Monday, 24 August 2015


I had another singleton this Thursday as Richard is building a shed for his daughter and it most certainly will not be a five minute job, the size and spec will make it a major scheme, so I think I will be on my own for a few weeks.

So I set on my way at the normal time and headed towards Rutland Water calling at our Little Owl Sites on route. I saw two juvenile birds at Little Owl Site No.2 {the first time having seen two} and then carried on my way arriving at the Egleton Centre by about 15.15 hrs, the fact that Bird Fair started on the Friday having slipped from my mind, so I finished parking about two fields farther away from the centre but that did not matter. 

Just as I walked into the centre, an Osprey flew directly over me, at a good height but still you have to try for an image. Into the centre a quick chat with the staff, who said "it was busy out there" so then on my way towards the dipping pond for hopefully some dragonflies. the place was alive with people which is not conducive towards Dragonflies landing so after a very short time I decided to cut my losses and head for the Lyndon Centre and the Ospreys, they will not be disturbed by people in the hides I hoped.

On arriving at Lyndon I again at a quick chat in the centre, this time with Kayleigh who was at the time putting together the days blog so after a quick chat I got on my way towards Shallow Water Hide and the Ospreys.

On arriving at the hide I found it to be full of birders with every imaginable camera and lens combination. One gent had a Nikon Camera with an 800 mm lens, what a beast that was, you could do with a tractor & trailer to carry it about. 

I found myself a seat and sat down and asked the gent next to me, " have they been doing much", hardly moved since we have been here was the reply, so I took a few images and watched for a while, the adult female and S 1 were sitting on the T post next to the nest, S3 was on the nest food begging, S2 sat near his Dad in the fallen poplar and then the female went for a trip around the bay. Came back and landed on the T post and was then joined by S2. Then the entertainment began for about three quarters of an hour with S1 & S2 chasing each other around Manton bay. I have been a volunteer on the project for a few years but have never seen anything like this before, hence my header, I think these birds will soon be on the way South. I have included a reasonable number of the images from the afternoons happenings, some for you to see but mostly for my enjoyment as it was a magical afternoons visit, possibly never to be repeated.

Having looked at the Rutland Blog it appears that on the Friday S1 & S3 had a similar chase about with S2 food begging on the nest. Hope they are still in attendance next Thursday, we might get all three chasing around the bay.

After this I had a slow walk to Waderscrape hide, had a quick chat with the volunteer on duty who had only seen the end of the fun and its also farther away from the birds than in Shallow Water, plus you are looking into the sun. Then onto the car park and a bit of tea, then onto our normal route looking for Little Owls which even though I spent a reasonable amount of time at each site, not a single bird was seen on my return journey.

I then had a quick visit to my farmer friends this afternoon {Sat 22/08/2015} to try for some images of the Little Owls, was unsuccessful with Site 19 but saw a bird at Site 13, also had a super cup of tea watching the combine in the field outside the farm {thank you Margaret}, also had a super chocolate biscuit.

So I am only just starting to put the blog together but should not take too long.  

Egleton Reserve.

Osprey over the Egleton Centre.

Having parked in the field and walked down to the Centre, as I was walking up the steps to enter this bird flew over the centre with a small fish, I can see the ring but cannot make out the number. 

The bird then carried on its way towards to South Arm of the reservoir, who ever it was taking the fish for will not be impressed with the size. 

Ruddy Darter, outlet to Lagoon 6.

One of the few Dragonflies having landed I saw at the reserve, saw others but all flying and making no attempt to land. 

Common Blue Damselfly, Dipping pond.

Saw several of these around the pond and the reserve.

Manton Bay Ospreys.


Female and juvenile S1 on T post adjacent to nest. Shallow Water Hide.

This is where the birds sat for the first 15 minutes of my stay. 

Juvenile S3 sat on Nest.

She staid on the nest all the time I was in Shallow Water Hide food begging.

Female Osprey going for a flight around the bay.

She flew towards us in the hide but did not come that close. 

She then turned and headed back towards the T post.

Female Landing on the T post with S1. 

Female and juvenile S1 joined by S2.

Juvenile S2 decided to leave the fallen poplar tree and 33/11 to commence some mischief with S1.

S1 leaves the T post and starts the fun.

It appears that everyone is of the opinion that S1 is a male, not a female as originally thought. Apart from that he set his course away from the post soon followed by S2 and the game was on. 

Alighting on the far leaning T post.

By the time they had reached the T post and numerous skirmishes on route, the order had change with S2 first to land followed by S1.

S1 Leaves the post.

S1 was on his way closely followed by S2 both all the time swerving and trying to loose its sibling. 

Swapped again.

S2 gets to the front chased by S1, this went on for a while with both birds bombing each other, what a display to be watching. 

S2 again to the front. 

At this stage of the event it was a straight race to who could get to the leaning T post first. 

This time it was S1 who was the victor alighting on the post. 

S1 dived vertically away from the post to avoid a bombing by his brother who was descending at speed very steeply. 

Getting towards the end of the entertainment both birds slowing up, for such large birds the speed they had been flying at was astounding. 

 At this point the two birds separated and this is S1 going on a loner around the bay.

This was not to last and S2 was soon behind him again.This finished the session with both birds landing on the T post with mum next to the nest. The episode lasting nearly 45 minutes and as you can guess, you have only a fraction of the images taken.

Common Darter between Shallow Water and Waderscrape Hides.

Saw a reasonable number of the Dragonflies all sitting on the dead flower heads of keck. 

Little Egret, Shallow Water Hide.

It is not many years ago these birds were a rarity, today where ever you look on the reservoir you can see them, hopefully with still having the Great White Egret in attendance all Summer, hopefully they will follow suit. 

Heron sat on a normally submerged tree stump, Shallow Water Hide. 

A shot that was difficult to ignore, the bird appeared to be king of the castle and on guard duty.

Lords and Ladies berries, Lyndon Centre.

Very pretty when in flower, but very poisonous berries thereafter.

Our Garden. 

Kestrel On Side of Large Barn Owl Box.
We get on a regular basis, especially when it rains a kestrel sitting on the top of one of the support posts, I am sure its always the same bird, this time it was taking some shade from the sun. 

Brown Hawker Dragonfly, Aeshua Grandis.

I have been trying to get an image of a Brown for a while and eventually saw one in our garden, rushed inside and was trying to get an image of one flying but was not doing very well at that, eventually finished with six flying close by me and still no use, {could try harder boy} . Luckily saw this one land in the hedge so made the best of it before it went on its way.

Barn Owl.

As you can see they are coming out that much later, well that's not true, its actually getting darker earlier. About 10 minutes before getting this image the male Barn Owl flew down the garden and over the boxes and the hedge into the field behind but I had no chance of an image, I had the camera on a tripod with the focus on manual as the camera was struggling to focus and also shooting again at ISO 51200.
So this week I am going out earlier and going to try  with a time exposure on bulb.

Little Owls.

Little Owl Site No. 2.

Two advanced juveniles as seen last week, last week being a lot closer to me without all the branches and leaves getting in the way but you can only do your best.  

Again same site but just a bit farther along the road and shooting back, still leaves in the way, after this I left them in peace just grateful to have seen them. 

Little Owl Site No. 13.

Walked down to the farm with my pal Eddie and sat up in the roof, not far from the Barn Owl box was this little soul.

After taking the Little Owl shots, we sat outside and watched Paul with the new Combine cutting a field of wheat, these modern machines are really enormous. Richard and myself saw one on tracks near Rutland Water, that was really big.

Another few tonnes being discharged into the trailer, you can see the grain sitting in the hopper between to two flaps above the cab.

Thanks you for your visit, I hope I didn't bore you with so many Osprey images but it was a magical afternoon to be on site to watch these truly wonderful birds, and this blog is my diary of the events more for my own records.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

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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