Friday, 29 May 2015


Manton Bay Ospreys with the Young. {Header Picture}

Should read "Its Behind You" 33/11 male had delivered a fish and Mum has it behind them, they are looking at Dad hopefully for feeding but eventually realised that tea was behind them. 

As Richard was unavailable and the forecast for Thursday was not so good, plus the fact our Grand daughters were coming for a visit on Thursday, I had an early outing taking a dear friend in Arthur Costello with me to introduce him to some Little Owls and also the Ospreys which as you can see have produced three wonderful chicks. 

I collected Arthur at 13.45 hrs and we set out towards Rutland  Water, checking the Little Owl Sites on the way out, we only managed one bird at Site No 1 and that was only a fleeting view on the outward trip but hoped for more on our return.

We arrived at Rutland at about 15.45 hrs and went into the centre where Arthur met up with Kayleigh who was on duty for the day. We then had a steady walk down through Deepwater Hide and Tufted Duck Hide, again not seeing the Otters but we spent some time trying. 

Arthur was a sound recordist of bird song and had recorded both a cuckoo and nightingale singing together near the Lyndon Centre some years ago.

We then made our way to the Waderscrape Hide where we for a short time watched the Ospreys, being in the singular as only the female [we were told was on the nest and the male away fishing}, we saw reed bunting and other birds and then made our way to Shallow Water Hide.

On the way down Arthur was recognising all the birds by the song which was useful as it saved having to move the camera and bins about to find them and then decide what the bird was.

In Shallow Water Hide we settled down to watch the Ospreys and await the return of the Male 33/11 with a fish. Whilst in the hide we also saw a Yellow Wagtail, swallows, house martin, great crested grebe and many more. 
Eventually the male returned but without a fish, landed on the nest and at that point I was then checking my images. Upon looking again at the nest a bird left and flew to the T post, and the bird on the nest started feeding the young. Checking my images on the screen, the bird that returned without a fish was the female,{no ring} and the bird that flew onto the T post and had been sitting on the young was the ringed male. The fish was obviously already on the nest so the female had taken over and fed the young after her flight around the reservoir.
The previous male 5R would occasionally try to feed the young but usually after the female had already filled them up with fish and was only occasionally successful.

After about an hour in the hide we had a steady walk back to the car park again with Arthur spotting the birds by song.We then indulged in a well deserved tea and set off on our return journey and to look for some of the illusive Little Owls.

We again visited every site but to no avail and unfortunately finished with only the one bird seen at Site No. 1.

I had a quick visit out on the 25 th of May to stake out a site and on the way through managed two birds at Little Owl Sites 1 and 2. so I have put them at the end, sorry I saw them Arthur and you only got a glimpse.

Thank you for coming with me on Thursday Arthur, it was so interesting to get your input through bird song.

Sky Lark Near Little Owl Site No. 11.

As we drove up the road I spotted this bird plus another sat on the fence posts, as we approached it sat still until I got my first image and only then turned to the side as below. 

It then flew and I managed a quick image as it gained height.

As we drove along the road we must have seen another five or six birds, lovely to see.

 Rutland Water.

Tufted Duck, Waderscrape Hide.

A pretty little duck swimming in the channel in front of the hide, still in large numbers on the reservoir. These are the channels we saw the Water Voles in last year, but have so far seen none this year. Other people have seen the odd one.

Reed Bunting, Waderscrape Hide.

A bird that was continually calling and common amongst the reeds to the front of the hide, because it was windy a lot of the birds were not visible. 

Swallows, Shallow Water hide.

The bay had good numbers of swallows flying about with a fair number of House Martins with the white rump mixed in with them. Tried for an action shot but gave up!!.

Osprey on the Manton Bay Nest, Shallow Water Hide.

This is the bird we were told was the female sitting keeping the young warm, this was in fact the male Osprey 33/11 doing his bit. 

Female Osprey, Shallow Water Hide.

As you can see the bird has no ring in place, so therefore the female {Maya}. 

Female landing on the nest, the male keeping low and out of the way in the scrape. 

Female landed. 

Male straight up and preparing to leave the nest. 

You can just make out the rings so its the Male. Female then fed the young so a fish was already in place on the nest. 

Female Feeding the Young, Manton Bay.

33 does appear to be a wonderful fisherman with fish always being available on the nest for his young.  

Male on the T post after his duty on the nest.

Pied and Yellow Wagtail, Shallow Water Hide.

We had been in the hide for a while when these two arrived and sat reasonably close to each other so I made the best of it. 

Yellow Wagtail, difficult shot with the fence somewhat spoiling it. 

Great Crested Grebe on its Nest, Shallow Water Hide.

This is the bird I took the image of last week when I thought it was not sitting on a nest. Since then the nest has been raised and here she is sound asleep on her nest. 

Yellowhammer, Near Shallow Water hide.

Bird sat on the electric cable feeding Waderscrape Hide.

Hare with Leveret, Near Little Owl Site No. 3.

We spotted this pair as we drove down the road on our way home, this was taken at about 21.00 hrs. 

They had moved a lot farther away but the Leveret is more obvious to see.

Little Owls.

Little Owl Site No. 2.

This image was taken on the Monday evening at about 19.30 hrs, the bird was sat in the entrance to the nest hole and by the looks of it was having a snooze. 

Little Owl Site No. 1.

Again on my own and the bird sat out in the tree as good as gold, just wait until Richard is with me and he will be out of site. 

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in getting them, and my visits out.

Sunday, 24 May 2015


After the long wait, the first chick hatched last night {Friday} at the Manton Bay Nest, it seems to drag on for such a long time but that's nature. 

Update from last night a second chick has hatched.

I had two trips out again this week, one on the Sunday evening when I only managed to see two Little Owls, One each at Sites 1 & 5. The reason for my visit out was to stake out a Barn Owl Site but I saw nothing at all, but you cannot win them all.

I then had the usual afternoon out on Thursday but unfortunately Richard was busy so I had a singleton to Rutland Water, owling on both the outbound and return journeys. I saw one Little Owl on the outward trip at Site 5 and two on my return trip at Sites 4 and 1. Its that time of the year when the birds are feeding either just the female sitting on eggs or the female and young, looking back it has been the same in other years.

On arrival at Rutland Water and going into the Lyndon Centre, I had a quick chat withe gent on duty and Kayleigh the young girl who is part of the Osprey team and of course the question as to when will the first egg hatch, Kayleigh said it would be more than likely to be no later than Sunday so she was not far out. I then had a steady walk along the path that borders the reservoir keeping an eye out for any Otters and calling in at both Deep Water Hide and Tufted Duck Hide, spending more time at Tufted Duck as that is where the Otters were seen.

After that I went straight to Shallow Water Hide to try for some more Osprey images and see what else turned up. It was an entertaining 45 minutes with so many swans having  arrived in the week and a large amount of Common Terns.

I then visited Waderscrape Hide for a chat with Barry, another of the volunteers and a lovely man who told me he and his wife had been in Scotland the previous week and  they had seen sleet and snow, and then had a steady walk back to the car park and set off on the return journey and hopefully some serious owling. The return journey happened as planned but the owling was not good with only the two birds seen.

It was a wonderful day to be out at Rutland Water with the sun and wild flowers.

Mallard Duckling, Tufted Duck Hide.

What a difference a week makes, one of the eleven taken last week , my they have grown.and were all very busy feeding with mum. 

Mute Swans, Manton Bay.

During the last week these younger swans have arrived in force. 

Shallow Water Hide, Manton Bay Nest with female on Incubation Duties.

Male has had a nest building week, so even though the female was on the nest incubating she was out of site in the nest scrape.

Shallow Water Hide, Male Osprey returning after fishing trip.

On first arriving in the hide a couple we see on a regular basis, very keen photographers, were in the hide and told me 33 was away fishing. Suddenly "he is coming back" was whispered by Mon, and sure enough flying up to the T post was the male with a good sized roach.

He had obviously only just caught the fish as you can still see water dripping from the tail. 

The female stood up to move the eggs about and was continually food begging so eventually all changed and 33 took a turn at incubating, she had the fish. 

Female with the fish on the T post. 

Male Osprey, taking a turn at incubating whilst female eats a fish on the T post.  

Maya feeding her chick

Female feeding first chick. 

Maya and two chicks

Second chick , first is already up and ready for more food.

Common Tern, Shallow Water Hide.

A sudden commotion outside the hide as the tern decide a bath, like the water droplets caught mid air.

Head down and under water. 

Caught just as it landed on the fence post.

Pied Wagtail, Shallow Water Hide.

On the same section of fence as the Tern. 

Great Crested Grebe, Shallow Water Hide.

I initially thought the bird was sitting on a nest but when working on the image it is too low down to the water.

The Banks of the Reservoir are covered in wild flowers. It has been a lovely place to be today.

Little Owl Site No. 4.

Bird sat on the fence adjacent to the nest tree, we have still only seen a single bird at this site but we could have missed one so they could be breeding hopefully. 

Little Owl Site No. 1.

I appear to see the bird on every trip out on my own, when Richard is with me the bird goes A.W.O.L.??

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in getting them. Please feel free to leave a comment, I will reply to them all. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015


This week I had an extra visit out on Monday evening, trying to get some images of the Barn Owl we had seen previously and shown in Richards O M G Post. I arrived at the area at about 19.00 hrs and firstly visited Little Owl Site No 1 and found one of the birds very relaxed and sitting on comfortably on one leg and managed a reasonable image. I then turned around and returned to the area where we had previously seen the Barn Owl, this only being a few hundred metres away and parked up and sat and waited to see if anything showed.

At about 20.40 hrs the Barn Owl arrived but only came up the field side of the hedge to within about 100 metres from me and then turned onto the road side of the hedge and flew down the road. It then crossed the road and turned and flew up the hedge side towards me and then at about again 100 metres away it crossed the road, this is when I managed the only reasonable image. It then went back down the road and crossed over into the field opposite and that was the last I saw of it. I waited for a while in case it flew back up the hedge but Barn Owls range over vast areas and who could predict as to where it was so I packed away the camera and headed for home.

Richard and I talked on Tuesday and as the weather forecast for Thursday was not good, we decided to venture out on Wednesday.

So on Wednesday Richard arrived as usual at 14.00 hrs and we set our route for Rutland Water calling in at Little Owl Sites en route and seeing birds at Sites 1, 9 &10. We also drive past the Barn Owl site where the bird had young in a hole in a tree last year and an adult bird sat in the hole in broad daylight, I got the car at an angle across the road and Richard managed to get an image so a wonderful start with Barn Owls. We arrived at Rutland Water at about 16.20 hrs, had a quick chat in the Lyndon Centre, our normal Ice Cream was devoured and we set forth taking the route alongside the Reservoir keeping an eye out for any Otters. 

We arrived at Tufted Duck Hide at approx 16.35 hrs and decided to sit for a while to see if the Otters were about or hopefully would turn up. We staid in place until about 17.00 hrs and then walked down to Shallow Water Hide to try for some images of the Ospreys and what ever else was about. If you visit Rutland for the Ospreys, you are better to visit Shallow Water Hide,  you get a bit closer [mind you are still some 239 metres away, 320 metres from Waderscrape Hide] but mainly you are not shooting into the sun as from Waderscrape Hide.

We then visited Waderrscrape Hide and had not been in place for long when a women in a pink coat suddenly appeared very close to the Osprey Nest on the far side of the bay. She appeared to stand and stare at the nest but this disturbed the sitting bird {the male} who left the eggs exposed and flew onto the T post with the female. The lady then disappeared behind the hedge but in the mean time we insisted the couple on duty phoned the duty officer and inform them of the disturbance. The duty officer immediately contacted John Wright who appeared very quickly in the fields to the right of the nest in his 4wd but we had then to leave for another visit to Tufted Duck Hide and then onto go Owling.

On our return journey we saw birds at Little Owl Sites 5 & 4 making a grand total for the day of five birds seen which for this time of the year is good going with birds sitting on eggs. We then proceeded to the area where we see the Barn Owl previously and Richard had got his superb images and sat and had a well deserves tea at 19.55hrs. I just glanced in the rear view mirror in the car as the Barn Owl flew across the road behind us so into action. I got out of the car to see if I could see the bird in the field as it flew down the road within about 2 metres of Richard, it then turned to the right and flew down the hedge line and again turned and flew up another hedge, I got some images as it flew up the hedge but they were at a very long distance plus virtually into the sun. After this we could not find the bird again so after a time we gave it best and headed home having had a five Little Owl and two Barn Owl day.


Tufted Duck Hide, Mallard Duck.

Whilst we sat in the hide looking for the Otters this proud mum swam by with eleven ducklings, what a mum. 

One of the ducklings a bit closer. 

Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck Hide.

These are very pretty birds, this one was busy diving all the time we were in the hide. Some times they dive and you are sure something has happened to them, then at last they surface. 

Close up of the head with its striking eye. 

Shallow Water Hide, Male Osprey 33/11.

When we arrived in the hide, a couple we have met several times before who are very keen photographers told us the male was on the T post eating a fish and the female on the nest. Virtually immediately he took of to fly to the nest. 

Arriving at the nest, as you can see it was a good size fish, I think it was a roach. 

A bit closer and the female is up and ready for her tea. The male is approaching with his back towards us. 

At last he lands and the female grabs the fish and is away. He takes a turn at incubation duties. 

Female heading towards the T post and ignoring the Egyptian Geese by the tree.

A bit later was when the stupid women approached the nest and disturbed the birds, the female had a reasonable feed on the fish, but when the male left the eggs exposed she eventually dropped the fish and returned to the nest. 

Female back on incubation duties. 

Common Tern, Shallow Water hide.

These birds are continually flying around the bay and dipping the beaks into the water.

Caught this one in flight. 

Cormorant, Shallow Water Hide.

Bird sat on the last post of the fence in Manton Bay drying its wings.

 Moor Hen Chick, Tufted Duck Hide.

In comparison to the Mallard chicks whom at times almost ran on the top of the water, this was a singleton and very slow not having webbed feet.


Little Owl Site No. 1.

This image taken on my Monday evening out when looking for the Barn Owl. 

Little Owl Site No.9.

Single bird sat out in tree above the nest hole. 

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Again a single bird in the nest tree, image taken at 19.11 hrs on our return journey. 

Little Owl Site No. 4.

We have only seen the one bird at this site, this taken at 19.15hrs.

Barn Owl.

Best of a poor bunch of images, taken with the bird about 100 metres away. Taken at 20.45 hrs. ISO 8000. 

Caterpillar On Walk Back to the Car Park at Rutland Water.

If anyone can tell me the species I would be grateful. Have sent a copy of the image to a Moth Expert.
Richard has put a comment below and thinks this is a Dark Arches Moth Caterpillar, have checked and it certainly looks the same, thank you Richard.

Tufted Duck Hide, Cormorant Decorated Tree.

The two above images are for my friend Margaret who was fascinated with last weeks image of the tree at Waderscrape Hide with the Cormorants in, this was taken earlier with a lot more birds.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you have has as much enjoyment in looking as I did in taking the images.

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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