Sunday, 26 April 2015


We had our normal Thursday afternoon visit out, and as it was my turn to drive, Richard arrived at 14.00 hrs and away we went owling on both the outward and return journeys and an hour or two at Rutland Water in between.

On the outward journey we saw three Little Owls,one at Little Owl Site No 1, one at Site No. 4 and one at Site No. 9. We are at the moment being very cautious with the Little Owls and only stopping to take images at sites where the birds are a reasonable distance away so as to cause no disturbance to the birds during the breeding season.

After visiting these sites we carried on through to the Lyndon Centre at Rutland Water, stopped and had a chat with the staff, and as the weather was absolutely gorgeous, the usual ice cream.

We went directly to Shallow Water Hide as on the previous visits we have seen very little at Deep Water or Tufted Duck Hide.

On arrival at Shallow Water Hide we could see both Ospreys but were unable to decide on which was the male or female. The bird on the T post was preening and the bird on the nest was virtually out of view. Eventually we could see that the bird on the T post had no rings so it was the female and the male was sitting on the eggs, this appears to be a task he is enjoying and spends a considerable time doing so.

The female after preening suddenly spotted an Egyptian Goose that had only just land in the dead tree adjacent to the nest, and as two weeks ago, she was on the same mission as 33/11 and set off straight for the goose. Both these birds have a definite thing against Egyptian Geese having found them on the nest upon the return.  The goose never looked comfortable balance wise in the tree and with a female Osprey attacking as well, it soon gave up the position and the female Osprey went for a quick flight about to see if she could spot any more. The sequence is captured below.

Upon leaving Rutland Water we visited our Little Owl Sites we had seen no birds at and saw another two birds at Site No. 2 which was brilliant and proves we still have the two birds returned to the nest site. So out total for the day was five Little Owls seen. As Richard says this time of the year can be sparse in seeing birds due to birds sitting on eggs and the other out and about getting food.  

We then sat and had a somewhat late tea in the area where we have been seeing the Barn Owl but saw nothing and so carried on through some other sites.

We have a spot where we stop to call our wives to say we are on our way home, and we also put our cameras away.  As we approached this spot I suddenly spotted a Barn Owl sat in the tree opposite the pull in we use, as we stopped I managed one quick shot before the bird flew but I should have wound up the ISO and the image was blurred. The bird however flew into the field behind the tree and landed on a section of hedge and then after a few seconds flew back across towards us and flew down the road eventually landing in a tree about 100 metres away from us. I had by then turned up the ISO to 8000 but even then I was not getting decent images and the camera was only shooting at 1/30 sec. As it was getting late, by this time it was 20.40 hrs and virtually dark so we left this bird in peace and set off for home after a wonderful afternoon.

Red Kite Near Little Owl Site No. 5.

We had looked at the nest tree at Site 5 and saw no birds and when driving away this bird was showing farther down the road.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Richard spotted this bird whilst we were still well down the road approaching the site, we stopped a bit closer and got an image before stopping, We only saw one bird at the site, no doubt the other bird is hopefully sitting on eggs.

Shelduck, Shallow Water Hide, Rutland Water.

Three of these ducks were around the hide all the time we were in, they usually nest in a disused rabbit warren so these are not yet nesting. 

Male Osprey {33/11}, Shallow Water Hide.

This bird appears to carry out a reasonable time sitting on the eggs. He is usually moved away from duty when the female is hungry and he is sent on fishing duties. The birds have three eggs in the nest.

Female Osprey {Maya}, Shallow Water Hide.

Sitting on the T perch preening, this she did for a considerable time. This shot is over 240 metres but Shallow Water is closer to the birds than Waderscrape Hide and also you are not looking into the sun in the afternoon, a much better position to get images of the birds.

Upon completion of preening, she spotted an Egyptian Goose in the adjacent tree, not very stable where it had landed, so she decided it had to be moved, it was too close to the nest. 

Having twice charged at the Goose she eventually flew off and had a quick flight around the nest and away up the bay, the Egyptian goose dismissed. 

Around by the trees near the nest. 

Then back towards the male sat on the nest. 

You can see her wings either side of the nest and the male sitting up. 

She sweeps up into the air from below the nest. 

And then prepares to land on the nest. 

Upon landing she moves the male off the eggs and sends him on his way to catch a fish for tea. 

Female sitting on eggs. Taken from the television in the Waderscrape Hide.

Chiffchaff near Shallow Water Hide.

Pretty little and tuneful bird, not the best of positions but even though we have got one in the garden trees to the side of the house, I have seen it but never got an image.

Mallard Duckling on our Return Walk to the Car Park.

First duckling seen this year. 

Teal, Shallow Water Hide.

Took numerous shots to get this image, it always seemed that when I took a shot the birds head disappeared under water.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Got this image when we stopped for tea , half here and half whilst staking out the Barn Owl, couldn't resist a second shot for the blog.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed seeing the images as much as we enjoyed seeing the birds and taking them.

Sunday, 19 April 2015


 We as usual had our Thursday afternoon out birding, Richard phoned in the morning to ask if we could leave that bit earlier as some Ring Ouzel {18 had been seen in the morning} and Wheatear had been seen at Warren Hills so he arrived at our house at 13.30 hrs and so we set off hot foot to see if we could find the birds.

On arrival we met up with some birders who said they had been watching the birds for a good while and they were easy to see as they were flying about, landing on the walls and generally easy to see. We walked up the site and met up with a lady walking a very lively Cocker Spaniel that unfortunately suddenly jumped over a wall and went charging around the field where the birds were, luckily two ladies from the Local Wildlife Trust were near her and we left it to them to have a word. 

We then worked our way down a wall line and the two ladies were in front of us, Richard went farther down and had a word with them and found the birds. These ladies were looking up in a tree and were in fact looking at the Ring Ouzel, no doubt taking refuge at height from the dog. They however came down onto the ground again and we got some record shots, not a large bird but at a good distance. After a quick check on Google Earth I think the distance was in excess of 170 metres.

We then headed over and onto our normal route looking to see what if any Little Owls we could see, hence the Heading " Another Bird Returns" yes we have a bird again at Little Owl Site No. 4, a site we have not seen a bird at since the 4th December 2014, a wonderful site, we also saw birds at site Nos. 5, one bird, No. 5 two adults, No. 12 one adult, \no. 9, one adult and No. 7, one adult. So six Little Owls on the journey out and on our return.

We then headed through to Rutland Water, not arriving on site until after 16.30 hrs so a quick visit into the Lyndon Centre and a walk down to the hides, again nothing of interest seen at Deep Water Hide or Tufted Duck Hide so we decided to miss Waderscrape Hide and go straight to Shallow Water hide and call in at Waderscrape on our return.

It was getting late by the time we returned to the car park and sett of on our way owling yet again with the intention of getting to the area where we see the Barn Owl and have a late tea. We finished up having part of our tea at Little Owl Site No. and the remainder whilst sitting it out for the Barn Owl. We saw the Barn Owl again this week, not flying but sitting outside the nest area.  

Meadow Pipit, Warren Hills.

As we walked up the hill in our search for the Ring Ouzels, we saw this bird so as usual a quick shot had to be taken. Note the long hind claw. 

Kestrel, Warren Hills.

Bird sat at the top of a tree a reasonable distance away, look at the buds breaking. 

Ring Ouzel, Male, Warren Hills.

Richard eventually spotted the birds, by the time we saw them we could only six or eight. 

Ring Ouzel, Male to the left Female partly hidden behind a tuft of grass to the right.

We took a reasonable number of shots and these were the best of a bad lot. really only record shots.

Wheatear, Warren Hills.

.We saw a large number of these birds but they were very active and well hidden in trees 


Mallard Drakes, Shallow Water Hide.

Just could not resist the shot, this is three weeks running but still say a very pretty bird. 

Great Crested Grebe, Shallow Water Hide.

Last year we had nests around the hide but this year the reservoir is so full and high we cannot see a one from the hide. 

 Shoveler Duck, Shallow Water Hide.

The bird kept tucking itself behind reeds and made it difficult to get a clear shot.

Osprey Female{Maya}, Manton Bay Nest.

She had until a few minutes before this shot been sitting on the one egg and the Male 33/11 was on the T post eating the trout, but after a consistent food begging routine, he took the fish to her, she immediately took off and took it to the T perch and left him to sit on the egg. Whilst we were on site on Thursday, 18 Osprey had so far returned and at 18.00 hrs last night, {Friday} a second egg had been laid at the Manton Bay Nest. Hopefully one more to go tomorrow.

Female getting really stuck into the trout, these shots from Shallow Water Hide over a distance of 240 metres. 

Male Osprey 33/11 Taking His Turn at Sitting On the Egg.

You can just make out the top of his head, the egg is in a deep scrape. 

Male up and turning the egg proving he is doing a good job. 

33/11 sitting on the egg, picture taken from the television in the hide.

Mute Swans, Shallow Water Hide.

Mute Swans doing a mating dance.

Still doing the dance and turning around, really beautiful to watch. 

Then to make it more confusing a third bird joined in. 

Artic Tern, Shallow Water Hide.

A quick image prior to a quick visit to Waderscape Hide.


Little Owl Site No. 4.

A site we were delighted to see, the returned or another bird at the site. 

Little Owl Site No. 12.

These birds always seem to tuck themselves in the most awkward positions to get a decent image, we also find if we attempt to get closer to the birds we only have to open the gate into the field and they are away.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Again this year so far these birds appear to have kept the Jackdaws at bay to stop them taking over the nest hole.

Little Owl Site No. 7.

A very relaxed bird sitting on one leg.
We were concerned for these Little Owls late last year as the farmer had carried out a considerable amount of tree and scrub clearing in the area where we occasionally saw the birds, we had very few images prior to these works. Since then we are seeing the birds far more and a lot clearer.


We still these these birds on a regular basis, two or three times a day. However they seem at the moment to favour the bird nut feeder so not the best of images. 

Pair of Mallard.
We are getting this pair on a regular basis walking around our back garden, they come from a small lake that is not that far away.

Thank you for your visit, please come again. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015


As normal Richard and myself had our afternoon out on Thursday the 9th and he arrived at our house at 14.00 hrs so we decided to have a trip through the normal Little Owl sites but not to hang about at any of them and head for Rutland Water.

Yes as I reported in my updates in my last blog, the Manton Bay Ospreys have returned. 33/11 was the first to arrive very closely followed by the female. When the male returned to the nest site, he found a pair of Egyptian Geese in attendance, who had apparently just produced an egg. They were however attacked with great gusto by 33 who virtually knocked one of the geese off the nest in one of his attacks, they then however left the nest. Having seen his escapades whilst we were on site I can't say as I blame them. On our visit it appears that 33 has decided that any Egyptian goose is going to try to take the nest back. We had one swimming innocently across the bay but towards the nest and the results of this are shown below. It was certainly entertaining to watch. The previous Manton Bay male 5R/04 had a thing against Cormorants and would take great delight in knocking them out of the tree in front of Waderscrape Hide.

On our walk down to the hide we passed Deep Water hide and Tufted Duck hide but nothing was seen at either so we carried on through to Waderscrape and sure enough both Ospreys were on the nest, lovely to see. They had obviously had a very slow journey back due to the weather conditions on route. The satellite tagged bird 30/05 had taken 21 days on the journey, this being an extra 7 days to normal. 

Having taken a good few images we set off to walk back to the Lyndon Centre car park to try and visit the Little Owl sites we had seen no birds at as on the outbound journey we had a very lean time only seeing two birds , one at Site 2 and on at Site 12. We did however see a Barn Owl sitting in the front of its nest site which was wonderful to see. You will also see below that one of our sites has had a disaster Site 17 where the area around and above the nest hole has collapsed and fell onto the rest of the tree, this we made another trip back to on the 10th as we had to be sure no birds had got trapped in the hole which they hadn't, in fact the farmers wife felt sure she saw one fly away as she drove down the road towards the site.

After Little Owling we sat in the car in the area where we had seen the Barn Owl last week. We sat and had our tea and no signs of the bird, then after we had finished it appeared flying down the ditch line as previous, across the road and along the hedge line behind us. But we had again seen the bird. 

Buzzard, Our Garden.

We see Buzzards on a regular basis flying over the garden, as a rule by the time I have manged to get into the house, get the camera, check the settings and get back out they are long gone but this one however staid a little longer so I could get some images.  

Waderscrape Hide, Manton Bay, Rutland Water.

The site that greeted us on our arrival at the hide with both birds in attendance on the nest. Unfortunately it was sunny and we were looking straight into the sun, not the best, we should have walked down to Shallow Water hide where I am sure we would have got a lot better shots.

This shot is taken at a distance of 320 metres, the below are at about 350 metres.

Osprey 33/11 Starting His Attack on the Egyptian Goose.

Sorry about the quality of the following images but we were shooting directly into the sun, not the best.

The dots are splashes of water flying into the air and the hump in the water is where the goose has dived under the surface to get out of the way. 

He flew by and immediately turned around and as you can see the goose also dived again very quickly by the splashes.

He passed and again turned back and had another go at the poor goose who like a fool was still when above water swimming towards the nest, 

Turned again and returned with his legs forward and talons also forward and turned again and did another circle. 

He was determined to get the goose but at last it got the message and went the other way. 

33 back on the nest, the intruder sent on its way.

Female on the nest. no ring believed to be a Scottish bird. Image taken from the television in the hide. 

Mallard to the front of Waderscrape Hide.

Common but pretty bird. 

Reed Bunting, Waderscrape Hide.

Very busy bird all the time we were at the hide.

We all sat in the hide waiting for 33 to decide to see these away. 

Red Kites near Little Owls site No.9.

We stopped on our way out to Rutland at the site and two Red Kites appeared. Suddenly a third came on the scene and it looked as if the first bird was being chased by the second and third. 

These birds were well into the distance but they then all went in different directions. 

Little Owl Site No. 2.

This little fellow had tucked himself well in the nest hole. We were not sure as to whether the weather was a bit warm for them. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Again here we only saw the one bird. 

Little Owl Site No. 7.

Richard spotted the bird and then it flew to the left and I eventually found it. We had to move the car and shoot through a very small gap. Only saw the one bird. 

Little Owl Site No. 17.

Or what is left of it. We returned on the Friday night being concerned as to birds being trapped in the nest hole. They could get out if it had happened whilst they were in the hole. 

Site as it was previously.

Thank you for your visit. 

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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