Sunday, 27 September 2015


Having visited Drakelow Reserve last week, I decided to have a quick visit to Rutland Water on Sunday the 20th  so as to get some images for the week for my bird talk at our local bird club, it was a quick but very rewarding visit. On arrival I was advised that plenty of Dragonflies were about by the lady on duty at the Egleton Centre so I went straight to the Dipping Pond and other than a couple of Darters saw nothing of any Hawkers. 

I decided to head for the area of Lagoon 3 so got on my way and on the way down saw several dragonflies and also called in at Redstart, Grebe and Osprey hides. On going through the gate near Osprey Hide I was met with a mass of Dragonflies, I'm not sure as to why so many Dragonflies were in the area but it was a sight not to be forgotten, it was just like walking through midges and extended over a very large area, from the trees near Plover Hide through to the hedge near Shoveler Hide, this being a length of some 240 metres and they extended up from the trees at the end of the walk up and over Sandpiper Hide, what an experience. The other thing were the Hobbies that were obviously making the best of this concentration of Dragonflies, the first Hobby I saw was not at first seen, I actually heard the bird as it flew by with a real whoosh, I tried to get images of the Dragonflies and Hobbies but what a task, I even went part way up the ramp to Sandpiper Hide, but I was then looking down on them and they were still very close and travelling very fast. The Dragonflies were either against the sky or the grass, what settings for the camera?? the EV was up and down, an elderly Gent and his wife came out of Sandpiper Hide and stood with me for a good ten minutes watching the display by both birds and dragonflies, he finished up saying he had been to the Dipping Pond earlier and had seen an Emperor Dragonfly so I said I would visit again later on my return. 

After this frustrating but entertaining episode I decided to visit Shoveler Hide to see what was happening, on entering the hide, the gent I had been talking with was at in the corner with his wife and said, plenty of Hawkers  and not that far away, you might get some pictures here, so after about 20 minutes in the hide and some images of Hawkers at a distance of about 20 metres, they all appeared to be feeding on small flies over the water, and some bird images I set on my way back to the centre and the Dipping Pond.

On arriving at the Pond I met another lovely gent who was taking pictures of the wild flowers and told me he had seen several Hawker Dragonflies around the pond. He went out of the area and sat on a seat about 20 metres away waiting for his friends to return and I concentrated of the Dragonflies, the results are below, but as I walked out to return to the car park, the gent asked if I had manged any images, I quickly showed him a couple and he said " my you nailed them", at least he was pleased.

I then returned home and called by a couple of Little Owl sites on my way and saw birds at Sites 6 & 5 and was home by 17.00 hrs ready to get tea.

Richard and I then had another trip to Rutland on Thursday and got on our way by 13.15 hrs and this time we visited all the Little Owl Sites on our journey but only saw an Owl at Site 15. We arrives at Egleton at approximately 15.15 hrs and having seen on the board that a Marsh Harrier was being seen on Lagoon 1 we went upstairs for a while to try our luck, the bird for us was absent so we went to Dipping Pond to see if we could find any Dragonflies, another failure, so we got on our way towards the Hides on Lagoons 2, 3 and 4.

Having visited Lagoons 2 and 4 we finished up at Shoveler Hide on Lagoon 3 but only saw a couple of Green Sandpipers and a solitary Snipe. and eventually after about half an hour slowly made our way back through the hides but nothing of interest was seen and finally a second visit to the Dipping Pond but again we got a blank so back to the car park and hope for some Little Owls on our return.

We then made our way through our Little Owl Sites and again saw a bird at Site 15 and eventually stopped for our tea at Site 9. Having been stopped for about ten minutes I saw a pair of Buzzards flying towards us, these are normally very nervous birds and even whilst you are in the car will avoid flying close or sitting for you, I slowly opened the drivers door and managed some shots as a single bird flew by us, the other bird turned around and went in the opposite direction.

We then slowly went through our normal route but saw no more Little Owls so we finished up with a poor single bird for the day, in general one of our worst days out for any species.   



Common Darter {Male} on Gate near Redstart Hide.

Several Darters sat on top of the gate taking the warmth of the sun. 

Another male on top of the gate. 

Greater Spotted Woodpecker Near Redstart Hide.

Bird flew across the field and landed in the top of a dead tree not far from me and sat  and waited for me to set up the camera and get a shot and then flew away, I do get some luck!!  

Great Crested Grebe {Juvenile} Lagoon 2, Osprey Hide.

A pair of juveniles were being fed by the adult, seem very late in the season for such small young. 

Common Darter {Male} Fence Outside Osprey Hide.

Sat again taking the wonderful sun on Sunday afternoon. 

Hoverfly Near Osprey Hide. {Not sure of the species.}

Saw this whilst watching the Hawker Dragonflies.

Snipe, Shoveler Hide.

Bird hiding on the far side of the channel, not spotted by me but by a gent in the hide who kindly pointed it out with his scope.

Gadwall Drake in Eclipse. Shoveler Hide.

This bird swam into the bay in front of the hide whilst I was trying to get some images of Dragonflies, still a very pretty duck. 

Migrant Hawker, Shoveler Hide.

These Dragonflies were flying about 20 metres out over the water, managed to get these shots but not sure how the camera managed to focus on them. Must have been at least a couple of dozen all flying together. 

Not the best of images but shown purely for my amazement at getting them. 

Migrant Hawker, Between Shoveler and Osprey Hides.

Much easier to get image than trying to get them in flight, such spectacular creatures. 

Green Bottle Fly, Lucilla Illustris. 

This fly sat about half a metre from the dragonfly and the sheen attracted me to take an image. 

Common Darter Dragonfly {Female}, on the gate near Osprey Hide.

As I left the area where all the Hawkers were, this sat on the gate keeping out the way of the Hobbies.

Southern Hawker {Female}. Dipping Pond.

This was my last port of call before heading for home and as the gent had told me, several Hawkers were flying around the area.

Just cannot resist taking images of them and really enjoy getting them in flight.

This Dragonfly was about half a metre from my leg  

Again you can see the wire mesh on the platform at the dipping pond.



Juvenile Ringed Plover, {I think} Sandpiper Hide, Lagoon 4.

Shot over a reasonable distance, if anyone thinks any different for the bird, please leave a comment. 


Buzzard Near Little Owl Site No. 9.

Having stopped at our normal spot for tea, this is a very quiet spot, I suddenly saw a pair of Buzzard flying towards us, one of which turned and flew towards another bird but this one carried on and flew over the car, I just opened the door carefully and shot away. 

They are normally very nervous birds even when you are in the car. 

Images are reasonably cropped but pleased with the outcome. 

Lovely birds but not the best of neighbours for Little Owls.



Little Owl Site No. 6. {Sunday}.

Past the site on my way home and looked for the bird in the normal place we see it, then saw it in the guttering on the far side of the barn. 

Little Owl Site No. 5. Sunday.

As I got out the car to open the gate, this bird sat in the hawthorn bush near the road, managed a quick shot and then it moved. 

Same bird but moved around the bush. 

Little Owl Site No. 15. Thursday.

Bird sitting in what appears to be its favourite spot. Had a field full of cows to the front of it so had to shoot between them.

Thank you again for your visit, this has been an entertaining blog to prepare and luckily I had the extra Sunday visit to get the numbers of images.

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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