Monday, 31 August 2015


30th August 2015.

Yes at last, the juvenile Ospreys have started their migration, yesterday morning {Saturday} S1 & S2 {both males} disappeared and have not so far returned, so I decided as the forecast for the Sunday afternoon was better than for the morning to have a visit myself today to see S3 before she departed these shores and likewise the adults.

I arrived at the Lyndon Centre at 13.20 hrs and after a quick chat with the staff {whom at that time thought we had one juvenile and two adults at Manton Bay}. So I got on my way down to Shallow Water Hide and as I left the centre it started to rain, not heavy but rain. By the time I was half way to the hide it had become heavy and the last few hundred metres were covered as quick as I could, luckily the camera was in a case and I had a waterproof coat on plus a golfing brolly so things were not that bad.

On arrival I was greeted by several people in the hide, all saying I had brought the rain!!, well it then got heavier still and I attempted to get some images of the Ospreys. I could see the male 33/11 on the leaning T post, and the female on the T post adjacent to the nest. Nowhere could I see S3, so I asked in the hide and was told that S3 had left earlier and also not returned so it appears she is also on her way South, even if she set off in an Easterly direction. I managed a few images, but the rain was getting very heavy, so after about half an hour headed for Waderscrape Hide to see if it was any drier. It wasn't and was bursting with people so I got on my way back to the centre, brolly up and camera in case.

Back at the centre I met up with Paul and after a quick chat was introduced to J.J. the Gambian gent who helps with the Osprey Project in West Africa. My wife and I have been to Gambia on numerous occasions since 1984, sometimes several times a year, so J.J. and I had a chat for a good while on people we knew, places visited etc. I then returned home at about 16.45 hrs and by then it had stopped raining but as I'm putting the blog together it has started again.

Update 31-08-2015  20.45 hrs. 

Have just been on the Osprey Web site and S 3 has returned back to Manton Bay and has been well fed by the adults all day, she will no doubt leave soon, perhaps??. 

27th August 2015.

Richard had phoned earlier in the week to say he was available for a trip out on the Thursday and so after a considerable break, we had a trip out Owling and visiting the Egleton Centre for Dragonflies. 

Richards picked me up at 13.30 hrs and we got on our way following the normal route so as to visit our normal Little Owl Sites. On our Outbound journey we saw birds at Little Owl Site No. 2. On our return we saw birds at Site Nos. 12 & 6. Only a three bird day, I'm sure Richards Canadian friends have taken some of our birds back with them after having a ten bird day, so please David and Miriam could we have our birds back.

We had a wonderful afternoon with the Dragonflies, the Darters were in places as plentiful as midges, you will see that later in the images. We still are not seeing large numbers of Hawkers and this could be a bad year for them, I'm really not sure.

We left Egleton at about 17.15 hrs and got on our way towards home and on passing Little Owl Site No. 12 an adult sat behind the wall just showing its head, a quick image was taken and then we got on our way towards Site No 9 where we stopped to have some tea and then on our way again and another bird was seen at Site No. 6.

I had visited my farmer friends on the Wednesday and saw a Little Owl at Site No. 13, did not see a bird at site 19 but Margaret hasn't seen a bird for a few days, I'm sure they won't have gone far so I will keep looking.


Manton Bay Nest from Shallow Water Hide.

This is the site that greeted me on arrival at Shallow Water Hide, the first time in a long while to have seen the nest empty. As sad as it is when the birds leave, you can look forward to next years clutch and also hopefully the return of some of this years birds in two years time.
Good luck on your migration flight S1, S2 & S3. 3000 miles plus and you will have a lot warmer winter than we will.

Female Osprey {Maya} sitting on the T post adjacent to the nest. 

Male Osprey 33/11 on leaning T post.

I would think he will be the last to leave, most likely the female will leave first and he will then hang around for a few days in case a juvenile return. 
Looked on the web site this morning and both adult bird sat on the T post with a fish each and also a fish ready on the nest in case a juvenile returns.  

Little Egret, Shallow Water Hide.

This bird sat to the front of the hide, it was pouring with rain and the bird never stopped preening itself.


Common Darter Dragonfly near Mallard Hide.

Darter dragonflies were everywhere, they were as numerous as midges in places.

Migrant Hawker Dragonfly, Dipping Pond.

The dipping pond is a favourite of Richard and myself, we saw several Hawker Dragonflies and tried to get some images of them flying not very successfully though I'm afraid. Some super shots of the water however. 

Red Admiral Butterfly, Dipping Pond.

Side view.

Head on view. 

Hover Fly, {Syrphus Ribesii}. Dipping Pond.

Have decided the next challenge is to try and get an image of one flying and freezing the wings, will require a very high ISO.

Another image of the same species but near to Mallard Hide.

White Lipped Snail, Near Mallard Hide.

I think this is a White Lipped snail, not over sure but if anyone can say different, please leave a comment.

Common Darter Dragonfly.

As I said earlier, in places we were surrounded by them, just like midges. Guess where this one landed. 

Yes on Richards head. 

Common Darter Dragonfly. {Male}.

This one having landed on a section of fence and taking in the sun. 

Common Darter Dragonfly. {Female}.

Again taking the sun on a section of fence similar to the male.

Comma Butterfly. Near Wet Meadow.

Such a stunning butterfly, took an image earlier but the wings were not that special so this one has taken its place.

Wasp having a chew at the bark.

Nobody really likes wasps but up close, even a wasp is stunning.


Little Owl Site No. 2.

This week we saw no sign of any juveniles, just this adult sitting not far from the nest hole. 

Little Owl Site No. 12.

Bird spotted by Richard peeping over the top of the wall. These are the most nervous birds we encounter, even though the site has two footpaths running very close to it.

Little Owl Site No. 6.

Again the bird was spotted by Richard, normally we see the birds on the barn, either in the guttering or under the roof. 

Little Owl Site No.13.

Had a walk round the farm with my pal Eddie and sure enough in one of the barn sat this bird but as you can see it flew off immediately, just managed the one image then away.


I went out that bit earlier for these shots, set the camera up on the tripod and switched the OS off, took a trial image and then switched the AF off. This bird {Female} appeared in the doorway at 20.40 hrs but did not move any farther out until 21.05 hrs. This image at ISO 3200 f 6.3 1/3 sec. 

The bird eventually stuck its head out the front of the box at 21.05 hrs. By then I was shooting at ISO 6400, f 6.3, 1/5 sec. 

At last right out onto the front of the box at 21.08 hrs. Still at ISO 6400, f 6.3, 1/4 sec. 

Even though it was effectively dark I am amazed at the quality of the images, this more through luck than judgement. I was not really sure the bird was out by this time or whether it had flown away but just kept taking an image every 10 to 15 seconds.

Had another visit out with the owls on Saturday evening, at about 21.00 hrs both birds came to the front of the box and had a look out and then went back in?? and I didn't take an image as I thought they were coming out so waited for them, staid out for a bit longer but to dark to see if they came out or not. 

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed this post, it was great fun getting all of it, 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.
Free counters!