Saturday, 14 March 2015


Richard was unavailable due to having a few days away with his wife but has since returned, so I had an afternoon out on my own, better with the two of us {double the eyes to watch} but the weather was wonderful. Very warm and sunny most of the time.

Having left home at about 11.15 hrs, I headed straight for Rutland Water having also been to the site the previous evening for the preseason Osprey Meeting, as usual a good evening with the the added instructions as to how to use all the new equipment we have in the 'new hide'. A wide screen television with a computer to control the picture, we were told to turn on the television then the computer and the picture will come on, we will see??

On arrival I booked in and was told to head for Lagoon Four as they still had Avocet and Smew in attendance. So with just a thin coat and a shirt on I set on my way, { wished later I had not bothered with the coat}.

I went straight to Sandpiper Hide and and found it was reasonably full, took the first shot below and decided I would get closer to the birds in Dunlin Hide and I could also see a pair of Smew farther across against the reed bed, so quick trek to Dunlin hide. Here I saw Smew but with no images, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Shoveler Duck and the Avocet. I had a fellow birder in the hide with me who was a super chap, very helpful who admitted he had a wonderful pair of binoculars but could do with a new pair of eyes. Those of you that have visited Lagoon Four will remember it has lots of Islands dotted around, this gent asked me if I could help him recognise a pair of birds on Island six, they are between the Osprey nest pole and the Island number he said, they appears to be green in colour with a white breast. I looked through my bins and took a quick image, and found them to be a clump of green weeds with two white stones in front. I told you he said, need new eyes.

Went around to Plover Hide, then Bittern Hide and finished at Shoveler Hide, by then it was 14.45 hrs so I set off to get back to the Egleton Centre car park and set off Owling.

On my return I visited most of our usual sites and managed to see four Little Owls, one at Site No. 9 tucked well back in the nest hole, one at Site No. 5 sat in the tree, one at Site No. 2 sat out in the tree and as I drove up to Site No. 1 a bird flew across the road so we still have birds at site 1 but they may have changed trees.

Sandpiper Hide, Lagoon Four, Avocet.

Long distance shot and both birds asleep so moved onto Dunlin Hide to get closer.

Dunlin Hide, Lagoon Four, Avocet.

Bird slightly closer than last week but still in deep water. 

Dunlin Hide, Lagoon Four.

Bird having a quick shake and then back onto feeding.

Lagoon Four, Dunlin Hide, Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

A silly long distance shot but you can just make out the birds. Distance of 231 metres, ISO 2000, 1/6400s, + 0.3 EV.

Plover Hide, Lagoon Four, Smew Drake.

Unable to get an image of the Smew at Dunlin Hide so I walked round to Plover Hide just in case as last week we still had Smew at that end of the Lagoon and tucked in the corner out of the wind that was starting to get up were the Smew

Smew Duck and Drake {Red Head}. 

Bittern Hide, Lagoon Three, Teal Duck and Drake.

All appeared to be asleep, so a quick image and nothing else much to be seen so onto the next Hide. 

Shoveler Hide, Lagoon Three, Snipe.

No other people in the hide so I could have several of the shutters open and eventually saw this little fellow hiding in the reeds, a pair of Graylag Geese were moving across the island he was on and he moved to get out of the way and hence I saw him and got the images.

Very difficult bird to get a clear shot at, hiding in the reeds.

Shoveler Hide, Lagoon Three, Shoveler Duck, Drake.

Sat about 60 metres out in the Lagoon. 

Kestrel Near the Egleton Centre.

Sat up to near the top of a tree approaching the centre car park. Looks as if he had a bit of a bath and had fluffed his feathers out to dry.

Journey Back Home, Owling.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Solitary bird sat out in the dead ivy, by this time the sun had gone in and a cool breeze was getting up.

 Little Owl Site No. 2.

Still wonderful to see this bird after being missing for so long, only seeing the one bird but still plenty of time to find a mate. Took the shot from a fair distance away.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

These shots were taken on the 10th March.

Not the easiest of sites to get a decent image at but happy with this shot. This is the site that Paul Riddle saw the Barn Owl pellets at, so we have spent some of the afternoon today building a Barn Owl box to go up in the barn.
This bird spent all the time we were in the barn measuring up for the box watching us with great interest, I was almost ready for it to make suggestions as to the position it should be in.

Little Owl Site No. 13.

We then had a look outside and the bird followed us so the same bird but on the guttering. I then spotted its mate sat in the guttering of an adjacent barn

Buzzard, Little Owl Site No. 13.

These birds are seen on a regular basis over the farm.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed looking at the images as much as I enjoyed the walk and taking them. 

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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