Sunday, 23 November 2014


The weather being beautiful on Tuesday, so I decided to have a quick visit out to The Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Wood in the afternoon. As it is not far from our home I gave Richard a call to see if he would like to join me. He had to wait a while for his wife to return, as he had a camera being returned after a service and was due to be delivered that afternoon.

I arrived, this being my first visit to the woods, and consulted the map and was surprised at the size of the area the woods covered. However I set off in the direction of the lake and about half way down the hill met another birder coming back. Having a quick chat with him he told me he had seen a pair of Little Grebes on the Lake. He also told me he had seen some Stonechat, Linnet and Meadow Pipit on a track and again very helpfully told me where to go.

By this time Richard had arrived but unfortunately the sun had gone in but we had a look at the lake and saw the Little Grebe, Widgeon, Teal etc. We then made tracks to the area where I had been told the Stonechat had been seen and we first saw a Meadow Pipit, this was followed by a Stonechat and we managed some images, the Stonechat, being the most difficult as it was a good distance away and we both had the same problem in getting the camera to focus on the bird, and not the fence farther away. We had thought we might see some Short Eared Owls but this was not to be, they apparently were reported as being present on the Wednesday and Thursday!!. We left just before dark having had a wonderful few hours and most certainly we will visit again looking for the Short Eared Owls.

Then on Thursday we had our usual afternoon out Owling and set off from home at 11.30 taking lunch with us.

We visited our normal route and the first bird was seen at Site No. 4. and things carried on very positively from then on and in the end I saw eight Little Owls, Richard got one extra as he sneaked one in on his local patch on the way over to our house.

We also had a quick visit to Rutland Water as the Great White Egrets, yes we have two on site, were reported as being at the Fish Ponds area, but apparently they were in residence in the morning when it was very foggy but then went elsewhere when the fog cleared.

Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Wood.
Meadow Pipit in a period when the sun came out. We took a numerous amount of images as we got closer in case the bird took flight before we got close, this image was still at a reasonable distance.

Stonechat a good distance away, very busy little bird, up and down to the ground like lightening.

Little Owl Site No. 4. Bum Hole.

We are still only seeing one bird here and are both of the opinion he has got to attract a new female for next year, so in the Spring start calling for a mate.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

First time for a while we have seen an adult in the nest tree. Sitting very comfy and taking in the sun.

After this site we saw a bird and Site No 6, but when we stopped he shot up the RSJ and disappeared behind the asbestos sheets. We however saw the bird again on our return but the light was going and the image not worth posting.

Little Owl Site No.15.

Another bird enjoying the sun and watching us intently.

On our way through we saw a bird at Site No. 9 but this was in the middle of the hedge and impossible to get an image from.

Little Owl Site No. 12.

As we arrived and driving past the site we saw a bird sitting on the open barn door so a quick safety shot was taken. We then parked the car further along the road and walked back so as to get some more controlled shots. We both took a few and then both made the cardinal sin and both took our eyes off the bird for a few seconds and it had gone into the barn.

We then walked back towards the car and Richard spotted the second bird in what we think is the nest tree. As we have both said before, these birds are the most nervous we see, but Richard as it was his turn to go and he had more suitable shoes on for the long wet grass decided to have a go at getting closer to the bird.

The second Richard was through the gate the bird moved forward on the branch and looked as if it was going to fly but decided to stay. 
As a rule with this site the second you go through the gate they are gone.
Whilst this was going on I stopped on the road camera at the ready with the ISO wound up to 1250 and the f stopped down to f10.

Eventually the bird had to go and the next images show it leaving the tree.

A bit farther away from the tree.

A bit farther away with Richard having got his images. He looks closer than he actually was. We never push any of the birds to panic and leave.

If you want to see Richards results look on his blog at

After a quick burst of shots {not all shown} the bird carried on, and by the time I moved the camera away from my eye I was not sure as to where it had gone, but more than likely into the barn to join its mate.

Little Owl Site No. 17.
We had visited this site on our outbound journey and no birds were to be seen, and on our return we again saw no bird. However you have to drive past the site and very carefully reverse onto the field as its becoming very soft so as to turn round, we could still see where Richard had almost got stuck the previous week. On driving back up the hill I spotted this little fellow staring down at us and we both managed to get images despite the light.

Rutland Water, North Arm.

We had as I said previously had a very quick visit to Rutland Water as a pair of Great White Egrets had been reported at Fish Ponds. We arrived and could see no G.W.E. but parked up as many cars were about, so something must be about of interest. We walked farther down and met up with a Gent from East Yorkshire, {an area that Richard loves} so we got chatting with him and his wife. He told us that he had been chatting with a pair of birders who we had walked past on our way in,{they had scopes similar to howitzer barrels} and they had spotted Slavonian grebes in with the flock of Coot's. The Coot's all kept flying about and splashing but when not doing so the chance of seeing a Grebe and making out what it was ??????

This image is of a very small section of the flock, but if anyone can spot a Slavonian Grebe within the area please contact the prize department to get your free copy of the image.

Thank you for your visit and feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, 16 November 2014


Due to having a rotten cold I decided to cancel my trip out with Richard on Thursday not wanting to give him the dreaded cold.

I decided after lunch on Thursday to go out and have a bit of a walk, get some fresh air and do a bit of birding. So putting my kit in the car and plenty of tissues in my pockets, I set off for Attenborough Nature Reserve, a site I had not visited previously. Upon arriving the car park was bulging which I thought as being a positive sign, {wrong}. 

I paid my car park dues and looked at the site map and the list of birds present, two being listed as being Bittern and Cetti's Warbler. The warbler being apparently a bird that is very difficult to see.

So I studied the map and suddenly it dawned on me it was back to front. I stood with the Visitor Centre to my right and on the map it was on my left. I walked to the visitor centre to see the people on duty and ask where the best areas to go and visit but the only people on duty worked in the shop and could only offer cups of tea or bacon butties. So I set off on what I thought was the correct path and hoped for the best. 

It turned out that all the cars were for walkers with prams and dogs, I was the only person I saw with binoculars and a camera. Having walked for a fair while and stopping at several hides and seeing very little I decided to try elsewhere.

I took a few images and have picked a few to add below.

End of week report "must try harder next week boy".

Kestrel Our Garden.

This bird on a regular basis sits on this support post to the owl box to keep out of the rain. 
The Barn Owls are however in the larger box and don't appear to object. We have never seen the Kestrel attempt to enter either boxes.

It also sits on a neighbours television aerial watching our bird feeders.

Attenborough Nature Reserve.

Tufted Duck {Drake}
 on Coneries Pond.

Attenborough Nature Reserve.

Lapwings on Clifton Pond.

Attenborough Nature Reserve. 

Visited Kingfisher Hide on Clifton Pond and saw bird feeders to my left. Opened the window so I could look down and take images only to see these horrible creatures picking up all the dropped bits from the feeders. The stump you can see extends up about one and a half metres with a tee piece on top with the bird feeders hung on.

I left the hide post haste.

Swithland Reservoir.

Pair of Great Crested Grebes, how drab they look in the winter feathers. In comparison to below.

Rutland Water, Shallow Water Hide.

Common but very beautiful bird, one on the nest and other on guard.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

Had a visit to see my farmer friend and his wife and of course couldn't resist a visit down to the barn to see if his little owls were about. Saw two but only managed an image of one. As we entered we saw a Little Owl run down the concrete beam at the far end and disappear outside. So walked further into the barn and sure enough sat above the entrance was this little one, sitting very patiently as I sorted out ISO numbers etc. Took this image and looked outside only to see the other Little Owl fly into an adjoining barn so we left him in peace.

Sorry its a much shorter post than normal but lets hope for better weather and health this week.

Monday, 10 November 2014


This week I managed two visits out, one as a singleton and one with Richard. The first being on Tuesday when I visited Rutland Water. I drove straight to Rutland on the basis I would owl on my return trip.

On arriving at Rutland Water I went straight into the Egleton Centre and was greeted with "early on the Great White Egret flew of to Lagoon Two and then returned, you should have been here ten minutes ago, the Great White Egret was just in front of us, then it moved out to the island" to which I replied, "everybody else has had the Ospreys in the dead tree in front of the Waderscrape Hide except us". However this had cut the distance down to about 250 metres, a great improvement on previous, however the light was not good but the images are acceptable.

I then moved on to Lagoon three but not much was about, Lagoon Four has had more water pumped in and is too deep for the waders {to try and kill back some vegetation} so left and tried all the hides on the way back but only got an image of a Heron.

So I set off on my return trip and saw two little owls, one at Site 9 sitting in the nest hole and one at Site 5 sitting in the hedge on the far side of the field, but by then the light had gone so wait until Thursday with Richard.

However on Thursday we had a very windy and dull day but we still went out and managed to see two Little Owls, the first at Site 9 but this was well back in the nest hole to keep out of the wind and the second was at Site 12 on the Barn Roof with its back towards us.

We visited all our normal sites and even looked at a new site where we had been told some birds had been seen but finished up going home early as we could see no point in stopping out as no self respecting Little Owl would be venturing out.

Great White Egret.
Rutland Water, Lagoon 1.

The bird was a lot closer than previous but the light was not good, however the image is not that bad. 

Whilst I watched it only moved it head. 

Then a Heron dropped in to visit. 

A quick preen. 

On my return to the Egleton Centre after visiting some other Lagoons, the G.W.E. had gone to the far side of the lagoon some 490 metres away.

Rutland Water, Lagoon 3.

Redshank feeding but a fair distance away.

This one was farther way. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This image taken on the 4th November. Even though it was getting dark, not turned out bad.

Little Owl Site No. 12.

Image taken on the 6th November.

Rutland Water Lagoon No. 2.

I always think Heron have a prehistoric look about them. You will probably get the impression I am somewhat fond of the Heron.

Barn Owl Box No. 7.

Erected at Pete and Susies, Bridge Farm.
Lets hope this is successful in attracting a pair of Barn Owls.

Thank you for visiting my Blog. Please feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Again the forecast for Thursday was not good and what with hospital visits and Richard having problems with one of his cars, and we having problems with our central heating it became more and more difficult to arrange an afternoon out. In the end on Friday, our plumber left at about 14.00 hrs and I left soon after and headed out to our normal area.

On arrival at Site No 1, I found a Leicestershire County Council lorry and van adjacent to the site working on clearing out all the rubbish that had collected underneath a cattle grid. 

So after a quick look I carried on towards Site No. 2 as I could see no mileage in hanging around on the chance a bird may show. 

At Site No 2, I could hear the sound of a quad bike in the field, so again head off Titus and look elsewhere.

On to site No 4 where all was at peace but no birds seen, having given ten to fifteen minutes and no birds seen I set off towards Site No. 5 where at last I saw a bird in the middle of the hedge on the far side of the field, no point in even attempting an image so I carried on through the farm towards Site No. 17 "BUT" part way down the access track I met the farmer coming in the other direction, so as normal stopped for a chat. His opening statement being " you wont see any birds down here, I've got Mick in topping the grass" after a reasonable time and his wife turning up I set off to look on the off chance again I might see a bird but nothing was in site, so off again towards Site No. 6 where all was quite but no bird evident so after a short time I set off to Site No. 7 {where we don't expect to see a bird} and carried on through to Site Nos. 9 and 10. On arrival I was met with the banging of a poster hammer on the back of a tractor, yes the farmer opposite was repairing and erecting new fencing so as you can guess, no birds evident.

So I then set off to Site No. 12, parked up and was met by a troop of about thirty ramblers crossing the field past the barn, so gave up all hope of peace and tranquility for the Little Owls and set off towards Little Owl Site No. 13, more in hope than anything else, perhaps I might see some little owls in a peaceful place or maybe world war three may have broken out at the farm, how my look had been this afternoon anything was possible.

Hence the title, the first images are the new and the others are to the dates shown.

Arrived at the Farm and by the time we got to the barn it was getting dark and the light was very poor but the results are below.

Little Owl Site No. 12.
This image was taken inside the Barn and for saying it was taken at an ISO of 25600 I am reasonably happy with the end result. It was so dark in the barn I could hardly see the bird through the view finder and the camera struggled to focus. On walking into the barn I originally saw a bird at the far end where it shot running down the beam and disappeared outside, then I saw this little fellow siting above me and got a shot, blurred so kept repeating this and turning up the ISO until; I got a reasonable result. Then I walked out side to see if I could see the beam runner and sure enough.

Here he is sat out and giving me a good looking at. This again was taken at a high ISO of 14,000.

Then suddenly the second bird came out and joined in with the "give him a good looking at" so we gave it best and returned to the farm for a cup of tea and a biccy, wonderful end to the afternoon out, {at last}. 

An Old Little Owl Site.
Not the best of images as taken on my old camera and lens.

This site was found in June 2012, but I had been seeing birds for several months previous in our garden so eventually Arthur Costello gave me the number of a little owl expert, a Mr Richard Pegler and this is how our close friendship and my cross infection with Little Owls started.

Love the bird peeping over the tile.

Awful image but love the expression.
"You looking at me"

The adult birds raised four young and when they had flown the owners had to repair the roof to stop any damage to the fabric of the building, also going up into the roof and being sure the birds had vacated the roof space before carrying out the repairs. Prior to this Richard and myself erected a nest box {thanks to Reece} in the adjacent shed and the birds used the shed for a while and then unfortunately moved on.
This image taken early August 2012.

Little Owl Site No. 10.

This image taken in April 2014.  

Little Owl Site No. 2.

Image taken June 2014.

He might be asleep but I'm watching you.  

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Image taken July 2014.

We saw this juvenile on a windy day having tucked its self well into the dead ivy and gone to sleep. We waited a while as we were not sure it had got itself stuck but it moved into another position where it felt safe.

Rutland Water Waderscrape Hide.
Reed Bunting.
Taken June 2014.
In comparison to last year we have very few Reed Buntings this year.

Waderscrape Hide, Rutland Water.

Water Vole Taken May 2014.

Swallow at Little Owl Site No. 9.
July 2014.

Kestrel at Kelham Bridge.
August 2014.

Juvenile Robin in friends garden, Peckleton Common.
June 2014.

Near Little Owl Site No. 4.

Cucumber Green Orb Spider male
Araniella Cucubitina Sensu Stricto.
June 2014.

Thank you for visiting my site, please feel free leave a comment if you wish.

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.
Free counters!