Thursday, 29 January 2015


Sorry for the late post, managed to put up the header of the Jay, then everything went haywire, finished up taking the computer to the doctor who found it had got a virus, got it back this afternoon so back in buisiness.

We decided to have a change in our route, and as the weather was not over special, we had an idea to travel through some of the Little Owl sites for a quick look, have lunch at Site No. 9 and then travel on to Rutland Water. Having left our house at 11.00 hrs we as usual set out on the look out. It is still a little early to seriously look for new Little Owl sites and we could do with some improved weather {mind we still keep an eye out just in case} and as some good birds had been reported at Rutland Water, and so off we went. The closer we got to Rutland Water the light got worse and the horizon became somewhat misty.

We arrived and walked straight through to Lagoon 4, this is still very full and so very few waders or anything much was evident, we then left and went to Lagoon 3 and had a couple of hours watching and waiting. We hoped to see the Bittern but they had been seen in the morning but were not visible whilst we were in the hide and the other gents in the hide had likewise not seen them prior to our arrival. Luckily we had a couple of very friendly chaps with scopes who pointed out some Smew but these were very distant and with a mixture of the light and mist it was difficult to get a reasonable image. Large lenses also magnify the mist as well as the subject.

We then visited Lagoon 2 and eventually left Rutland Water at about 14.45 hrs and returned past some of our sites. In the outward and return trips we saw 5 Little Owls as follows. 1 at Little Owl Site No. 5, 2 at Site No. 9 and 2 at Site No. 10. The two at Site 5 were initially marked at being only one but on checking the image on the return journey it was obviously a second bird due to the chest marking, this bird has a large white band up the centre of its chest.

Pintail Duck, Lagoon 3.

I find it very difficult to not take an image of these ducks, they are so pretty and really stand out in the crowd.  

Redshank, Lagoon 3.

Again a bird I like to watch, I like the first image with the mud on its bill.

Shelduck, Drake, Lagoon 3.

A large duck whose place is somewhere between a typical duck and typical geese. The females nest in a disused rabbit warren lining the nest with down.

Teal Drake, Lagoon 3.

These are such pretty Ducks.

Mute Swans, Lagoon 2.

Three swans in aggressive mode with heads tucked down.

Smew Drakes, Lagoon 3.

A stretch to far, the birds were at a distance of 410 metres and it was misty, plus they are not that big a duck. Had help from a gent in the hide to find them using his scope. A couple of Red Heads were also seen.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

In the next week or two, my farmers wife Margaret and myself are going to try and find the nest tree ready for the Spring and breeding. These birds appear to over Winter in the barn.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Quick image of the bird sound asleep taken at a reasonable distance away so as to not disturb the birds. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

The bird sat in the nest hole as we had our lunch so could no resist an image. On our return we saw a bird again in the hole but turned out to be another bird so we have still got the two birds. 

Buzzard Between Little Owl Site Nos. 1 & 2.

Spotted by Richard and attempted an image but as the light was going not that bad. 

Jay Between Little Owl Sites 5 and 6.
We were driving between the two sites when I saw a flash of colour, stopped the car and spotted the bird so managed a quick shot just before it flew away.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Our Garden.

The Woodpeckers have to take turns in between the Jays visiting the nut feeder , this one is waiting in the top of the tree waiting for the Jay to depart.

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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