Sunday, 20 September 2015


We had our normal Thursday afternoon visit out and Richard arrived at our house at the normal 13.30 hrs only to realise he had left his sandwiches at home so we had to return back to his house to collect said sandwiches before we could get on our way. He suggested that being we had to return to his house we forgot our normal route and tried an exploratory visit to Drakelow reserve as it was nearer and we were running late. So it was decided and we got on our way.

The reserve is accessed down a very long access track which was part of the old EON Drakelow Power Station access road to the cooling water pumping station and just past the pump house is a small grass area car park adjacent to the River Trent. 

As we drove down the track we met up with three members of our bird club who were just leaving, must have heard we were arriving??, they put us onto the areas to visit and were then away home.

We visited the first hide and sat for a while hoping for a visit from a Kingfisher and also a Water Rail that had been seen in the reeds earlier in the day but neither were kind to us, so we got on our way and had a leisurely walk around the reserve, only getting lost once, but this apart we never went into any areas we should not be in, we think, and eventually found all the hides and vantage points.

We saw reasonable numbers of Dragonflies and also a few Damselflies, butterflies were in reasonable numbers, at one time we saw a Hobby but at a silly distance and I managed a very poor image, I had the ISO too low, EV was good this time, so colours good but not sharp enough.

After we had been around the reserve, its very small in comparison to Rutland Water, we visited a couple more sites, one to have our tea and one to look for Little Owls, at both sites we drew a blank.

Last Sunday the 13th September we had the end of season Osprey meeting where we get updated on total numbers of birds, a wonderful fish and chip supper,we then had a quiz on Ospreys and we were doing reasonably well on this and finished up in a tie break with another table for a last question, this we or shall I say "I" messed up, the questions was 'how many miles did volunteers walk going to the hide and back through the season and where on the Osprey migration route would this put the birds, A. Morocco, B. Western Sahara, C. Mauritania.' 
I worked on 2 miles per per day per volunteer therefore 16 miles per day and eventually came up with 2000 miles and Morocco so we answered A, the answer was C, Mauritania at 2540 miles, hang your head in shame John. The aggravating thing is we are very familiar with that area of Africa, Mauritania is a nice area and that is where I would want to end up out of the three choices. We then had a video compiled by Kayleigh and if you go onto the Rutland Osprey site to the right and click onto "Let Her Go" you can watch the amusing video.

On the way to the meeting we managed a quick visit past some of our Little Owl Sites, saw birds at Sites 2 and 5 but only managed an image at site 2 so next Thursday a visit to Rutland is required, one to finish my talk for our bird club 'A Year at Rutland Water, October 2014 to October 2015' and also to see our Little Owls.

Drakelow Reserve.

Cormorant Island.

This island is to the front of the first hide we visited, unfortunately not much to see from here as neither water rail or kingfisher obliged with a visit. 

This taken from the bank opposite the hide.

Cormorant with reflection drying its wings. 

Common Darter, Male.

Taken on the fence to the side of a ramp going down to the next pool. 

Hover fly Syrphus Ribesi.

Saw this fly whilst walking down to the lake on the far side from the hide. 

Common Wasp, Vespula Vulgaris.

We seem to have a lot more wasps around this year, its only when you crop an image you realise how hairy the body is.  

Comma Butterfly.

We saw a reasonable number of Comma Butterflies, this one had the best wings and was not showing the battering that time had taken.

Common Darter Dragonfly, Female.

Sat sunning itself on a bramble. 


We saw this bird when we got lost looking for a hide, we were in fact on the wrong lake but it was our first visit, the down side is that the reserve is not very big, but lots of trees so you can't see very much as to where you are going, that's our excuse and that's what were sticking to.

A second bird was flying with the one above but no reasonable images were forthcoming. 


Needed to up the ISO to 2000 to freeze the speed of the bird, sorry for the poor quality..

Common Blue Damsel Fly.

Still about in reasonable number and this one looking in prime condition. 

Common Darter Dragonfly. Female.

Migrant Hawker Dragonfly.

This sat enjoying the sun, largish piece missing on left lower wing. 


We were seeing a lot of heron, many seemed to be chasing and arguing all around the reserve. 

As Richard calls it a BUM shot!! but it shows the wings in action wonderfully.

Little Owl.

Little Owl Site No. 2.

This image taken on the way to the Osprey meeting, only image got for this weeks blog, saw another bird at Site No. 5 but it was hidden in a Hawthorn bush.

Buzzard Near Little Owl Site No. 10.

Buzzard sits in the top of the nest tree at Site No. 10 keeping an eye on a corvid flying by. 

Front view of Buzzard, these two are both very long shots.

Thank you for your visit, sorry for not posting many bird shots but if they are not at the site!!!Will have a post from Rutland Water next week so hopefully better.
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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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