Sunday, 8 March 2015


For some unkown reason upon posting this Blog it went second in the listing. Trying to find out why this has happened and change.

I just could not resist the Header Picture, even if Spring is not just around the corner, seeing lambs make you think it is. These lambs look reasonably advanced and we think the farmer has had them inside a barn until let out recently.

Sorry the Post is a bit late but it was my turn on Friday night to put on a talk at our local Bird Club. I called it "Owls and Other Things of Interest", what else could I call it. I started with Barn Owls up to half time, a quick cup of tea followed by Rutland Ospreys, Dragonflies and had to finish up with a few Little Owls.

It was my turn to drive and Richard was determined to be available so we had a late start leaving our house at 13.00 hrs and taking our tea with us for the first time instead of lunch.

We took our normal route but kept moving to get to Rutland Water before it was too late as the light was not good anyway. We saw Little Owls at Site Nos. 2 one seen, 5 one seen, 10 two seen, 12 one seen and on the return trip one seen at Site 9, then followed on towards Rutland Water. About halfway between Site 12 and Rutland Water we both at the same time saw a Barn Owl Sitting in a tree so immediately I pulled into a gateway, we both jumped out the car and tried as quickly and stealthily as possible get across the road and try for some images. we managed a few but both having not perfect camera settings they could be better.

On arrival at Rutland Water we booked in at the Egleton Centre where our friend on duty said we have an Avocet on Lagoon Four but it keeps moving. So we set forth at a pace to try to get to see it before it decided to move again. We went straight to the first hide and soon could see the bird, a considerable distance away so we took a few record shots and set off to the next hide {Dunlin Hide} and from here we got a closer but not good shots as the light was far from good. 

A gent we were talking with in the hide said he had seen through his scope Smew on the far side of the lagoon but thought at that moment in time they had gone into the corner and out of view so off we went towards Plover Hide. On arrival I soon spotted the birds a Drake and a Red Head but a good distance away we however persevered and eventually when the birds came a little closer got some slightly better images and then they flew off towards the middle of the lagoon. 

We then decided we had better start to head back towards the centre as time was passing us by and we wanted to stake out a couple of areas later on as it was getting dark to listen for any owls calling.

One our return trip we saw a Little Owl at Site No. 12 and as we started to leave the site a Barn Owl flew down the hedgeline, we immediately gave chase but by the time we were in a shooting position Richard managed a very quick shot and I managed none.

We carried on to carry out a listening and watching brief at a couple of sites but nothing seen or heard before we set off home in the dark.

A quick update on my last post and the large white bird, we called at the farm and asked the lady, it is a Rhea.

Another update on Barn Owl Box No 7. A Barn Owl has been seen by the people in the next property showing interest in the area, first time a Barn Owl has been seen so keep the fingers crossed.

Little Owl Site No. 2.

Again wonderful to see this bird back in residence, could only see a single bird but still plenty of time to attract a mate.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Bird has tucked itself well into the remains of the dead Ivy.

Little Owl Site No. 10.

Again a shot dealing with awful light and shooting towards the sky. This pair sat at peace with th e world and completely ignoring us.

Little Owl Site No. 12.

Singleton sat out on nest tree. 

Barn Owl Between Site No. 12  and Rutland Water.

We came on this bird whilst driving towards Rutland and both saw it together. Stopped in the nearest gateway and tried as quickly as possible to get some images. Luckily my camera is never set below an ISO of 2000 but not very good images.

Second set of images before the bird turned left and disappeared .

Rutland Water.

Lagoon Four, Dunlin Hide, Avocet.
Lovely bird but standing on a spit, couldn't have fed in much deeper water, we had hoped it would come closer to us but the other gent in the hide with us said it was working its way along a shallow spit from right to left. Shot at a distance of 85 metres.  

Here having turned around with a dribble of water from the bill. 

In the position it spent most of its time in, as you can see the water was really too deep for a wader. Lagoon Four has had extra water put in to kill some of the vegetation, this will very soon be drained down to a more reasonable level. 

Little Egret, Dunlin Hide, Lagoon Four.

Another of my favourite birds. 

Smew Duck and Drake, Plover Hide, Lagoon 4.

Having walked round from Dunlin Hide we quickly located the Smew, initially they were up against the reeds but then moved slightly out into the lagoon. This shot was taken over 145 metres in bad light.

Smew Drake Lagoon Four. 

Then to really test us they decided to fly. 

Greylag Goose, Lagoon Three, Shoveler Hide.

These birds sat having a snooze.

Jay, Our Garden.

Don't you just hate it when the wind blows your hair up. 

I was out with our dogs earlier and both Jays were in some trees to the back of the land making a tremendous noise.
These birds are at the moment spending most of the day in or garden either on the nut feeder or taking bread.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

Had a comment from Paul Riddle on my post dated December 26th 2014, he had been looking through the Blog and having a catch up and noted the pellets on the steel beam below the Little Owl, these are Barn Owl Pellets, what wonderful news and thanks to Paul. We had already discussed the erection of a Barn Owl box but this has put more urgency into the matter.

 I am just waiting for a reply to a mail to Paul asking him if we put the Barn Owl box in the same barn as the Little Owls will it disturb them.

Thank you for your visit, hope you have enjoyed this weeks images, this next week is going to be busy with the Osprey pre season meeting.

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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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