Saturday, 28 March 2015


Yes at last the long wait is over and Richard and myself had our first for the Year and may be last duty with the Osprey Project in the new Waderscrape Hide.

Richard arrived at our house at 13.00 hrs and when we set of it was windy and we were not hopeful for seeing many Little Owls, they would be tucked away out of the wind.

By the time we got across country to the Little Owl area, the wind was howling through the trees so it was a definite no to seeing any Little Owls. This however was proved wrong, as when visiting site No 2 sat in the nest hole was a Little Owl, the branches outside were bouncing around and covering the bird and then they were clear, difficult shooting weather so you just took a good number of shots and picked the ones clear of any stray blowing branches.

This was the only bird we saw on the outward leg of the journey so we carried onto Rutland Water and prepared for Osprey duty, none of our birds have as yet arrived but we were informed that five birds have so far returned so still a lot more to appear. 30/05 the satellite tracked bird was still seventy miles South of the french border in Spain and for the previous few days had been battered by high winds and rain. High winds had also been encountered in the Sahara crossing but these birds are very clever and soon get themselves back on course.

On duty which was a for shortened affair, the wind was awful and very little was seen to take images of, ducks and geese had tucked themselves out of the wind on the far side of Manton Bay laying low under the bank. It was obvious we were going to have no birds return today so at 17.00 hrs we locked up the hide and walked back to the Lyndon Centre to return the key and by 18.00 hrs we were on our return journey home with Little Owls and our tea on our minds.

We re visited all the Sites we had not seen birds at and saw two more birds at Little Owl Sites 9 and 15 making us up to three birds seen. After last weeks bonanza a bit of a let down, but it was so windy we were surprised we saw a bird at all.

An update since I started to put this Blog together, Osprey 30/05 was yesterday 27/03/15 flying North, 100 km North East of La Rochelle. As the forecast for the weekend is not that good it could be Monday or Tuesday before she arrives at Rutland Water. Should be and update tomorrow so will update again then.

The Nottingham University Peregrine Falcons are sitting on eggs, just click on the link below and then click onto live web cam.

Update on Osprey 30/05, she was seen at Eyebrook Reservoir 10 minutes ago heading towards Rutland so we are hopefully going to get the birds back in numbers now the wind has dropped. 02/04/15. 11.27hrs.

Little Owl Sites No 2.

The bird had tucked itself in the nest hole which was protected from the wind but the branches to the front of it were being blown about making it difficult to get a clear shot.

Here he appears to be giving us a good stare. 

Kestrel at Nest Box, The Lyndon Centre, Rutland Water.

This box has been in use for several years by the Kestrels and has a camera in place with pictures relaid into the centre on another television.

Mallard Duck, Waderscrape Hide. Manton Bay.

These were the only birds that came anything like close to us, but still a pretty bird. They were not bothered by the wind in the protected channel to the front of the hide. 

Wigeon Drake, Shallow Water Hide, Manton Bay.

Several birds, Ducks and Drakes were in a shallow area and made several attempts to fly across the Bay and after several attempts eventually made it. 

The New Waderscrape Osprey Hide, Manton Bay.

As yo can see this a super new hide with glazed windows and on a cold and windy day as Thursday was really very warm and snug and without drafts.

Osprey Nest Site, Manton Bay.

The cleaned and height reduced nest awaiting the return of its pair.

Gulls arriving at the reservoir, taken from Waderscrape Hide. 

A closer view of the gulls, for those of you that have visited the site, it is a beautiful area.

Jays our Garden.

We still have the two birds visiting on and off every day so lets hope they decide to nest in the trees to the rear of the garden. 

Second Bird with damaged feather to wing.


We have been very lucky of late having the archaeological dig and finding of the remains of King Richard III in Leicester. This find was made possible by the works carried out by one lady, Phillipa Langley.

This lady had carried out research over a considerable time and eventually became of the opinion that the remains were possibly in the area of the choir at the old Greyfriars Friary, not far from the present Cathedral where the King was re interred. She had visited the site and located as accurately as she could from an old map, the area of the Friary. She thought she had found the area of the Choir under some car parking spaces, she then noticed a large R {reserved} painted on the space and it was under this R that the remains were found. She approached the archaeological department at Leicester University to see if it was possible for them to carry out a dig, this they agreed to but she would have to raise £34,000.00 for the works.

She being a member of the Richard III Society put this out on the web site and soon the money was available and the works were carried out in September of 2012. On day one of the dig remains were found under the car park space and a licence was applied for from the Home Office and the rest is history.

Richard III was killed on the battlefield at the Battle Of Bosworth in 1485, his body was supposedly placed over the back of a horse and carried to Leicester on virtually the same route as the cortege took. It was at one time reported that his body had been thrown of the Bowbridge into the River Soar but luckily Mrs Langley has disproved that.

The remains were confirmed as being Richard III by the taking of one of the teeth from the remains and crushing it. The mitochondrial DNA was then extracted and compared to the DNA from the nearest relative from the female line, this being a Michael Ibsen, the carpenter who made the coffin. In the past after the Friary was destroyed, some materials from the Friary were transferred across the road to the then parish church and the building extended. This parish church eventually became Leicester Cathedral. On that basis some of the fabric of the Friary where the King was originally buried is within the Cathedral where to King is reburied.

The Skeleton as first found, you can see the curvature in the spine.

The Cortege passed the entrance to my Farmer friends so we visited to watch, thousands of people had turned out. The first to pass was the Police outriders. 

Then with a Police outrider to the front the hearse appeared followed by cars with family descendants in. 

Eventually when the Hearse got level with us I managed an image of the coffin. This having been constructed by a Canadian relative of the King, a Michael Ibsen. This was the man who's DNA was taken to prove it was the King.   

All the while a police helicopter followed the procession checking the road was clear. 

When the Cortege reached Leicester the coffin was placed on a gun carriage and pulled through the streets by four black horses, with these two Knights on horseback either side. They then stood either side of the entrance into the Cathedral while the coffin was carried in.

The coffin placed in the Cathedral prior to the first service taking place.

A new Crown was made and sat on top of the coffin whilst the body laid in state in the Cathedral, during this time 20,000 plus people visited the Cathedral to walk past. On the re internment of the remains the Crown was placed in the coffin.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you did not mind me putting the section on Richard III on the Blog. I thought it would be of interest to some of my visitors from other countries. As the title says, "Owls and Other Things of Interest."

Monday, 23 March 2015


We had an afternoon and evening out and set off in Richards car at about 13.00 hrs. Having visited our Little Owl Sites on the journey and been very successful in birds seen, eventually arrived at Rutland Water at about 14.45 hrs with the purpose of visiting Manton Bay to see if we had any Ospreys in residence. 

Went into the Lyndon Centre and booked in we set out to walk down to the Waderscrape Hide. The light was not very good and for any distance shots it was very murky but however we first visited Deep Water Hide but only saw Golden Eye at a very long distance. We carried on and Visited Tufted Duck Hide where we saw Egyptian Goose and Little Grebe and not a lot more. So we carried onto Waderscrape Hide. 

The new hide is a real eye opener with glazed windows and wonderful array of information on the Ospreys and in the corner a wide screen television looking closely at the nest, unfortunately no Ospreys but they will arrive. 03/97 {Mr Rutland} has arrived and is at the nest at Site B awaiting the return of his female. 30/05 a satellite tagged bird is on her way and on the 16th March was 70 miles South of the Straits of Gibraltar so she should arrive soon, her track shows she was blown well of course at one point so winds over the Sahara could well be causing problems, you can check her route on the Rutland Site below.

We then visited Shallow Water Hide and contrary to its name we have a lot of water in the Reservoir and its virtually touching the Hide.

We then walked back to the car park and set off homeward to see if we could see anymore Little Owls.

On the trip out we saw Little Owls as follows, Site 1, this is the site I have seen a bird twice at lately but this week we both saw the bird and managed an image, we have not seen a bird her to get an image here since mid August last year. Site 2 we saw one bird in the tree, Site 5 two birds, one on the outward journey and one on our return for me, Site 6 we saw two birds, the first time ever seeing two birds at the site, Site 9 we saw one bird in the tree, Site 12 we saw one bird on the barn roof, and on our return we saw one bird at Site 7 sitting in a tree so all in all a very successful afternoon with nine Little Owls.

Update 23-03-2015.

Just had Richard on the phone and at Site 7 we have two birds visible not just the one we originally thought, you will see the obvious bird with another tucked behind it partially covered by the ivy, so we saw 10 Little Owls not 9.

Egyptian Goose, Tufted Duck Hide, Rutland Water South Arm.

A bird stood on the floating platform with another not far away.

Little Grebe, Tufted Duck Hide.

Lovely little bird that we thought would come closer but it unfortunately didn't.

Every time you thought you had got a good frame, the little beggar dived. 

Osprey Nest at Manton Bay.

The camera post has two cameras this year and a third camera is positioned on the bank. The top camera is the only one that operates the television in the hide.

Osprey Nest from Shallow Water Hide.

While we were at the hide a bird landed on the nest but turned out unfortunately to be an Egyptian Goose. You can from this shot see how murky the area was.

Shallow Water Hide.

Pair of Great Crested Grebes in mating dance. 

 They then set off to see away another pair.

As we walked back to the centre we put up this flock of gulls in the field adjoining the road.

 Little Owls seen on the outing.

Little Owl Site No 13.

Taken on the 17th March.

We had a trial run of placing the Barn Owl Box in the barn and the Little Owl watched with great interest and when we walked outside it followed us and kept us in site. 

Little Owl Site No. 1.

This is the first image of a bird at this site since last August, I was also very pleased that Richard was with me as I had only seen the bird twice before in the area and both times on my own. 

Little Owl Site No. 6.

We have seen birds at this site but never with any continuity, but this is the first time we have ever seen two birds. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Single bird sat in the tree, awful light and very murky. 

Little Owl Site No. 7.

First time we have seen the bird for a considerable time and as the farmer has also had a major clear out of trees in the area we thought they would have been frightened away but on our return a bird sat out so a quick image was taken. This was taken at ISO 8000 and 1/50s.

As per the update at the intro you can see the second bird sat behind the obvious bird, as Richard said in his Blog last year, "DON'T JUST LOOK AT THE OBVIOUS"

Hare near Little Owl Site No. 15 sat in the grass and I couldn't resist the shot.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed a visit to a different area of Rutland Water.

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Richard was unavailable due to having a few days away with his wife but has since returned, so I had an afternoon out on my own, better with the two of us {double the eyes to watch} but the weather was wonderful. Very warm and sunny most of the time.

Having left home at about 11.15 hrs, I headed straight for Rutland Water having also been to the site the previous evening for the preseason Osprey Meeting, as usual a good evening with the the added instructions as to how to use all the new equipment we have in the 'new hide'. A wide screen television with a computer to control the picture, we were told to turn on the television then the computer and the picture will come on, we will see??

On arrival I booked in and was told to head for Lagoon Four as they still had Avocet and Smew in attendance. So with just a thin coat and a shirt on I set on my way, { wished later I had not bothered with the coat}.

I went straight to Sandpiper Hide and and found it was reasonably full, took the first shot below and decided I would get closer to the birds in Dunlin Hide and I could also see a pair of Smew farther across against the reed bed, so quick trek to Dunlin hide. Here I saw Smew but with no images, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Shoveler Duck and the Avocet. I had a fellow birder in the hide with me who was a super chap, very helpful who admitted he had a wonderful pair of binoculars but could do with a new pair of eyes. Those of you that have visited Lagoon Four will remember it has lots of Islands dotted around, this gent asked me if I could help him recognise a pair of birds on Island six, they are between the Osprey nest pole and the Island number he said, they appears to be green in colour with a white breast. I looked through my bins and took a quick image, and found them to be a clump of green weeds with two white stones in front. I told you he said, need new eyes.

Went around to Plover Hide, then Bittern Hide and finished at Shoveler Hide, by then it was 14.45 hrs so I set off to get back to the Egleton Centre car park and set off Owling.

On my return I visited most of our usual sites and managed to see four Little Owls, one at Site No. 9 tucked well back in the nest hole, one at Site No. 5 sat in the tree, one at Site No. 2 sat out in the tree and as I drove up to Site No. 1 a bird flew across the road so we still have birds at site 1 but they may have changed trees.

Sandpiper Hide, Lagoon Four, Avocet.

Long distance shot and both birds asleep so moved onto Dunlin Hide to get closer.

Dunlin Hide, Lagoon Four, Avocet.

Bird slightly closer than last week but still in deep water. 

Dunlin Hide, Lagoon Four.

Bird having a quick shake and then back onto feeding.

Lagoon Four, Dunlin Hide, Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

A silly long distance shot but you can just make out the birds. Distance of 231 metres, ISO 2000, 1/6400s, + 0.3 EV.

Plover Hide, Lagoon Four, Smew Drake.

Unable to get an image of the Smew at Dunlin Hide so I walked round to Plover Hide just in case as last week we still had Smew at that end of the Lagoon and tucked in the corner out of the wind that was starting to get up were the Smew

Smew Duck and Drake {Red Head}. 

Bittern Hide, Lagoon Three, Teal Duck and Drake.

All appeared to be asleep, so a quick image and nothing else much to be seen so onto the next Hide. 

Shoveler Hide, Lagoon Three, Snipe.

No other people in the hide so I could have several of the shutters open and eventually saw this little fellow hiding in the reeds, a pair of Graylag Geese were moving across the island he was on and he moved to get out of the way and hence I saw him and got the images.

Very difficult bird to get a clear shot at, hiding in the reeds.

Shoveler Hide, Lagoon Three, Shoveler Duck, Drake.

Sat about 60 metres out in the Lagoon. 

Kestrel Near the Egleton Centre.

Sat up to near the top of a tree approaching the centre car park. Looks as if he had a bit of a bath and had fluffed his feathers out to dry.

Journey Back Home, Owling.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Solitary bird sat out in the dead ivy, by this time the sun had gone in and a cool breeze was getting up.

 Little Owl Site No. 2.

Still wonderful to see this bird after being missing for so long, only seeing the one bird but still plenty of time to find a mate. Took the shot from a fair distance away.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

These shots were taken on the 10th March.

Not the easiest of sites to get a decent image at but happy with this shot. This is the site that Paul Riddle saw the Barn Owl pellets at, so we have spent some of the afternoon today building a Barn Owl box to go up in the barn.
This bird spent all the time we were in the barn measuring up for the box watching us with great interest, I was almost ready for it to make suggestions as to the position it should be in.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

We then had a look outside and the bird followed us so the same bird but on the guttering. I then spotted its mate sat in the guttering of an adjacent barn

Buzzard, Little Owl Site No. 13.

These birds are seen on a regular basis over the farm.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed looking at the images as much as I enjoyed the walk and taking them. 

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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