Monday, 8 December 2014


On Monday the 24th of November the sun was shining and it was really mild, so after lunch I gave Richard a call to see if he wanted another visit to Jubilee Wood. By the time I called he was already out looking for his Little Owls on his local patch. He however decided to come and join me and we went on the specific reason of looking for the Short Eared Owls. These were seen on both Saturday and Sunday, but were not about for us. So after a few hours and as it was getting dark we gave it best and both went our separate way home.

We again had a visit out owling on the 27th of November {our usual Thursday out} but the weather was not that good and we have decided it is time to get out and about and find some new sites, but this was not the weather for doing this. We did however see six Little Owls at our normal monitoring sites but not many images were of use due to the dull weather.The Owls seen were at Sites Nos. 4, 5, 9, 12, 15 & 10. Not bad for such a dull day but mind it was mild at 9.0 degrees.

I then on Sunday the 30th of November  having had an early lunch decided to have a quick visit to Rutland Water as the weather was sunny and mild. I arrived at about 14.00 hrs and checked in at the Egleton Centre but the Great White Egrets were still somewhere on the North Arm and I was on the South Arm of the reservoir so I set off to look out from some of the hides. I had a most enjoyable afternoon meeting up with some lovely chatty people, in particular an elderly lady and gentleman who had been at the reservoir since first thing having brought breakfast lunch and tea with them. They proceeded to eat lunch with me at Lagoon 3, and it became apparent they were extremely knowledgeable birders and put me onto some Pintail ducks and several other species as well as being a jolly good laugh. I again as normal visited some owl sites on my return but the light was fading and it had also become cloudy. I saw four Little Owls at Site Nos. 12, 7 {which we have not seen a bird at for several months} 17 and 4.

We again ventured out on last Thursday the 4th of December and again the light was not good and it started to mizzle with rain and was in general a cool and miserable afternoon but we finished up with six Little Owls at Site Nos. 5 {2 birds}, 9, 10 & 15. Not bad for an awful day. We also visited a new area and met up with the farmer who was moving sheep down the road, it was wonderful to watch him and his sheep dog get the sheep through a gate and into a new pasture. After he had finished we asked him if he ever saw any Owls, we see lots of Little Owls, in fact we have got some in the barn up at the farm. Hear Tawnies late at night and the odd Barn Owl the other side of the hill so the next sunny day we get we will be over to this area and see what we can find.

Then on the Friday evening Richard was giving an illustrated talk at our local bird club on "Little Owls of Leicestershire" which I must admit was brilliant and really went down well. So congratulation to you Richard and well done.

27th November 2014.

Little Owl Site No. 17.

We are still not sure this is a stand alone site or may be the birds from Site 10. 

Little Owl Site No. 10.

Richards turn at this site to walk across the field and get a closer shot. This shot at about 160 metres and the next shot was after Richard had got his images and was walking back towards me and the bird flew to another tree.

Little Owl Site No. 4.

We are still only seeing the one bird at this site.

Rutland Water 30th November 2014.

Lagoon 3.

Teal male, a very pretty bird with a wonderful almost vertical take off. Unfortunately a long way out in the lagoon.

Second bird with water splash about head.

Lagoon 2.
Pintail Duck male, again a reasonable distance from the hide. Was told about these birds by a couple who visited lagoon 3. 

Little Owl Site No. 17.
Drove down the farm track towards the site and could see no site of the bird. Stopped and scoured the site and adjacent trees with the bins. As the light was going fast decided to go past and turn round by reversing onto the grass as the field is getting very wet. Having turned round drove back up the hill and as passing the tree the nosy little owl was out so quickly took the above image and got on my way.

4th December 2014.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

We drove down the road to the site and looked at all the usual areas in the hedge to the other side of the field, checked the trees the birds had spent most of last Winter in, but nothing was to be seen. We drove a little farther down the site and I spotted a bird up high in the nest tree. I drove a little closer to the tree and managed to get some images before Richard who was going to get out of the car on the far side away from the bird to get his images. I then spotted a second bird slightly to the left and below the first so I got some images and Richard got his. These birds were totally relaxed and just sat and watched us.

Second bird well back in dead ivy. 

Both birds, you can see how the second bird is buried in the ivy. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

We don't see these birds away from the hole very often especially in the Winter and the weather was starting with mizzly rain but take the chance when you can and get an image.

Jay, Our Garden.

We have had  a pair of Jays in our garden for a considerable time, visiting occasionally and picking up the bits and pieces from under the peanut feeder. My American visitors will recognise the bird feeder as an American "Squirrel Buster". I have to deter the squirrels due to having the Barn Owls and this feeder certainly works. The weight of the squirrel closes up the feeding area so away goes the squirrel. As you can see on this image the weight of the Jay has virtually closed up the feeding area.

We then drop onto the floor and hoover up all the bits and pieces. 

But by later in the day they had sorted out to land with one claw on the feeder mesh and the second below, thus stopping the spring letting the outer case drop and being able to get at all the nuts, a clever bird!

Thank you for visiting my blog, I am sorry it has been a while since I posted a blog, but with poor light and looking for new sites it has not been easy to get good images. Richard and myself will through the next few months be actively seeking out new sites but I will post as and when possible.

Hopefully will Blog again soon.

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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