Sunday, 26 April 2015


We had our normal Thursday afternoon visit out, and as it was my turn to drive, Richard arrived at 14.00 hrs and away we went owling on both the outward and return journeys and an hour or two at Rutland Water in between.

On the outward journey we saw three Little Owls,one at Little Owl Site No 1, one at Site No. 4 and one at Site No. 9. We are at the moment being very cautious with the Little Owls and only stopping to take images at sites where the birds are a reasonable distance away so as to cause no disturbance to the birds during the breeding season.

After visiting these sites we carried on through to the Lyndon Centre at Rutland Water, stopped and had a chat with the staff, and as the weather was absolutely gorgeous, the usual ice cream.

We went directly to Shallow Water Hide as on the previous visits we have seen very little at Deep Water or Tufted Duck Hide.

On arrival at Shallow Water Hide we could see both Ospreys but were unable to decide on which was the male or female. The bird on the T post was preening and the bird on the nest was virtually out of view. Eventually we could see that the bird on the T post had no rings so it was the female and the male was sitting on the eggs, this appears to be a task he is enjoying and spends a considerable time doing so.

The female after preening suddenly spotted an Egyptian Goose that had only just land in the dead tree adjacent to the nest, and as two weeks ago, she was on the same mission as 33/11 and set off straight for the goose. Both these birds have a definite thing against Egyptian Geese having found them on the nest upon the return.  The goose never looked comfortable balance wise in the tree and with a female Osprey attacking as well, it soon gave up the position and the female Osprey went for a quick flight about to see if she could spot any more. The sequence is captured below.

Upon leaving Rutland Water we visited our Little Owl Sites we had seen no birds at and saw another two birds at Site No. 2 which was brilliant and proves we still have the two birds returned to the nest site. So out total for the day was five Little Owls seen. As Richard says this time of the year can be sparse in seeing birds due to birds sitting on eggs and the other out and about getting food.  

We then sat and had a somewhat late tea in the area where we have been seeing the Barn Owl but saw nothing and so carried on through some other sites.

We have a spot where we stop to call our wives to say we are on our way home, and we also put our cameras away.  As we approached this spot I suddenly spotted a Barn Owl sat in the tree opposite the pull in we use, as we stopped I managed one quick shot before the bird flew but I should have wound up the ISO and the image was blurred. The bird however flew into the field behind the tree and landed on a section of hedge and then after a few seconds flew back across towards us and flew down the road eventually landing in a tree about 100 metres away from us. I had by then turned up the ISO to 8000 but even then I was not getting decent images and the camera was only shooting at 1/30 sec. As it was getting late, by this time it was 20.40 hrs and virtually dark so we left this bird in peace and set off for home after a wonderful afternoon.

Red Kite Near Little Owl Site No. 5.

We had looked at the nest tree at Site 5 and saw no birds and when driving away this bird was showing farther down the road.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Richard spotted this bird whilst we were still well down the road approaching the site, we stopped a bit closer and got an image before stopping, We only saw one bird at the site, no doubt the other bird is hopefully sitting on eggs.

Shelduck, Shallow Water Hide, Rutland Water.

Three of these ducks were around the hide all the time we were in, they usually nest in a disused rabbit warren so these are not yet nesting. 

Male Osprey {33/11}, Shallow Water Hide.

This bird appears to carry out a reasonable time sitting on the eggs. He is usually moved away from duty when the female is hungry and he is sent on fishing duties. The birds have three eggs in the nest.

Female Osprey {Maya}, Shallow Water Hide.

Sitting on the T perch preening, this she did for a considerable time. This shot is over 240 metres but Shallow Water is closer to the birds than Waderscrape Hide and also you are not looking into the sun in the afternoon, a much better position to get images of the birds.

Upon completion of preening, she spotted an Egyptian Goose in the adjacent tree, not very stable where it had landed, so she decided it had to be moved, it was too close to the nest. 

Having twice charged at the Goose she eventually flew off and had a quick flight around the nest and away up the bay, the Egyptian goose dismissed. 

Around by the trees near the nest. 

Then back towards the male sat on the nest. 

You can see her wings either side of the nest and the male sitting up. 

She sweeps up into the air from below the nest. 

And then prepares to land on the nest. 

Upon landing she moves the male off the eggs and sends him on his way to catch a fish for tea. 

Female sitting on eggs. Taken from the television in the Waderscrape Hide.

Chiffchaff near Shallow Water Hide.

Pretty little and tuneful bird, not the best of positions but even though we have got one in the garden trees to the side of the house, I have seen it but never got an image.

Mallard Duckling on our Return Walk to the Car Park.

First duckling seen this year. 

Teal, Shallow Water Hide.

Took numerous shots to get this image, it always seemed that when I took a shot the birds head disappeared under water.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Got this image when we stopped for tea , half here and half whilst staking out the Barn Owl, couldn't resist a second shot for the blog.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed seeing the images as much as we enjoyed seeing the birds 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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