Sunday, 3 May 2015


We, even though the forecast was not good, still had our afternoon out, and Richard arrived at 14.00 hrs and we got on our way. We had a couple of showers in the morning and it was very dull when we got away from home but then began to brighten up a little. By the time we got to the other side of Leicester the roads were awash and things did not look very good for us. However by the time we got in the area of our first Little Owl sites the sky was clearing and we started to see the sun and from then on the weather was very kind to us.

Our first Little Owl Site { No. 1} was successful in so much as we saw two birds, this probably means they are not as yet sitting on eggs but its still good to see the two. We then proceeded on to Little Owl Site No. 4 where we saw just one bird sitting in the larger of the two holes in the tree, keeping out of the way as the farmer was carrying out fence repairs just up from the tree and being reasonably noisy about it. We then carried onto Little Owl Site No. 5 where we again saw just the one bird sitting in the nest tree. We then carried on through our normal route, mind we had to do a diversion due to the Council carrying out road repairs but eventually arrived at Little Owl Site No. 7 where we again saw the two birds. No more birds were seen on our trip through to Rutland Water. 

We arrived at the Lyndon Centre and had our normal chat with the staff and of course our normal ice cream, and then set off to visit Shallow Water Hide and Waderscrape Hide.

On our arrival at Shallow Water Hide we could only see the one Osprey, this being on the nest and sitting on the eggs so we were unable to tell which bird was sitting. After about fifteen minutes and scouring the bay with our binoculars I found the male Osprey sitting on a dead branch, opposite us, he had been in place all the time, as the gent said to me several week ago, bins are perfect, need new eyes!!

Whilst in Shallow Water Hide {the best and closest hide for the Ospreys} we saw Shoveler Ducks, Egyptian Goose, Common Tern and numerous Swallows and Martins. After about an hour we visited Waderscrape Hide and the volunteers on duty.

After we had been in the hide for about 30 minutes, Paul from the Centre arrived laden with a table and numerous other bits and pieces, He announced that he had to get the hide ready for the morning as the new hide was going to be officially opened by a director of Caterpillar Tractors and members of the Martin Lawrence memorial Trust { Martin was a lovely man who would visit the hide on a regular basis, and Richard and myself have had some wonderful evenings chatting with him {and missing Ospreys leaving the nest at the same time}. So Richard got stuck in and helped Paul with some of the tasks before we set out for the car park.

We then sett off and visited the Little Owl Sites we had not seen birds at and saw birds at Little Owl Site No. 9. This brought our total for Little Owls up to seven for the afternoon.

We then parked in out normal position to try to see the Barn Owl but only saw a fox walking up the road towards us.

We then carried on our normal route and when passing Little Owl Site No. 5 met up with the farmer and his wife. Marion said follow me I think I have found the Little Owls that were displaced by damage to the nest tree. So we followed her and then we did a bit of off road driving and stopped by a couple of trees in one of the fields, this is where she had seen the bird fly from one tree to the other so we will stake the area out and look and listen, By then it was almost dark so we set off home after a wonderful afternoon and even though it was windy the weather had been very good, even if we didn't manage to see a Barn Owl at all.

Little Owl Site No. 1.

We arrived and immediately  saw this bird, a second bird then flew up from lower in the tree, it could have been a case of having a rest from sitting on eggs, difficult to say, we will keep and eye on the site.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

We spotted the bird from well up the road and as it was on Richards side of the car, he took this image for me. 

Little Owl Site No. 7.

We are seeing birds at this site on a regular basis since the farmer thinned out the copse area. Again you can see two birds, the second being partly hidden in the ivy behind the sleeping bird. 

Buzzard between Little Owl Site Nos. 17 & 6.

Bird was circling on Richards side of the car so we both had a go and my offering is above.

Sky Lark between Little Owl Site Nos 11 & 12.

As we traveled up the road we saw numerous Linnets but they kept on the move, as we got farther up the road we spotted the Sky Lark and Richard got his car at an angle across the road and I managed the following images.

After taking the first shot the bird flew and so I got the above. 

Followed by this and then it was away and we carried on our way.

Rutland Water.

 Shallow Water Hide, Female Osprey.

This being the bird we could see before spotting the male bird sitting on the dead tree.

Shallow Water Hide, Male Osprey. {Eventually}.

This is the bird when eventually spotted, my excuse being the distance, 275 metres away.??? no I must admit it is no excuse.

Here he is having a quick preen.

Just sitting and letting the world pass him by but keeping an eye out for any intruding Osprey and those Egyptian Geese.

Osprey Pair.

For those of you that have been onto the link for the Ospreys. The top camera is the main view of the bird sitting and the smaller lower camera is the wide angle camera. This set up was donated by the Martin Lawrence Memorial Trust. 

 Female Osprey Sitting on the Eggs.

Taken from the television in Waderscrape Hide.

Common Tern, Shallow Water Hide.

A lot of these birds in attendance at the reservoir at the moment. 

Egyptian Goose, Shallow Water Hide.

These birds appear to be learning to keep well away from the nest area, this was on the far side of the bay away from the nest. It was calling, a most peculiar sound.

It then flew across but away from the Osprey Nest, we were at the ready with the cameras for battle to commence but the bird kept well away from the nest. 

Shoveler Duck, Shallow Water Hide.

The pair of ducks swam across the front of the hide and then stood on a floating log for us.  

Shoveler Duck.

In this shot you can see as she is preening the filaments in her beak. 

 Shoveler Drake, Shallow Water Hide.

Not so co operative as the duck and appeared more nervous.

A pretty bird. 

Whitethroat, Adult Male.

Taken whilst on our walk back from Waderscrape Hide to the car park.

Fox Between Little Owl Sites Nos. 17 & 6.

We had stopped to wait to see the Barn Owl and have our tea and up the road walked this little beggar.

Thank you for your visit, I hope again you have enjoyed the images as much as we did 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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