peace with the world.

Then a lady joined us in the hide, who within seconds dropped or knocked over her tripod and scope. A really large bang, the other birds scooted off very quickly and the Gadwall awoke. Both Richard and myself thought it sounded a very loud and expensive bang???

A shorter post than normal but hopefully you will enjoy. 

Thank you for your visit and please leave a comment .

Monday, 20 October 2014


We decided to change our day for going out owling together due to the weather forecast for Thursday not being very good, so Friday became our day, as it happened we should have gone Thursday as the weather was far far better but that's the way of the world.

We started by visiting Little Owl sites on the way out to Rutland Water and the same on our return, and luckily we had far better results with the owls then I did singly last week seeing six in total for the afternoon. This being 2 at site 5, 1 at site 17, 1 at site 12, 1 at site 9 and 1 at site 10 so a great improvement.

On arriving at Rutland Water we have to visit the Egleton Centre and show our passes. The Great White Egret was still on Lagoon 1 but more of that story below. We then set off on our way to the Lagoons to check as to what was present.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

The first site we saw birds at, and thankfully for the first time in a while we saw both birds, one in the hedge on the far side of the field, and one in the nest tree. The farmer had said they heard them most evenings but it was very satisfying to see them for ourselves.

Little Owl Site No.17.

We proceeded from Site 5 to 17 and low and behold Richard immediately saw a bird, again the first time for several weeks. Sat there whilst we took some images and after a few few minutes we set on our way and it still sat and watched us go up the track.

Little Owl Site No 12.

As we approached the site we could see the bird sat with its back towards us under the asbestos coping sheet, so Richard stopped the car and we got a quick image before carrying on our way to Rutland.

Great White Egret Lagoon 1 Rutland Water.

We arrived at the Egleton Centre and as usual went inside to show our passes, and sure enough on the far side of the lagoon, to the left of where I saw the bird last week was the G.W.E. We both had a quick look at the bird through our bins and then Richard was away for ablutions. I had a quick chat to the two volunteers on duty and glanced outside to see the Egret had disappeared. A quick walk to the window and I could see it was flying towards the centre. I ran up the stairs and to the first open window and used the camera and 500mm lens as a point and shoot set up and through some miracle got the above image. It may not be that perfect and I think the camera actually focused on the hedge line and the bird is well to the left but at least I managed a shot of sorts. The bird actually landed on the far side of the hedge in Lagoon 2. A few seconds later a gentleman came up stairs and asked had I seen the Egret, he said he had seen one a couple of weeks previous out the window where he lives, he lives on the ninth floor of a block in Montreal and the bird actually flew past his window and turned and eventually landed in a lake in the Montreal Botanical Gardens. After this we set off towards Lagoon 2 to try and get an image of the elusive bird.

Later in the day we returned to the Egleton Centre having been unable to locate the GWE elsewhere, we think it was behind a large rush bed in Lagoon 2. Two other birders walked in with us and suddenly one said I've found it and sure enough the keen eyed gent had. This time it was slightly closer than last week at 330 metres, but mostly hidden by a bund in the Lagoon.

Lapwing at Lagoon 3 Rutland Water.

Lots of Lapwing are in residence at both Lagoon 3 & 4 and I'm sure elsewhere on the reserve. We met up with one of Richards friends in the hide who told us he had been watching a Peregrine hitting the Lapwings on Lagoon 4 in the morning.

Heron Lagoon 2.

Whilst searching for the GWE on Lagoon 2 we saw this heron and I just had to take a shot.

Harlequin Ladybird, Axyridis Succinea our garden.

These can have up to 17 black spots, so it says in the official information on the species {I think this one has got 19 ???}
These ladybirds are called Harlequin because of the wide range of colours they occur in. They are native to Asia but were introduced into North America and Europe and somehow have made it here.
They are really bad news to our native species by cannibalism but they are also are carrying a very nasty S.T.D. which scientists think may spread to our native ladybird.

Harlequin Ladybird Axyridis Conspicua.

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Saturday, 11 October 2014


I was unable to go out on Thursday due to my wife having an hospital appointment and Richard was unavailable on Friday so I had a visit out on my own.

I visited some Little Owl Sites on the way out but no Little Owls were evident, but the weather was sunny but also somewhat windy, so I decided to go straight to Rutland and leave that bit earlier and Owl on the way home. As I arrived at Rutland Water it was still gusty but as the afternoon went on, the wind dropped and the temperature rose to 18 degrees.

I started in the Egleton Centre where the people on duty said the Great White Egret was back on Lagoon 1. I went upstairs and sat by an open window and in the distance was a white dot? this was the Egret. It was 460 metres away {have checked the distance on Google Earth} and was also hiding behind a tree. I however eventually managed the images below. Note the yellow bill, the bird is most likely a juvenile and on the RSPB site the estimated number in residence is only 35 so this is a rare bird.

I then visited Lagoons Two, Three and Four and had a wonderful afternoon after the awful weather we have had this week, it was lovely to be outside in shirt sleeves and seeing the birds and dragonflies and feeling lovely and warm.

At Lagoon Three I saw 2 Hobbies chasing Dragonflies which were everywhere, I think its the most Dragonflies I have seen anywhere. At Lagoon Two I saw one Hobby and at Lagoon One I saw two and possibly a third bird, it seems very late for them to be still in attendance but as somebody stated " with all that grub about they are topping up the tanks before leaving". The other thing of note was the number of swallows still in attendance at the reservoir, very late to not be well on the way migrating, hopefully a good sign for a mild Autumn and Winter. {fingers crossed}

I set off from Rutland not much after 16.00 hrs and started on my Little Owl search, I visited all our normal sites having my tea whilst returning at sites 9 and 17. On leaving Site 17 I met up with the farmer and his wife who had seen the Little Owl at Site 17 the evening before, and hear the Little Owls at Site 5 every evening. So I finished with the round figure of zero Little Owls, my first time ever not seeing a bird.

Great White Egret, 
Lagoon 1.

This is the position I found the bird in when first arriving at the Egleton Centre. It remained here for about 20 minutes without moving very much other than the odd bit of preening until it eventually got underway. 

Great White Egret. 
Lagoon 1.

When it eventually decided to move away it went at speed to the left initially .

And then to the right where it decided to climb back onto the bank. 

It then took a few steps more to the right, turned round and went back behind the tree, so I gave it best and went away to Lagoon 3.

Please remember this Egret was 460 metres away so the images have been extremely cropped.

 Lagoon 3.


Two birds were flying about most of the time I was in the hide but they were on the far side of the Lagoon, a considerable distance away and at the speed they fly at, it was impossible to get an image, they also kept disappearing behind the trees.
They eventually came round the back of the hide and appeared at great speed and I managed the two images before they decided to return to the far side of the Lagoon.

Had an E Mail for Arthur Bird to say this is a juvenile bird as it has no Red Trousers. Thanks Arthur.

In the first image it appears to be feeding on a dragonfly and has a wing in its mouth in the second.
The bird was only about 50 metres away, and my, do they fly fast, so a lot of luck in the two shots.

I think that if any closer it would be very difficult for me to get a shot, tracking the bird and getting the camera to focus at the speed they travel at. 

 Lagoon 3.
Black Tailed Godwit.

Not as close as last week but still worth an image. 

Lagoon 4.

Lapwing, in abundance on the Lagoon but a very pretty bird.

Lagoon 4.

I met up with a very grumpy birder in the first hide, I walked in and he just glared at me, almost felt like apologising for visiting the Hide. On leaving I said good bye and was sent on my way with a non too polite answer!!!!

Male Common Darter Dragonfly on seat near the Badger Sett at Egleton.
I had six Dragonflies on the back of the seat, all Common Darters enjoying the sun

Common Darter Dragonflies, three close together.
The Darters appeared to be landing more than the Hawkers who were also in abundance.

Female Common Darter Dragonfly on the seat.
As you can see the wings are getting somewhat battered, no doubt as its coming to the end of the season.

But we CANNOT Possibly have a Post without a
Little Owl.

Little Owl Site No. 2. 
21st May 2014.
We appear to be down to one bird or maybe none at this site.
They were always so dependable at being seen.

Little Owl Site No. 5.
10th July 2014.
Even though we are not seeing these birds they are still around and being seen and heard by the farmer and his wife.

Thank you for visiting my Blog, and if you wish to comment I will always reply. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014


We decided at the last moment to have another visit to Rutland Water as the reports had shown a pair of Great White Egrets being present on Lagoon 1, and we also wanted to try and get more images of Dragonflies. On arrival at the Egleton Centre we found volunteers were out on a working party in a boat carrying out works on Lagoon 1 and others were using chain saws nearby. We were told at the Centre that the egrets had been disturbed and moved up to lagoon 2 {probably}. We finished up visiting as many of the Lagoons and hides as possible, another visitor had seen the birds at the far end of Lagoon 2 but we went to all the hides and could not find them. We saw plenty of dragonflies but I got no decent images, they would not land for long enough and when you approached them they disappeared. 

We decided to leave Rutland Water that bit earlier than last week to try and see some more Little Owls but this was not to be.

We saw four Little Owls on the outward journey, one at Site 4, one at Site 6 and two at Site 9 so a much better tally than last week.

Little Owl Site No. 13.
Visited my farmer friend and we had a walk down to the farm area where he had seen the Little Owls earlier in the day. I searched the barns and eventually in the last barn even though initially I could see no birds, it was only when walking out and looked up I saw the bird watching me with that look of " you must be blind, I've been here all the while".

Little Owl Site No. 13.
At my next visit we are going for a walk around the farm to look for the nest site, the farmers son has seen Little Owls in a copse not far away, either some more or may be the nest site?
These two images were taken on the Tuesday afternoon.

Little Owl Site No. 4.
We are still only seeing one bird here so we could have lost the female. 

Little Owl Site No. 6.
We have both seen the bird at this site but at different times, Richard was out with another pal and I was on a singleton visit. We both managed to get a reasonable image prior to the bird disappearing up the R.S.J. behind the sheeting not to appear back. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.
We saw two birds here but I only managed to get one image as the farmer was it appeared to be spreading lime and disturbed the second bird before I could get an image.

Rutland Water Lagoon 3.
Black-Tailed Godwit and three Snipe.

Black Tailed Godwit and Snipe at Lagoon 3. 

In flew a Lapwing and the Godwit did a dive under water, came up and shook itself and carried on feeding. The Snipes never bothered at all.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please feel free to leave a comment.

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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