Sunday, 14 June 2015


We had our normal weekly visit out on Thursday with Richard arriving at our house for 14.00 hrs and it was my turn to drive so we got on our way and headed towards Rutland Water. We decided to have an initial visit to the Egleton Centre and to look for Damselflies and Dragonflies. We would then head for the Lyndon Centre to get up to date with the Ospreys and look for the elusive Otters and anything else that took our fancy.

We travelled our normal route stopping at our Little Owl sites, on our outbound route we saw three Little Owls at Sites 4, 9 and 12. It was particularly good to see a bird at Site 4 as it has been a few weeks since we saw a bird here but we are still of the opinion that we have only a single bird in place. In between Sites 4 and & 6 we pass a Barn Owl nest site and a bird sat in the entrance, I was not sure as to it being an adult or a juvenile as it was only a fleeting glance as it ducked back into the hole.

We arrived at the Egleton Centre and the weather was glorious, very sunny {and we had both forgot to  put any sun cream on} and really warm. Having visited the centre and had a talk with one of the volunteers, and of course the usual ice cream, we set on our way to the dipping pond to see if we had any Damselflies and Dragonflies. On the approach we had several Damselflies and we saw a Dragonfly at the pond only to see it gain height and disappear over the trees not to be seen again.

We then walked down past Mallard Hide to another small pond but it was reasonably windy in the area so nothing much was seen. We walked down the track towards Wet Meadows and soon saw a Large Brown Dragonfly but that disappeared, then by a small pond area we saw a Four Spotted Chaser, the first Dragonfly of the year, needless to say we took a good number of images and the odd one turned out reasonable for me, hopefully Richard managed some better ones. Whilst Richard was getting some images I had a walk farther down the track and saw plenty of Damselflies but no more Dragonflies so we turned around and visited the ponds on our return journey but nothing new was evident so back to the car and over to the Lyndon Centre, which by the time we arrived at 17.35 hrs had closed for the day.

We got straight on our way and headed for Shallow Water Hide but by this time the wind had started to get up so on our walk down we saw plenty of Damselflies they were all on the move.

On arriving at Shallow Water Hide it was lovely to sit with the shutters open and let the wind cool us down, a hide with built in air conditioning!!
Whilst in the hide we saw the Ospreys but no flying at all whilst we were watching, the female was on the nest with the young and the male sat on top of the camera post keeping an eye on proceedings and watching for intruders  which are starting to arrive with some first time returning birds on site.

We then made our way back calling in at Waderscrape Hide for chat with the volunteers on duty, and after a short time return to the car park , a bit of tea and away owling. 

On our return we saw Little Owls at Sites 10, 5 and 17, the bird at Site 17 we great to see as this was the site where the nest hole was destroyed by the side of the tree falling out, {shown on a previous post} it was again only a fleeting sighting as it flew from one tree to what was the nest tree and was not seen again, it was great to see the bird as it indicates the birds are still somewhere nearby so must keep an eye out for them. We had again stopped for the rest of our tea and watching at two Barn Owl Sites but nothing was seen this time but we will keep a watchful eye on the sites.

I had an extra visit out out on Monday the 8th of June and managed to see 3 Little Owls at Sites 9, 10 and 7, but more on that below. On the Thursday we saw 6 Little Owls and 1 Barn Owl, a great trip out.

Egleton Centre.

Female Common Bluetail Damselfly, Egleton Dipping Pond.

These were in an area of grass just before the dipping pond but were difficult to get an image of as they kept on the move.

Male Common Blue Damselfly, Dipping Pond.

Top view. 

A different Damselfly a bit more of a side view.

Four Spotted Chaser, Outlet Pond from Lagoon 5.

A very predictable Dragonfly that flew about but came back and landed on the same dead plant every time. Difficult shot because of the light.

I went through a gate to get this shot at a better angle. It is certainly in super condition.

Muntjac Deer, Near Lagoon 5.

Whilst Richard was still taking images of the Dragonfly, I had a walk down the track and saw this cross my path, it appeared not to seem that bothered about me.

Lyndon Centre.

Small Female Tortoiseshell Butterfly. Near Shallow Water Hide.

Common Tern, Shallow Water Hide.

We had great enjoyment watching these agile birds flying around the bay, They change direction so quickly so I have got several images with nothing in. 

 With the new camera I shoot at nothing less than ISO 2000 so catching the birds on the wing is easy if you can find them and get a good focus.

Black Tern, Waderscrape Hide.

This was a first for me, on getting into the hide, Peter and his wife after a quick chat said have you seen the Black Tern, both Richard and myself perked up and asked if they could find it. After a short time he said its in front of the maker buoy and at last I found it. It was a shot in excess of 400  metres and really only a record shot but I thought I would put it on the blog even though its not that good. Both Richard and myself said we had never seen one before to which they said nor had they until 10 minutes previous when it was pointed out by the volunteer going of duty.

Another shot, the only two that were anything like any good, with the distance and the speed they were flying it was very difficult for the camera to focus. 

Black Headed Gull, Shallow Water Hide.

Common bird at Rutland Water but good for a test shot and practise.

Ospreys, Shallow Water Hide.

Female on the nest, male on the camera post, no movement whilst we were at the hide. 

Family Shot.

How the little ones are growing. 

Mallard Family, Walk back to the car park.

Another mum with eleven young near to the Lyndon Centre. 

Wild Flowers near Waderscrape Hide.

What a beautiful mass of colour. 

Little Owls.

Little Owl Site No. 10.

This shot taken on the Monday night the 8th of June, I was of two minds to walk across the field to try for a closer shot but it had rained hard over in the area earlier so even with boots on I would have got my legs soaked.  

This shot taken on the Thursday evening at 19.40 hrs, shows how they have favourite places , after a discussion it was decided it was my turn to try for a closer image so I set off towards the bird doing our usual not looking at the bird routine. Eventually when having covered about three quarters of the distance I picked the camera up and looked through it to see where the bird was, nothing to be seen anywhere. So I set off back to Richard who when I returned said I'm sorry but I didn't see it go, I was looking elsewhere, I'm not sure as where it is, followed by its back. So off I went again and again three quarters of the way across I went through the same routine and yes again the little beggar had gone. Back to the car and Richard said I saw him go this time, he just walks along the branch and hides in the hedge, I didn't go back again but left him in peace.  

Little Owl Site No. 4.

Wonderful to find the bird in residence, we had not seen it for a week or two but we are still only seeing the one bird. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This shot taken on the outward journey, good to see the bird as this has also been a site we have not seen a bird at for a while.

Little Owl Site No. 12.

When we arrived the bird was sat on the barn door, it then flew onto the roof and we got some quick images and it then disappeared over the other side of the roof. 

 Got this image on our return journey when the bird sat snoozing on the roof so we sat in the car on the road and took some quick shots.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have found it to be of interest as it was to me in getting the images and putting the post together.

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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