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. 

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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