Saturday, 17 January 2015


Eventually Richard and myself have had a trip out together, not over successful bird wise, but it was good to be out. We decided to get out early in the week with the forecast for the weather not being good for later in the week, so come Tuesday, out we went. The day started out very good with a lovely sunny morning, but by the time we went out it had started to cloud over and a slight wind had become noticeable. 

We left our house at 11.00 hrs and headed towards our first Little Owl Sites, the first site we visited had a Greater Spotted Woodpecker high in the tree but no signs of Little Owls, we are both of the opinion we have lost these birds, but we will still watch the site just in case. 

The next site we saw a bird at was Little Owl Site No. 5 where it had hidden itself round the back of the tree out of the increasing breeze. Seeing this bird was a great relief for Richard as the previous week the farmer had reported a commotion coming from the nest hole.

We carried on our journey visiting our normal sites stopping at Site No.9 for our lunch, so having fed the inner man we carried on and not until we got to Little Owl Site No. 15 did we see another bird. 

As the clouds were getting darker we again carried on towards Little Owl Site No. 12 but as we got closer it started to sleet, this quickly changed to snow as the temperature dropped from 6.0 degrees C to 1.0 but we carried on as we were sure it wouldn't land. 

Arriving at Site 12 we could see no sign of the birds, we could hardly see the trees or the barn due to the snow, so after a few minutes and as it was starting to land we set of on our return journey as no self respecting owl would be out in this weather. 

However we went back past Site No. 15 and sat out in the snow were both birds, this time higher in the tree, we attempted some images, mine are not good, so back to site 9 and a cup of tea, the snow came harder still so we set a course for home but as we started to get lower the snow eased until by the time we got back to site 5 where it was cold but not snowing, this I can say was the case as we stood outside for ten to fifteen minutes, me in just a jumper talking to the farmer.

We then headed for home and as approaching  Little Owl Site No. 4, I suddenly saw a shape appear above Richards car, we stopped and a Buzzard flew past us and headed to the corner post of a fence in the field the opposite side of the road to the Little Owl Site No. 4.

We slowly drove down the road and below are the results with help from Richard. We had also as a try had set the ISO at 2000 and the results are promising.

Buzzard Near Little Owl Site No. 4.

This is how the bird had positioned itself with its back towards us, but with Richards help by squeaking the bird moved around as in the image below.  

You can still see some snow on the post at an angle below the bird. 

As a rule when you stop to get an image from a Buzzard they are away but this one sat still so we made the most of it. We were however about 80 metres away from the bird. Richard said it will fly soon so get ready, but it still sat and watched us and then away it went. 

Image as it left the post. 

Before I knew it I had fired 28 shots and some of the results follow. 

After getting these images, we set off home after at least having a trip out again.

These shots were taken at an ISO of 2000 at f6.3 with speeds between 1/1000 and 1/1250s, I should have changed the f stop to f8 or 9, still a lot to learn with the camera.

Other Images on Route.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

First Little Owl of the day, tucked to the back of the tree out of the breeze and before the snow started.

Little Owl Site No. 15.
The white dots are not noise but snow. Both birds sat out not bothered at all by the weather, not the best of images but shows the birds. 

Little Owl Site No. 2.

No Little Owls evident but a Great Spotted Woodpecker sat up towards the top of the tree with a few Fieldfare close by.

Thank you for the visit to my blog, we are both hoping for some improved weather so we can start to look for some new Little Owl sites, we are of the opinion we have lost at least two if not more sites.

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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