Friday, 26 December 2014


I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas day and Santa brought everything they wanted.

We normally have our weekly visit out on a Thursday, but Richard phoned and said the forecast for Friday the 19th of December looked better than the 18th, so we opted for the 19th. It was at times very windy but sunny a lot of the time so we made the best of a bad thing and went searching for Little Owls.

Having left our house at 11.00 hrs it was not until 12.05 we managed to see our first owl, this being at Site No. 9 where we stopped for an early lunch, its a very peaceful spot and ideal to stop and not be disturbed, a solitary bird showed itself after only a few minutes, Little Owls are very nosy little birds and cannot resist the urge to see who has stopped. The wind was passing the front of the nest hole so the bird sat in the sun and out of the wind. 

Having finished lunch we set off on our way and saw a second bird at Site No. 15. This bird again sat in the hole out of the wind keeping an eye on us snapping away. We carried on past several sites to no avail and even tried a new area but the wind was really strong so we started on our way back home trying sites again on our return. We saw a bird at Site No. 17 sitting in a hole high up in the tree so that made us up to three birds seen but only images of two. Richard managed an extra bird on his way home, as it was still light when we got to our house.

Last year I had a visit out on Boxing Day, but the forecast for today was not good and as I sit writing up this post it is snowing heavily and we are looking as if it is going to snow overnight. However my wife suggested I go out Christmas Day afternoon so having fed the dogs and got my wife some lunch I set off for Rutland Water, a straight through run not stopping owling on the way.

On arrival at Rutland I was surprised as to how many cars were in the car park and setting off towards Lagoon Three how many people I passed all greeting me with Merry Christmas. I arrived at the hide and entered to be greeted by a couple I had met a few weeks ago who arrive early and have breakfast, lunch and tea at the site. This lady arrives with enough food to feed an army, so I asked as to what they were having on Christmas Day, we always have turkey and stuffing sandwiches she replied with a wry smile. A lovely and very knowledgeable couple who pointed out several species of duck out on the Lagoon but too far away to even consider taking an image. They also told me they had seen one Great White Egret at Fishponds on the North Arm and one from Mallard Hide on Lagoon one. After a very enjoyable about three quarters of an hour I left the couple and set off towards Lagoon two where in the last hide saw a Great White Egret fly past the hide whilst looking through the space above the window prior to opening, it appeared to fly to Lagoon one so after having a look about I set off towards Mallard Hide the Egleton Centre being closed. No G.W.E. was seen so I set off on my return journey, but the light was going. 

I saw three Little Owls on my return, two at Site No. 12 and one at Site No. 17, again sitting in the same hole as last week. A wonderful end to a super afternoon.

So I have cooked a Turkey meal today, it does'nt say anywhere it has to be on Christmas Day!!

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This bird sat out of the wind and enjoying the sun, it stayed roughly in the same position all the while we had our lunch.

Little Owl Site No. 15.

Again this site produced a bird sitting tucked well inside the hole in the tree just peeping round the corner at us, awful shot to take as the position it was in the camera tends to focus on the tree.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

Had a visit to my farmer friend and his wife and had a quick walk around the farm yard, we saw two little owls in the barn, the other bird ran down the end concrete roof beam and appeared outside. I took the above image and by the time I got outside it flew away. Will try again another day to get them both in one shot again.

Buzzard Near Little Owl Site No.3.

We think this is the same bird we saw a week ago as it sat on the same Barn Roof before flying across to this tree stump .

Lagoon Three, Rutland Water, Christmas Day.

This Mute Swan was preening itself about fifty metres from the hide, I could not resist the shot with the breeze ruffling its plumage.  

Red Shank Lagoon Three.

This bird was about ten metres to the left of the Mute Swan and closer to the bank and feeding.

Teal Lagoon Two.

These birds were in a small channel off the main lagoon and not far from the hide, all feeding away merrily and not at all bothered by me.

Wren on a Bulrush Lagoon two.

Having taken my images of the Teal this little fellow appeared and landed on a Bulrush about 20 metres in front of me and I couldn't resist the shots.

Jay Bird Our Garden.
We are still on a daily basis getting a pair of Jays on our nut feeder, when taking this image as I was leaving for Rutland Water, initially the two birds were together but the second flew up onto the feeder so I got on my way after taking this.

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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