Saturday, 21 February 2015


After several phone calls and having looked at the weather forecast many times, we decided to change our afternoon out from Thursday to Wednesday, and to how the weather had been on Thursday, we most certainly picked the best day by far, we had nothing but rain all day. 

Richard arrived at our house at 11.00 hrs having already seen one Little Owl on his local patch. I put my kit and lunch in his car and we set off on our normal route but taking avoidance action for the road closure which we later found to have been removed.

We passed Little Owl Site No 2 where we had seen a bird last week but unfortunately no bird was visible this week, but we kept moving albeit slowly so as not to cause any disturbance. Next site was No 4 but still no bird so we carried on and at Little Owl Site 17, I saw a bird up towards the top of the tree in a small hole, by the time we had gone farther down the track, opened the gate and Richard had gone farther down the road to turn around, luckily he has got four wheel drive as by the time he came back into view, he had even got clods of mud on his roof! So proceeding back up the road the little owl had moved, probably into the lower nest hole so we carried on our way.

We drove onto to Site 9 where we had the first part of our lunch, we saw both adults sitting out in the nest tree but after a while they decided to go back into the hole. We then moved onto Site 12 where we had the second part of our lunch and decided to carry onto to Rutland Water and see what we could see.

We as usual went straight into the Egleton Centre and booked in, we were initially greeted by the lady whom we normally take over from whilst on Osprey duty. Then a gent walked in and said a Great White Egret has just landed in Wet Meadow in front of Snipe Hide. That was enough for us so off we went straight to Snipe Hide, {the opposite direction to our normal route.} On arrival we could see the G.W.E. on the far side of the pool so we immediately attempted to get some images. Not that easy with bright sun and a white bird, are we ever happy with the light????.

We then carried on to Fieldfare Hide, this is on the main part of the South Arm of the reservoir, we saw Goldeneye, Buzzard and the G.W.E. from this hide and got some more images before turning round and visiting Harrier, Tern, Snipe and Mallard Hides on our journey back.

We then set off on our journey home visiting Little Owl Sites. We saw a single bird at at Site 15 making us both up to a total of four Little Owls. 

We had a wonderful afternoon at Rutland Water, it was interesting to take another route than normal with the bonus of seeing some Little Owls on the way out and on our return.

Great White Egret, Wet Meadow, Snipe Hide.
We arrived at Snipe Hide and found the G.W.E. in attendance some 160 metres away, the closest we have ever managed to get so we immediately tried to get some images, are we ever happy with the light, with it being so bright the white in the bird tended to burn out and you finished with a white haze around the bird.
Image taken at ISO 2000, 1/5000 s.

It went slightly down into the ditch before coming back out and striding away. 

The bird set off at a fast pace and disappeared into an area of reeds and was joined by a Little Egret but we were unable to get a clear shot due to the reeds. It would have been nice to show the difference in size.

It then took flight and set off to our right and eventually disappeared behind some trees but managed a few flight shots.
Image taken at ISO 2000, 1/8000 s.

Image taken at ISO 2000, 1/6400 s.

Great White Egret Flying to the Front of Burley House.

This is my last shot of the bird before it vanished behind some trees, but we followed it after a few minutes.

Little Egret, Wet Meadow, Snipe Hide.

 This was the bird that landed close to the G.W.E. and took flight just after it and landed on the pool adjacent to the hide.

Pintail Duck, Wet Meadow, Snipe Hide.

This is a duck I really like, they are such a striking bird .

Canada Goose, Rutland Water South Arm, Fieldfare Hide.

A common goose but very distinctive.

We arrived at Fieldfare Hide Looking for the G.W.E. and it was tucked behind some trees and bushes on the far side of the pool, we never really got a clear view of it.  

Here taken to the water with three other. 

Goldeneye Duck, Fieldfare Hide.

A very pretty duck but a silly distance away. 

Pair of Buzzard, Fieldfare Hide.

This pair were about a few times and eventually they came a little closer so managed a quick image. 

A greatly cropped image to show the underside of the body. 

Wigeon Ducks, Wet Meadow, Snipe Hide.

These birds had arrived whilst we were away and the image taken on our return journey back to the car.

They had also taken up position out of the water prior to flying away.

Curlew, Lagoon 1, Mallard Hide.

Super bird, when we first arrived at the hide we could see two or three well away to our right, then Richard spotted birds in front of us, and they kept suddenly appearing from behind tufts of grass.

The female Curlew has a longer bill by up to a third than the male, a female bill is approximately 150 mm long and a male 100 mm long. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

We stopped for lunch and both birds sat out taking in the sun, it is very satisfying to see the pair just relaxing, then after about 10 minutes they went back in the nest hole. 

One of the birds has this wide white stripe to its front.

Thank you for your visit, please visit again. 

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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