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.

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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