Monday, 27 July 2015


This week Richard was on airport duty collecting his friends from Canada who have come over to see him and Lindsey with the intention of doing some bird watching around the country. Yesterday they visited Rutland Water plus our Little Owl Sites, all as Arthur and I had done on Thursday. Arthur and I saw one Little Owl, Richard and Co saw ten, this can't be right, sorry Arthur they were obviously saving themselves for the Saturday company.

That aside however Arthur is our local bird expert who I have mentioned before and has been out with me previously and came along with me to see hopefully some Little Owls and of course the Ospreys at Rutland Water. The Ospreys were very obliging flying around Manton Bay virtually the whole time we were on site, where as the Little Owls laid low and we managed just the single bird at Site No. 5.

On our outward trip we saw no Little Owls and arrived at Rutland Water at about 15.45 hrs and went into the Lyndon Centre to book in and have a quick chat with Paul Stammers. This following the visit of the television companies to celebrate the fledging of the 100th Osprey Juvenile since the project commenced, what a milestone and achievement for all who have been involved since the project commenced. 

After that we set on our way towards Waderscrape Hide and the Ospreys,taking a few images on our way down. At Waderscrape Hide the young were very active and kept having short flights around the nest but always returning to the nest initially. We then visited Shallow Water Hide and got a real treat from the young, we believe it was S1 that flew from the nest and washed her feet in the water and eventually landed on a section of dead tree on the opposite shore of the bay. She was then followed by her brother S2 who like wise landed on the dead tree and eventually flew around and landed next to her. S 3 was also taking flights and just prior to us leaving all three young returned to the nest.

After about an hour we had a slow walk back to Waderscrape Hide and then a steady walk back to the car park.

We had a bit of tea and then got on our way to see if we could find any Little Owls and eventually stopped at Site No. 9 so I could finish my tea and lady luck was not with us as we only saw a single bird on our return journey.

Thanks Arthur for the company,it was good to be out with you, sorry for the lack of Little Owls but hopefully the Ospreys made up for any disappointment.

I then decided on Saturday as it was a better day, to have another visit to Rutland Water but to go to the Egleton Reserve to see if we had many Dragonflies etc. I left home at about 13.30 hrs and was back home for 17.00 hrs so not a long visit. I saw a good number of Dragonflies, Brown Hawkers, Common Darters, Ruddy Darters and even some Emperor Dragon flies at Mallard Hide.

 Lyndon Reserve.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Lyndon Reserve.

Again saw a good number of Butterflies but it was somewhat windy and they were not easy to capture. 

Common Darter Dragonfly, {Male}.

This seen near Waderscrape Hide, we also saw an Emperor Dragonfly as we stood talking to the two volunteers going on duty, it actually flew around Arthur twice. From previous experience they dont land very often.

Not sure as to what Caterpillar it is.

I am still looking for the answer but as you can see, we had the larger caterpillars to the right, but the web was full with smaller ones to the left.

Very distinctive colour, any ideas from anybody????

Egleton Reserve.

Common Darter {Male} Dragonfly.

Saw these in reasonable numbers, but very few landing for any amount of time.

Immature Common Blue Damselfly.

Seeing large numbers of Damselflies all over the reserve.

Adult Common Blue Damselfly. 

Twin - lobed Deerfly {Horsefly} and  Large White Butterfly.

This is a better image of the fly than I got last week against the window in Waderscrape Hide.

Ruddy Darter Dragonfly.

Beautiful dragonfly but in an awful position to get an image, I finished up hanging over a fence!!

Just Emerged Dragonfly.

A gentleman who was with me at the time I spotted this thought it was a Brown Hawker and I was not going to argue with him, he certainly appeared to be on the ball dragonfly wise.

 Banded Demoisselle Damselfly.

A very beautiful creature but unfortunately a long distance shot.

Ospreys at Manton Bay.

Osprey Juvenile S1 about to leave the Nest. Shallow Water Hide.

Washing her feet. 

And away to the dead tree farther along the shore. 

S2 who Had Sat in the Dead Tree Behind the Nest.

Flying up the Bay to join his Sister on the dead tree. 

As you can see by his swooping around, they are really enjoying the freedom that flying has given them. You can see the white edges to the flight feathers that the juveniles have. 

S1 to the Left and S2 having just landed to the right. 

S1 and S2 together. 

All three Juveniles on the nest.

This shot taken just as we were about to leave Shallow Water Hide. 

White Throat.

On walk back from Waderscrape Hide to the Car Park.

Little Owl. { In the Singular}

Little Owl Site No. 5.

 Not a good image but as this was the only one of the day??
Unfortunately the light was going but he sat out for us.

Thank you for your visit, not the best of post owl wise but will try harder next week. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Late Wednesday afternoon, I decided to have a quick visit to the small lake at the rear of our land to see if the Emperor Dragonflies were still about. I arrived and walked down to the lake and virtually immediately saw an Emperor fly by. I then saw a movement to my right and looked round to see Richard walking down the bank towards me, we both had the same idea so we had an enjoyable and arm aching hour trying to get images of these superb dragonflies. Arm aching due to the weight of the camera and lens and frustrating as to how close they would fly and you just couldn't get them in focus, however the images I got are below, well some of them. I have a lot of lilly pads.  

We had our usual Thursday outing with my turn to drive so Richard arrived at our house and we were away from home by 14.00 hrs heading towards Rutland Water and looking for Little Owls on our way.

The Osprey juveniles, have as you have seen have over the past few weeks come along in leaps and bounds and last Wednesday S1 at last took to the wing and flew around Manton Bay, this followed closely by S2 on Thursday who also flew around the bay and eventually landed on the bund between the bay and the main reservoir area. Both the first flights had an anxious mum in attendance just to keep an eye on her young. S1's first landing was similar to a house brick but she has improved greatly since then and both birds are getting a lot more confident. I say she for S1 but the powers that be appear to have some doubts at the moment as to whether she is a she or a he, but for the present we will refer to her as a she. S3 is getting more adventurous with her helicoptering so I am sure will be following her brother and sister very soon.

Our outward trip was reasonably successful with Little Owls, seeing birds at Little Owl Site Nos. 2 {a single bird}, No. 4 {again a single bird} and No. 5 {both birds}. So we arrived at Rutland Water reasonably content after previous weeks numbers.

After a visit into the Lyndon Centre, we set on our way down to Waderscrape Hide, we called in at Tufted Duck Hide as this is where Paul had seen a reasonable number of Dragonflies but none were evident on our visit so onto the Hide. We arrived to find one fledged Osprey {S1} on the T post and the other {S2} in the tree near the nest, both having been  flying around the bay before we arrived. Whilst Richard stayed at Waderscrape Hide, I had a quick visit to Shallow Water Hide, quick because the forecast said thunderstorms coming in later and when I left Shallow Water Hide to return to Waderscrape, it was starting to look a bit  cloudy and the wind was getting up. So we headed for the car park as quick as possible and hopefully the dry of the car. it however didn't rain so we had a slowish return home stopping at Little Owl Site No 9 for a well earned tea.

On our return journey we saw Little Owls at Sites Nos 12 {single bird, No. 10 {two birds and No. 9 {a single bird}, so our total for the day being eight Little Owls.

An update on the Little Owls seen at my farmer friends {Original Site No. 13.}, Margaret has seen a bird a few times and so far I have seen a bird three times but to date no image, the little beggar flies from a tree at the side of the drive, across the road and into the field and then flies into an Ash tree, it then is impossible to find, next trip I intend to wind up the ISO and go for a shot of it flying, only time and patience will tell.   

Another update, just looked on the Osprey blog and S3 has fledged, 19-07-2015.

Lake to Rear of Our Land.

Emperor Dragonfly, female, Oviposting. 

Both Richard and myself had been having very little luck in getting images of the male Emperor, then I spotted this female landed and commencing oviposting. The reflection of the wings in the water is a highlight for me. 

Again the reflection of the wings, this time with a slight ripple on the water gives an unusual effect.

Emperor Dragonfly, Male.

Very similar to the previous weeks image but after the effort we put in to get it, you can see why we tried so hard, what a beautiful creature. 

Four Spotted Chaser.

I spotted this prior to us going to a slightly different area of the lake, when I suggested we try to get images of the Emperor Dragonfly flying into the wind, this slowed them down, still difficult to get an image. 

Rutland Water.

Hover fly, Male. {Syrphus Ribesii.}

We saw this on our walk down to Waderscrape Hide. Took the image and amazed at how good it has turned out.

Have been informed I got the name wrong.!!

Twin Lobed Deerfly. { Chrysops Relictus.}

Not the best of images as the fly was on the inside of a window in Waderscrape Hide. Not the easiest of shots from the inside shooting out.

Yes I got this one wrong as well!!. 

Soldier Beetles. {Cantheridae} on a Thistle Flower.

Saw a lot of these beetles on the way back towards Waderscrape Hide from Shallow Water Hide. Also saw a reasonable number of Brown Hawkers near Shallow Water hide but managed no images.

Peacock Butterfly Caterpillar.

Seen between Shallow Water Hide and Waderscrape Hide. 

We saw them in large numbers, all on nettle leaves. 

Gatekeeper Butterfly.

We are seeing large numbers of Butterflies at Rutland this year which is good news. 

Common Blue Damselfly.

We are still seeing large numbers of Damselflies  but very few Dragonflies.


Female Juvenile, S1 on T post. From Waderscrape Hide.

Whilst on site we never saw any of the juveniles fly, they had apparently both flown around the bay prior to our arrival at Waderscrape Hide. 

Male Juvenile, S2 on dead tree near to nest. 

Juvenile S3, Helicoptering. 

Female with two young on the nest. 

Male 33/11 away on fishing trip. 

Male returns with a good size Trout. 

Female S3 Helicoptering.

Little Owls.

Little Owl Site No. 4.

Again just a single bird seen at this site. 

 Little Owl Site No. 5.

This is a site we have a pair at but still no signs of any juveniles.

Second bird asleep in adjacent hawthorn bush. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Having had out tea and watching birds at Site 10, we were just leaving and this bird arrived back at the nest site, but again still no juveniles seen 

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Image taken for me by Richard as the bird was sat on his side of the car. Probably the same bird as taken four hours earlier .

Kestrel Near Little Owl Site No. 7.

Again taken for me by Richard from his side of the car. Unusually for a kestrel it did not fly away when we stopped to get the image.

Thank you for your visit, we had a good afternoon out seeing eight Little Owls, all comments will be replied to.

Sunday, 12 July 2015


This week Richard and myself had our normal Thursday visit out but this time concentrated on the Egleton Centre area at Rutland Water. We had our normal start and Richard arrived at 14.00 hrs and we set off Little Owling on route to Rutland. On our outbound trip we saw a Little Owl at Site No. 5.

We arrived at the Egleton Centre at 16.00 hrs and after our normal ice cream, made tracks to look for Dragonflies, Damselflies and anything else that took our fancy. 

After a quick look at the dipping pond we soon arrived at Redshank Hide on Lagoon 2 having seen a couple of Dragonflies en route but they were not hanging about for us to get any images. Nothing much was seen at the hide so we got on our way but kept away from the normal path and walked through the woodland path and in the patches of sunlight found damselflies keeping out of the breeze, so after a few images we carried on through to Osprey Hide. Here again we saw some Damselflies and a Green Sandpiper.

We then visited Sandpiper Hide on Lagoon 4 but nothing much was happening so went straight to Lagoon 3 and Shoveler Hide. The water level had dropped dramatically since our previous visits and Egyptian Geese were walking around on areas of baked mud. We saw several Reed Warblers that kept disappearing into the reeds as you were ready to take an image, eventually manged a few images but not over special.

After that we had a slow walk back to the car park and got on our way looking for Little Owls on our journey and to have some well earned tea. We saw Little Owls at Sites Nos. 12, 9 & 2.

I then decided on Saturday afternoon to have a quick visit back to Rutland Water to see if I could find any Dragonflies and to also see the Ospreys. I left home at about 13.40 hrs and drove straight through to the Lyndon Centre so as not to make it over late in arriving. I entered the centre and was greeted by Paul who immediately said "John come and look at this" he shot over to the screen in the centre and logged onto some saved images and low and behold it showed one of the young Ospreys {S1} getting about 75 mm above the nest with a lot of flapping, so I said wonderful, hang on said Paul as it had another more concerted effort and this time virtually disappeared of the top of the screen, just the tips of its talons still visible before landing back on the nest, so this years young are helicoptering. Paul also told me that three more Ospreys have returned this week, all 2013 birds so great news.

I told Paul I wanted to try and get images of Dragonflies and he said he had arrived early this morning and had been down to Tufted Duck Hide and he had seen a lot of Dragonflies in the reeds to the front of the hide. So I got on my way and arrived at Tufted Duck, saw two Brown Hawkers before I went in the hide but none to the reservoir side.

So I again was on my way heading for Shallow Water Hide and the Ospreys, on arrival I was greeted by John Wright {the field officer} who was also in the hide to get images of the Ospreys, he again told me about them helicoptering earlier but that the wind had dropped a bit and they appeared to have stopped. They however started again and S1 gave me two flights, after the second, the adult female decided she would leave and go onto the camera perch as she had been battered on the head by thrashing wings enough.

Then we had a Buzzard enter Manton Bay and as the young were active and not laying down, the female was mantling and the male got on his way and attacked the Buzzard very aggressively, images below.

I then after about three quarters of an hour left Shallow Water Hide and visited Waderscrape Hide, and then left for the car park, leaving Rutland at about 15.15 hrs and set my way for home.

I called past three of our Little Owl Sites and saw one owl at Site No. 5 sitting on the front of the box that Richard and I erected last year, first time I have seen a bird on the box.

You will note from my title that my software problem has been sorted, this being a joint effort between Andrzej of Nikon and my friend Pete Hanley, thank you both.

Also thank you to Richard for helping with the butterfly species.

Egleton Centre.

Ringlet Butterfly {female}, Egleton Reserve.

Very common butterfly but still very pretty.

Comma Butterfly, Egleton Reserve.

We saw a good number of Comma, this one in a reasonable condition. 

Emerald Damselfly, Female, Egleton Reserve.

This damselfly is a favourite, very stylish and again we saw a good number.

Emerald Damselfly, Male, Egleton Reserve. 

Small Skipper Butterfly and Black Beetles, Egleton Reserve.

Saw this not far from Shoveler Hide sitting on a thistle flower with black Beetles in attendance.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Egleton Reserve.

We seem to have a reasonable number of these this year at Rutland. 

Blue Tailed Damselfly.

Immature Common Blue Damselfly, {female}.

Has been confirmed as a female

Green Sandpiper, Osprey Hide.

Again not totally sure on this bird, we had two birds together. Apparently they are still at the reserve. 

Reed Warbler, Shoveler Hide.

A reasonable number of the birds seen, all the while very busy and on the move, in the bottom of the reeds and then visible for a few seconds and then away again. They appeared to be feeding young. 

Curlew, Shoveler Hide.

Again apparently a reasonable number still at the reserve.


Male Osprey on Tee Post.

Had apparently not long before delivered a fish to the nest so having a rest. The female is still feeding the young but at times they feed themselves.

Female and Young on the Nest.

S1 having a bit of wing flapping. S1 and S2 are both trying very hard but S3 just looks on and only has an occasional try. 

S1 Helicoptering. 

And back down. 

And up again, adult female had enough.  

Leaving the nest to the camera post, had enough of wings hitting her on the head. 

S1 lift off from the nest and getting higher.

Buzzard Enters Manton Bay. 

Both Adult Ospreys were mantling. 33 goes to Intercept the Buzzard.

With the young being active and not laying down in the nest, when they do this they are virtually invisible to intruders in the bay due to the plumage.  

33/11 having just attacked the Buzzard that is still upside down. 

Buzzard leaves the Bay, Male returns to the Tee Post. 

The Victor returns to his family.

Little Owls.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

We saw this bird on our outward journey sat in the Hawthorn Bush. 

Little Owl Site No. 12.

We saw this bird on our return journey, sat on the door and then went up onto the roof. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Bird sat in the tree adjacent to the nest hole. 

Little Owl Site No. 5.

This image taken on our return journey, we have to stop and open a farm gate and initially both said I cant see a bird then Richard spotted the bird sat on the part of the tree that fell down last year. 

Little Owl Site No. 5.

This image taken on my return journey from Rutland Water on Saturday. Again stopped to open the gate, could see nothing and then spotted the bird sat on the box that Richard and myself erected last year. 

Little Owl Site No. 4.

Bird sat in its normal spot, we only appear to have one bird at this site.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as we did in 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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