Sunday, 18 October 2015


Sorry for the lack of a post last week, I visited Rutland Water on the 7th October but the light was awful and I didn't want to publish a blog with the quality of some of the images.

7th October 2015.

This visit was as a singleton as Richard was busy in the afternoon and had his visit out in the morning which I was unable to do. He decided to just visit the Little Owl Sites and got away from home at about 09.00 hrs.

I got away from home at approx 13.15 hrs and decided to have a direct run through and go Little Owling on my return journey. On my was through as I was passing Little Owl Site No. 12, I saw Richard parked on the area of grass that we monitor the site from and so pulled in for a few minutes chat and then got on my way again arriving at Rutland at about 14.20 hrs.

The weather had changed considerably from home and the light was not very good but after a visit to the Centre and a chat, I headed in the opposite direction to normal as the Great White Egret had been seen at Wet Meadow during the morning. I managed a few Dragonfly images on my walk to Snipe Hide but on arrival the G.W.E. was nowhere to be seen so I retraced my steps back to the Centre but on the way through called in at Mallard Hide and saw my first Pintail Ducks for this Autumn, but the images were not good due to a mixture of the distance they were at and the light. I carried on and went on the normal route around the Hides. Again I saw a few Dragonflies but the weather was far from perfect.

Having visited most of the hides and the weather having changed numerous times, from still to windy and even at on point a bit misty I arrived at Crake Hide and almost immediately saw a blue flash, the elusive {to me} Kingfisher flew through at speed but at least I saw it. By this time it was 16.20 hrs so I headed back towards the car park to get on my way looking for the Little Owls and to have some tea.

I saw Little Owls at Sites 15 & 5 but only managed an image at Site 15. At Site 5 the bird was buried deep in a Hawthorn bush and basically the light was virtually gone.

Female Common Darter, Near Snipe Hide.

Must be getting towards the last we will see of these beauties. 

Female Common Darter, Between Snipe and Mallard Hides.

Pleased with the image of the head. 

Male Common Darter, on Gate Near the Egleton Centre.

Saw more Darter Dragonflies than Hawkers, but the weather was not conducive towards seeing them.  

Female Common Darter Dragonfly, On gate post near Redshank Hide.

After this the wind got up and the few Dragonflies I was seeing disappeared

Heron, Smew Hide, Lagoon 2.

When first getting in the hide, I could see two Herons having a chase at the far end of the Lagoon, eventually they came a bit closer and then the chasing stopped and this bird landed about 150 metres away from me. Really enjoy taking flight shots. 

Undercarriage down and preparing for landing. 

Landed, like the feathers lifting on the neck. 

Little Owl Site No. 15.

By the time I got to this site, the sun was starting to show a little and the wind had dropped, this bird sat out enjoying the last of the sun.
I then drove onto Site No. 9 and had tea but no birds were seen.

14th October 2015.

This was again a singleton visit as Richard was having a few days holiday with his wife.

I managed to get a bit earlier start and was away from home for about 12.15 hrs and decided again to drive straight through to Rutland Water as I wanted to visit the new Volunteer Training Centre and sort out a new shirt for next years Osprey duties. A new shirt has been made for the Volunteers with "100 Osprey Fledged" so I had to get mine, Richard had already got his.

On the journey I pass Little Owl Site No. 12 and a bird sat on the wall adjacent to the barn, this is a site we don't see birds at on a regular basis so I pulled onto the grass area and got out with the camera, started to cross the road and the bird flew into the barn. These are the most nervous birds we monitor, even though the nest tree is at the junction of two reasonably busy footpaths, you have to be so careful. 

So it was back into the car and head for Hambleton and the Volunteer Training Centre, I arrived and had a quick chat with Sarah and sorted out my shirt and then back to the car and around to the Egleton Centre. The light was again not good but its no good moaning, its just a case of see what you can do.

On arrival I had a quick chat with our friend David, who said the Great White Egret was on Lagoon 1 so I went upstairs to the hide and found wall to wall children. When I arrived at the car park I had seen two large Mini Buses and I had just found the contents. They were all having a wonderful time and all appeared to have binoculars and the girl from the centre who was with them and the teachers was just asking them to look at the island to the front of the hide and tell her what colour the heads of the birds were, she was bombarded with green miss and a little girl to my left said they are Mallard miss, she then said if you look to the right of the island miss you can see a Pintail Duck, I looked at the teacher and then the girl from the centre, I think they were both surprised and then started to laugh, with a well done from me to the little girl I left the hide and went back downstairs.

I then went a walk on our normal route visiting the Hides along the way, I was just leaving Osprey Hide when I felt a few spots of rain, I was going to visit Shoveler Hide next but decided to go to Sandpiper Hide on Lagoon 4 luckily as within a few seconds it started to rain very hard so I took shelter in the Hide with three other people. After a short time we had to put the shutters down as in was pouring and did so for about 30 minutes. After this we opened the shutters and sat out on the tip of one of the Islands was a Peregrine Falcon that a couple I had met on several occasions were telling me about during the heavy rain. They also told me of a visit they had that morning to Eyebrook Reservoir to see a Spoonbill. Even though it was still raining slightly I took some images of the Falcon and got on my way towards the remaining Hides. I kept bumping into the couple in several of the Hides.

Whilst in Shoveler Hide on Lagoon 3, I saw a Bittern fly from right to left and into the reeds but did not see it early enough to get a shot. 

After this I visited Eyebrook Reservoir to look for the Spoonbill and then at 16.30 I left Eyebrook to head homewards and look for any more Little Owls. The only bird I saw on my return journey was at Site No. 5 and was again in the Hawthorn well buried towards he middle so after that and tea I headed for home, The evenings are really pulling in here and it wont be long before we are changing the clocks. Roll on the Spring!!!

The New Volunteer Training Centre at Hambleton.

Had to get an image of the cane Butterfly and Dragonfly. 

It doesn't seem long since I was taking images of Butterflies on the plants at the Dipping Pond. 

Peregrine Falcon, Sandpiper Hide, Lagoon 4.

I have been told several times about the resident Peregrine at Lagoon 4 but this is the first time I have seen the bird. This shot was 520 metres so hope it will come a bit closer in future. 

Heron, Crake Hide, Main Reservoir.

Just to the left and behind the bird is a waterfall where the water from the lagoons discharges into the reservoir, obviously a good fishing spot. 

Little Egret close by the Heron. 

Great Crested Grebe, Lapwing Hide, Main Reservoir.

Opened the hatch and the bird was reasonably close so got a quick image.  

Wigeon, Lapwing Hide, Lagoon 2.

Lapwing Hide has Hatches to both sides, one side opens onto the reservoir, the other onto lagoon 2.

Great White Egret, Lagoon 1, Egleton Centre Hide.

By the time I returned to the centre the youngsters had gone so I went quickly upstairs and got a few images. The bird was again on the far side of the lagoon some 540 metres away. 

14th October 2015.

The couple I was talking with in Sandpiper Hide told me they had been to Eyebrook Reservoir that morning and had seen a Spoonbill, I had decided with how the weather was to go over to Eyebrook to see if the bird was still about so here are a few images.

Spoonbill, Stoke Dry.

Having eventually spotted the bird standing on one leg asleep surrounded by Greylag Geese and Swans it was a case of waiting for it to awake hopefully. The shots were unfortunately into what was poor light but having visited the far side of the reservoir to try for a shot, you couldn't find the bird.

At last it awoke and started preening. 

And preening but still standing on one leg.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images even if some are not the best. Thank you for the comments from Poland and Portugal, please all feel free to leave a comment, I will reply to them all.

Monday, 5 October 2015


Richard had some devastating news from some friends in France and felt unable to have a visit out this week. So I decided to still have a visit out and managed to be away from home by 13.15 hrs and headed straight through to Rutland Water to try for some more Dragonfly images.

On arrival at the Egleton Centre I had a chat with the volunteer on duty, this a man who we usually see at the Lyndon Centre but during the Winter months that Lyndon is closed he does every other week at Egleton. He said he had been down to Bittern Hide earlier and had seen a family of four Kingfishers feeding in the pool to the front of the hide but also said he had seen large numbers of Dragonflies.

After about five minutes I quickly had a visit upstairs to the Hide and tried for an image of the Great White Egret, this was a silly distance away but you have to try, got some images but far from perfect, in fact far from mediocre. I then returned back down stairs and was again chatting with David when Tim Appleton came into the Centre, his first remark was "what little beauties, absolute delights", he had just taken two mini bus loads of children and teachers out and about the reserve and had a wonderful time with them.

After chatting for a while he said where are you going, I said I would be visiting Bittern Hide looking for the Kingfishers that David had seen earlier in the day, I will see you up there in a while he said and then disappeared, I thought you are much too busy to waste time with me and got on my way. I visited all the hides up to Osprey Hide and had a quick visit to Shoveler Hide where I met up with Tim, he asked if I had seen the Kingfishers to which the answer was no but I was about to go to Bittern Hide to have a look, by this time Tim had one of the Staffs wives with him so we three set forward to Bittern Hide. On arrival a couple were already in the Hide so Tim asked have you seen any Kingfishers, yes said the lady, where we asked looking out the front of the hide at anywhere they could land, in Plover Hide about ten minutes ago, she had sat at the end of the hide next to a gate and the Kingfisher had landed about four foot from her and sat for about five minutes before flying away, lucky lady!!

So our party of three set off towards Plover Hide and on arrival two other ladies that Tim knew were already in the hide so after his greeting with them, we settled down for about three quarters of an hour waiting for the birds to hopefully visit, Tim then said he would have to go back to the Centre but would be back soon and would try some of the other Hides and if he saw anything would get a message to us. The lady and myself then started to move around the Hides trying to get a track on the birds, she said she had seen a family of four the previous evening with her husband on the wire fence at Shoveler Hide, after we had again visited Shoveler hide, I went round to Osprey Hide whilst she staid in Shoveler. I was just coming out of Osprey Hide when the husband of the lady arrived and said come round to Crake Hide, Tim has them spotted, so another quick jaunt around to Crake Hide but by the time we arrived they had just departed. That was it for me, Kingfisher chasing had to stop and I needed to head back towards the car park as time was passing, I had not got many images for the Blog and I still had to do some Little Owling and have some tea.  

I arrived back at the car park at about 17.15 hrs and headed away for some Little Owls and tea.

On my return journey I saw a bird at Little Owl Site No. 6 and one at Site No. 5, I was unable to get an image as the bird was buried towards the middle of a Hawthorn bush.

Sorry this post is a bit late but Richard gave a talk at the bird club on Friday, "Speyside, A Place For All Seasons", a super talk with some excellent images, well done Richard. Then on Saturday England were against Australia in the Rugby world cup, so I had to watch and despair at that. 

Common Darter, Male, Near the Dipping Pond.

Keep thinking this will be the last time I see any Dragonflies but they are still about in good numbers.

Great White Egret, Egleton Upstairs Hide.

 Taken more as a record shot, on checking the bird is 530 metres away from the hide.

Comma Butterfly, Dipping Pond.

For so late in the season, in remarkably good condition. 

Southern Hawker, Dipping Pond.

Not seeing so many Hawkers but plenty of Darters, this one showing the ravages of time.  

Common Darter, Female near Osprey Hide.

Another dragonfly in pristine condition, like the shadow on the wood.

Migrant Hawker, between Osprey and Shoveler Hides.

A few small holes in the wings but in wonderful condition. 

Little Egret, Lagoon Four, Plover Hide.

Whilst we watching and waiting in case the Kingfishers arrived, this Little Egret made a visit.  

At last managed to freeze the water splash, also the head is in focus, they are so fast, it took many tries to get this image, the others I was much too slow. 

Like the reflection, Little Egret Yellow feet .

Common Darter Male, Near Plover Hide.

Common Darter having his tea, you can see the fly in its mouth. 

Heron, Lagoon 3, Shoveler Hide.

Master of all it surveys, always appears strange to see a Heron sat up high in a tree, again a very long shot. 

Shoveler Duck, Lagoon 3, Shoveler Hide.

Had three all together feeding in the shallows to the front of the Hide.

Crane Fly, Between Shoveler and Osprey Hides.

Still about in large numbers. Crane flies are one of the largest groups of flies and includes over 15,000 species.

Wigeon , Lagoon 2, Grebe Hide.

Again a long shot but the first Wigeon I have seen for a while .

Little Owl Site No. 6.

Bird back in its favourite position taking in the last rays of the sun.

Sun Going Down.

Place where we stop to phone to say we are on our way home
. Also the area where we occasionally see a Barn Owl.

Thank you for your visit, a smaller and later post than usual, please feel free to leave a comment.

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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