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.

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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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