Sunday, 5 April 2015


Header at Little Owl Site No. 13, note all the Barn Owl Pellets on the steel joint section.

On Thursday morning it was reported on the Rutland Osprey Site that Osprey 30/05 had roosted overnight near Cambridge and had returned to Rutland Water late morning having passed by and seen by John Wright at Eyebrook Reservoir on her return migration. We therefore decided to leave home a little later and visit our Little Owl sites on the outward journey and then carry onto Rutland, hopefully see an Osprey or two, and what else was on offer and then return calling at Little Owl sites and hopefully see a Barn Owl that Richard had seen the previous evening on his return from a meeting in connection with the Osprey Project.

Having arrived at the Lyndon Centre we started our walk down to Waderscrape Hide calling at the two hides on the way down. On our arrival at Waderscrape we were very pleased to see the numbers of people already in place, no doubt on the same basis as us, "maybe more Ospreys will return today so lets go and see". 

The lady on duty said you are just a bit late, we have just had an Osprey fly over, this we had seen on out walk down but it was at a good height and a long distance away so neither of us tried for an image. They had also seen a Barn Owl on the front of a new box not far from the hide so we decided to stay a while and see what we could see. Nothing appeared whilst we were on site but the couple who were on duty emailed Richard to say the Barn Owl came out only minutes after we had gone from the hide, this was followed by a Great White Egret followed by a Water Rail. Luck of the draw.

On our outward journey we had seen Little Owls at Site 5, 1 adult. Site 9, 2 adults, image below. Site 10 1 adult seen but when looking at the image we had seen 2 adults. Site 12 1 adult in what we believe to be the nest tree. On our return we passed Site 2 and saw 2 adults together in the tree but by then it was 19.45 and we had lost the light so we did not stop and just carried on by. So our total was 8 Little Owls.

In between Little Owl Sites Nos. 7 and 5 we saw a Barn Owl. Richard had been to a meeting on the Wednesday night at Rutland regarding the photographic hide at the fish farm where Ospreys visit. On his return journey he saw the Barn Owl so we tracked our way back with the intention of watching out for it in the same area. This is the same area we saw a bird in last year. We reversed into and parked up in the gateway a little on the early side and sat to have our tea, it was only just after 18.00 hrs when I looked up the barn owl was flying towards us so it was cameras up and shoot, we both didn't really have the right settings but you only get the one chance. I have done the best with working on the images but they are far from perfect. The bird was a female a little later on we saw another bird fly towards us and away which I'm sure was a male. On leaving and driving up the road we looked back at where the nest site was last year and sat outside was a Barn Owl, brilliant.

Update on Ospreys. Up to ten and a lot of movement of birds today around the bay.

Update 6th April Both the Manton Bays Ospreys returned today, 33/11 and the Scottish female are both at the nest and have started rebuilding.

Reed Bunting, Waderscrape Hide, Rutland Water.

Collecting nesting material in front of the hide, you can see this is a ringed bird.

Again collecting more material. 

Moor Hen, Waderscrape Hide. Rutland Water.

Busy and pretty little bird at the front of the hide almost all the time we were on site.

Cormorants, Wadescrape Hide, Rutland Water.

These birds roost in the dead tree to the right of the hide. When we had the previous male at the Manton Bay nest 5R, he had regular trips across to this tree and would knock a few cormorants out of the tree, he had an obvious dislike of these birds.

On our walk back to the Lyndon Centre Car Park.

A pair of Wagtails sat in a bush, in a short distance we must have seen in excess of a dozen.

Bird Feeders at The Lyndon Centre.

These feeders are the largest I have seen and when approaching the Centre I could not miss this shot of a Mallard and Pheasant having a raiding party and picking up the dropped seed.

Little Owls. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

I believe this bird to be the male and has the wide white front stripe. We call him Mr 'T'. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Both birds sitting out enjoying a warmer and drier day than we have had for a considerable time. 

Little Owl Site No. 10.

This is the Site where I took the image of the bird on the right only to see the second bird when working on the images. This shot was over 170 metres away and taken at ISO 2000, 1/5000 sec and + 1.0 ev. 

Little Owl Site No. 12.

This bird was difficult enough to find with the bins. Even more difficult to attempt and image as it was tucked behind the branch and about 135 metres away.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

I took this image on our return journey at 19.40 hrs at ISO 3200 and 1/200 sec. Difficult enough to see the bird let alone get an image. 

Black Lambs opposite Little Owl Site No.9.

 A shot you just could not resist taking, again enjoying the better warmer day .


Barn Owl between Little Owl Sites Nos. 5 & 6.

Just starting on my turkey cob when the bird appeared flying up the road. cob down camera up and shoot, wrong settings.

I think this bird is a female, we saw another bird a bit later, after we had finished our tea, which I am sure was a male and flew from right to left not straight at us, by then correct settings but not quick enough in seeing early enough.

Thank you for your visit.

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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