Sunday, 22 November 2015


At last after four visits out, I have managed to put together a post. We, due to the time of year, have started leaving home earlier so Richard was to arrive at our house at 11.30 hrs but was slightly late due to meeting with one of his farmer friends on his local patch. We were only a few minutes late and got on our way with me driving. The weather on this first trip {5th November} visit was dire, but we visited our normal route passing our Little Owl Sites and only saw a bird at Site 2. Having had our lunch at Little Owl Site No. 9, we deviated from our normal route and headed for Launde Abbey hoping for something to show, anything would have done but all to no avail. So we decided, as it was raining heavy to head for home and get some browny points in the bag for returning early with only two average images in the camera. 

The second visit out was on the 12th November, we again left home at about 11.30 hrs with Richard driving,  again went our normal route visiting all our Little Owl Sites and seeing birds at Sites 8, 9 & 18. The bird at Site 8 was the first time we have seen a bird for a considerable time, where its been who can say  but we are starting to scan the adjoining trees a lot more.  We then headed for Rutland Water and the new Volunteers Centre as I had been e-mailed by Sarah to say my Osprey shirt had arrived so we collected this and were then invited by Becky for a tour of the building. It is really super and even has a couple of bunk rooms for people doing night shifts to get a sleep after finishing, but also for the people doing the first shift and having to travel a long way can come the night before and sleep over and then be fresh for the shift. After this we entered the reserve from the Centre cutting the walk down a considerable amount, we had a little sun but very little bird life was seen, the Winter migrants have still to arrive but we thought we saw the Peregrine Falcon on Lagoon 4 but this flew off the island I had spotted it on but the Lapwings staid stationary so it was decided it was probably a crow?? some mistake by me. It started spitting with rain on our walk back to the car so we got out just in time and again had a steady run home passing the Little Owl Sites but no extra birds were seen.

The third visit was quick afternoon visit on 16th November to Swithland Reservoir {a close spot to home} to see if any Winter visitors had arrived, I saw a few ducks but at a long distance and some Goldeneye a little closer so after about an hour I again headed for home. Some other visitors have since seen some Mandarin ducks but not visible for me.

Visit four was on the 19th November when Richard and I got away at 11.30 hrs and with me driving headed for Rutland. The forecast was for sun and a little cloud but as we left our house it started raining and carried on for part of the trip. We visited all our usual Little Owl Sites seeing birds at Sites Nos. 5, 9, 15 & 18 so Little Owl numbers were better than previous weeks. We arrived at Rutland Water at about 14.00 hrs and by this time the rain had stopped and a bit of sun was becoming evident. We visited the Egleton Centre and had a quick chat with the lady on duty. She had been up to Lagoons 3 and 4 and told us that a Short Eared Owl was near Shoveler Hide on Lagoon 3 and the Peregrine was on duty at Lagoon 4. We told her we had visited last week and thought we had seen a Peregrine but when it flew the Lapwings didn't appear to bother, they don't she said so we had seen the bird the week before. We decided as it was becoming considerably brighter to have a quick walk and went straight to Lagoon 4 and could see the Peregrine, {a long distance shot} sat on one of the Island Number boards. Golden Plover were also present and many Lapwings so after a quick visit we headed for Shoveler Hide but no Short Eared Owl was evident so we headed back towards the car park and the return journey, again owling but no extra birds were seen.


Little Owl Site No. 2. 5th November 2015.

The only Little Owl we saw on the day, well tucked away and very difficult to get a decent image of with the branches to the front of the bird. 

Little Owl Site No. 9. 12th November 2015.

The bird appeared as we stopped for our lunch, this is the bird we call Mr 'T' due to the  pale bar down the breast.

Little Owl Site No. 9. 19th November 2015.

Bird was visible when we arrived even though we still had some rain about, sat in the same position whilst we had our lunch. 

Little Owl Site No. 8. 12th November 2015.

Really just a record shot due to the bird being almost surrounded by branches and very difficult to get the camera to focus. This is the first time we have seen a bird at this site for a considerable time.  

Little Owl Site No. 5. 19th November 2015.

We expected when driving up to this site to see the nest tree down after the winds we had during the week, but it is still standing. We eventually saw this bird on the far side of the field tucked out of the wind in this tree. 

Little Owl Site No. 15. 19th November 2015.

Bird sat in the hole to the side of the tree keeping out of the wind.

Grey Wagtail near Little Owl Site No. 4. 5th November 2015.

Bird spotted by Richard so got the car sideways across the road for Richard to get an image and then the other way for myself. The light was so poor this had to be taken at ISO 2000. Mind the bird would not stand sideways on, always a tail shot. 

And then after about thirty images, not perfect but better. 

Kestrel Near Little Owl Site No. 11. 12th November 2015.

As we drove up the road Richard said what was that and stopped, then a Kestrel suddenly flew up onto the fence and then again dropped down, by this time Richard had switched the engine off and then the bird suddenly appeared on this fence post. Richards shots are superb, he managed to nearly touch the bird with his lens. The above was taken through the windscreen {not lens material} and still wound back from the 500mm.  

Peregrine Falcon, Lagoon 4, Sandpiper Hide. 19th November 2015.

Bird sat on the Island number board on island 1. this is a shot over 430 metres so far from being perfect. The bird never moved whilst we were in the hide.

Golden Plovers, Lagoon 4, Sandpiper Hide.

This image gives an idea of the number of birds with a few Lapwing thrown in on the outside. 

Cropped version of the above. 

Scottish Black Faced Sheep {I think} Shoveler Hide, Lagoon 3.

When we arrived in the hide these sheep were grazing in the field to the left then suddenly walked across the area of water where we normally see waders feeding onto the islands to graze.


Goldeneye Drake, from the Dam.
A reasonable number of Goldeneye were present but mostly a long way our from the Dam, this bird was about 200 metres away. 

Again in similar area about 200 metres. 

This bird suddenly appeared a lot closer, only about 100 metres away.

Thank you for your visit, sorry it has been a while since my last post, the weather has been far from good and it has not been for the fact we have not been trying, but hopefully the Winter visitors will soon arrive at Rutland Water

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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