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.

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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