Sunday, 8 March 2015


1st March 2015.

Richard has had a very busy week due to men working in the house and other things so he was unable to get out this week and is at the moment in his words "going a bit Little Owl less crazy".

I however decided to have a visit out on Wednesday the 25th and headed straight for Rutland Water, no stops on the way and arrived at the Egleton Car Park at about 13.00 hrs. Had my lunch and then set off to sign in and have a walk about.

On getting out of the car I noticed we had a bus in the parking bay and walked towards the centre. Outside were a group of school children who by the buckets of water had been to the dipping pond, one of the full time staff at the centre had got a few children lined up and was herself holding a bottle up with water in and getting the second child to hold up her bottle and asking the rest of the children which was the cleanest water. This carried on through another four children until the cleanest bottle was chosen. The lady then asked the children what they must do if they wished to drink the water, lots of hands were up in the air with miss miss miss, a child was chosen and the answer of boil it miss was given, excellent said the lady, what else could we do if we wished to drink it, silence ensued until a little boy to the back put his hand up, yes said the lady, to which he replied throw it away miss and get some out of the tap, no said the lady we could put some sterilizing tablets in to the water, a little voice chirped up again, no miss my mum would say throw it away and get some out of the tap. I just made it into the centre before collapsing in a heap laughing.

After that short break I then set off towards Wet Meadow to see what if anything was about. I was in the hide for about 15 minutes and only got an image of a Little Egret about 180 metres away, so then set off towards Fieldfare hide on the South Arm of the Reservoir. On arrival I could see the Great White Egret behind some trees and eventually managed a shot and then it moved more to the left into an area of reeds where I eventually got another couple of shots. I could see Teal, Goldeneye and other ducks but all were so far away it was not possible to get an image so I made my way back calling in all the hides again. On arrival at Mallard Hide {Lagoon 1} not much was about, some snipe were tucked into the reeds but I could not get a clear shot, and then I saw a solitary Curlew, got a couple of images and then it decided to have a wash and brush up, images below. On leaving the hide I found a lady in a state of panic, whats wrong I asked and she pointed to the floor about 3 metres in front of her, upon looking down a spider about 40 mm across sat on the floor about 300mm from my foot, upon closer inspection it was made of plastic so I take it the school children had also visited Mallard Hide and one had either dropped it or placed it on the floor to frighten the party, certainly worked with the lady.

I then returned to the car and set off home Little Owling on the return, I saw two Little Owls at Site 12, one at Site 9, one at Site 17 and one at Site 1, this being the first time I have seen a Little Owl at this Site since August so wonderful to see. So five Little Owls were seen on the return journey.

Little Egret, Wet Meadow, Snipe Hide.

Bird well of to the right of the Hide possibly closer to Harrier Hide, distance of about 180 metres.

Great White Egret, Fieldfare Hide, South Arm.

Met a gent on the way to Fieldfare hide and asked him if he had seen the G.W.E., he said he had just left the hide and no sign of the bird. I arrived within five minutes and guess what had arrived, Well hidden initially as you can see but then moved to the left. 

This having moved to the left, but unfortunately it had got barb wire in front of it. This also shows how full the reservoir is.

A bit clearer view but still with the barb wire. 

Curlew, Mallard Hide, Lagoon 1.

Took a while to find a bird, some snipe were hidden in the reeds and no clear shots were possible, then I spotted the above bird. It was 135 metres away so not a bad image.

A better side shot and then it was if a bomb exploded. 

The bird decided to have a wash and brush up. 

And more. 

After about three minutes things settled down and the bird flew off. 

 What is This Bird?????
This Having Asked at the Farm is a Rhea.

Spotted about 300 metres from Little Owl Site No. 4. It was in a field adjacent to a farm with about six domestic ducks, these obviously were its friends as everywhere the ducks went this followed, I would say this is a pet of the farm. If any of you have any idea to the bird please reply. It has beautiful blue eyes.

Had a shake and fluffed up the body and wing feathers. 

Buzzard not far from Little Owl Site No. 1.

At last I am learning, these are such sensitive birds I stopped that much farther away and managed to get this shot just prior to the bird flying. Image taken at about 60 metres.

Little Owl Site No. 12.
First site I got to on my return journey and sat in the tree we think is the nest tree were both birds. We usually see these birds at the adjacent barn. By this time however the light had gone awful and it had started to rain. Distance of about 130 metres.

Little Owl Site No. 17.

How our weather changes, it can only be five miles from the previous site but by the time I had got to the site the sun had broken through but only for a few minutes, Stopped 130 metres up the road from the bird, saw it with the bins, reversed onto the verge making sure I kept the front drive wheels on the road, the fields here are very wet and muddy, and took the image so as not to cause any stress on the bird and then away.

Plastic Spider Outside Mallard Hide.

This is what caused the panic by the lady trying to approach the hide, I'm sure it was placed or dropped by one of the children {no doubt a little boy} earlier to frighten the girls in his party.

Thank you for your visit, if any of you have a species for the bird, could you please reply.  


For some unkown reason upon posting this Blog it went second in the listing. Trying to find out why this has happened and change.

I just could not resist the Header Picture, even if Spring is not just around the corner, seeing lambs make you think it is. These lambs look reasonably advanced and we think the farmer has had them inside a barn until let out recently.

Sorry the Post is a bit late but it was my turn on Friday night to put on a talk at our local Bird Club. I called it "Owls and Other Things of Interest", what else could I call it. I started with Barn Owls up to half time, a quick cup of tea followed by Rutland Ospreys, Dragonflies and had to finish up with a few Little Owls.

It was my turn to drive and Richard was determined to be available so we had a late start leaving our house at 13.00 hrs and taking our tea with us for the first time instead of lunch.

We took our normal route but kept moving to get to Rutland Water before it was too late as the light was not good anyway. We saw Little Owls at Site Nos. 2 one seen, 5 one seen, 10 two seen, 12 one seen and on the return trip one seen at Site 9, then followed on towards Rutland Water. About halfway between Site 12 and Rutland Water we both at the same time saw a Barn Owl Sitting in a tree so immediately I pulled into a gateway, we both jumped out the car and tried as quickly and stealthily as possible get across the road and try for some images. we managed a few but both having not perfect camera settings they could be better.

On arrival at Rutland Water we booked in at the Egleton Centre where our friend on duty said we have an Avocet on Lagoon Four but it keeps moving. So we set forth at a pace to try to get to see it before it decided to move again. We went straight to the first hide and soon could see the bird, a considerable distance away so we took a few record shots and set off to the next hide {Dunlin Hide} and from here we got a closer but not good shots as the light was far from good. 

A gent we were talking with in the hide said he had seen through his scope Smew on the far side of the lagoon but thought at that moment in time they had gone into the corner and out of view so off we went towards Plover Hide. On arrival I soon spotted the birds a Drake and a Red Head but a good distance away we however persevered and eventually when the birds came a little closer got some slightly better images and then they flew off towards the middle of the lagoon. 

We then decided we had better start to head back towards the centre as time was passing us by and we wanted to stake out a couple of areas later on as it was getting dark to listen for any owls calling.

One our return trip we saw a Little Owl at Site No. 12 and as we started to leave the site a Barn Owl flew down the hedgeline, we immediately gave chase but by the time we were in a shooting position Richard managed a very quick shot and I managed none.

We carried on to carry out a listening and watching brief at a couple of sites but nothing seen or heard before we set off home in the dark.

A quick update on my last post and the large white bird, we called at the farm and asked the lady, it is a Rhea.

Another update on Barn Owl Box No 7. A Barn Owl has been seen by the people in the next property showing interest in the area, first time a Barn Owl has been seen so keep the fingers crossed.

Little Owl Site No. 2.

Again wonderful to see this bird back in residence, could only see a single bird but still plenty of time to attract a mate.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Bird has tucked itself well into the remains of the dead Ivy.

Little Owl Site No. 10.

Again a shot dealing with awful light and shooting towards the sky. This pair sat at peace with th e world and completely ignoring us.

Little Owl Site No. 12.

Singleton sat out on nest tree. 

Barn Owl Between Site No. 12  and Rutland Water.

We came on this bird whilst driving towards Rutland and both saw it together. Stopped in the nearest gateway and tried as quickly as possible to get some images. Luckily my camera is never set below an ISO of 2000 but not very good images.

Second set of images before the bird turned left and disappeared .

Rutland Water.

Lagoon Four, Dunlin Hide, Avocet.
Lovely bird but standing on a spit, couldn't have fed in much deeper water, we had hoped it would come closer to us but the other gent in the hide with us said it was working its way along a shallow spit from right to left. Shot at a distance of 85 metres.  

Here having turned around with a dribble of water from the bill. 

In the position it spent most of its time in, as you can see the water was really too deep for a wader. Lagoon Four has had extra water put in to kill some of the vegetation, this will very soon be drained down to a more reasonable level. 

Little Egret, Dunlin Hide, Lagoon Four.

Another of my favourite birds. 

Smew Duck and Drake, Plover Hide, Lagoon 4.

Having walked round from Dunlin Hide we quickly located the Smew, initially they were up against the reeds but then moved slightly out into the lagoon. This shot was taken over 145 metres in bad light.

Smew Drake Lagoon Four. 

Then to really test us they decided to fly. 

Greylag Goose, Lagoon Three, Shoveler Hide.

These birds sat having a snooze.

Jay, Our Garden.

Don't you just hate it when the wind blows your hair up. 

I was out with our dogs earlier and both Jays were in some trees to the back of the land making a tremendous noise.
These birds are at the moment spending most of the day in or garden either on the nut feeder or taking bread.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

Had a comment from Paul Riddle on my post dated December 26th 2014, he had been looking through the Blog and having a catch up and noted the pellets on the steel beam below the Little Owl, these are Barn Owl Pellets, what wonderful news and thanks to Paul. We had already discussed the erection of a Barn Owl box but this has put more urgency into the matter.

 I am just waiting for a reply to a mail to Paul asking him if we put the Barn Owl box in the same barn as the Little Owls will it disturb them.

Thank you for your visit, hope you have enjoyed this weeks images, this next week is going to be busy with the Osprey pre season meeting.

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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