Sunday, 29 November 2015


Having spent the weekend in and Richard having visited Cossington Meadows late last week after the Short Eared Owls. I decided as the weather was not that bad to visit myself to have a try on Monday afternoon. Normally when I go to get images of these birds it's a sure sign they have gone from the site, but on Monday virtually as I arrived, both the birds appeared, this being at 14.50 hrs. The birds however were a considerable distance away and not easy to get a focus on, the camera was favouring the trees behind them but I managed a few very long distance shots. The birds were only visible for about three minutes then appeared to go down on the ground and we all waited but nothing flew up. After about thirty minutes some people lower down the track changed sides so I had a wander down and they had caught a glimpse of an Owl on the other side amongst the reeds but it had again gone down. After about another ten to fifteen minutes a bird flew up onto a post and sat and watched the world go by for a while, this post was well tucked in between an area of reeds and very difficult  to get a clean shot through the gap. Eventually as the light was going rapidly, in fact it was getting dark, I made my way back to the car and headed home, disappointed the birds had not come closer to me but may be I can try again tomorrow??

So Tuesday afternoon I left home about 14.00 hrs and headed back to Cossington Meadows, I arrived to find many cars in the lay by, so on with the coat and boots and on my way down to the area I had seen the birds the previous day. On arriving the first gents I saw said they had not seen any birds so I decided to go farther down the site to the area where a bird had finished the day before and hopefully get a clearer view of the birds. So I carried on down the site and sure enough the site was perfect if the birds turned up. Then the heavens opened and it poured with rain, really poured. So it was a quick undo the coat and get the camera under cover, put my cap on and head back to the car. By the time I returned to the car, my legs below the coat were soaked but luckily the camera was fine. So no birds seen, and everybody else had like me done a runner and we were all getting back in the cars wet and heading for home.

On Thursday Richard was unavailable so I headed for our Little Owl Sites on my own, the idea being Little Owls and then about turn to arrive at Cossington Meadows by 14.30 hrs. I got away from home by 11.45 hrs and despite the forecast saying sun and cloud, it was raining but I still was away and by the time I got about five miles from home the roads were dry and after a while the sun did show itself a time or two. At the first two sites visited no birds were seen but then at Site No. 5, a bird was seen in the same tree as last week but farther forward within the cavity, a quick image was taken and on my way again and again no bird was seen until Site No. 9. This was the same as previous weeks, on arriving no bird is seen but after a very short time the bird appears to see who has turned up. After having my lunch keeping an eye on both Site Nos 9 & 10, I then moved on and found a bird present at Site No. 15, on the outward trip the bird was in the same cavity as last week but on my return trip in was more evident showing in the tree so I have used the second set of images. After this I visited Site No. 11 but here again no bird was seen, this site is the most unreliable of any, the birds can appear at the barn, in a tree but not very regular, but this was a site which last year raised juveniles.

I then got on my way back towards Cossington Meadows and to hopefully see the Short Eared Owls. I arrived at 14.35 hrs and after putting coat and boots on, made my way down to the area where I had seen the birds previously. I met up with a gent whom I had seen on Monday who said the birds had not shown as yet but they had been seen the previous evening. At about 15.10 hrs we suddenly saw the birds, again on the far side of the field, so trying a couple of record shots at long distance, and again after turning the ISO up as the light was not good we waited for them to approach, this unfortunately did not happen and one bird went down and the other flew over the track and vanished into the fields beyond. I then moved my position farther down the track and found another gent {Paul} I had met on Monday, he had got some reasonable images from when the bird had flown over the track, for me this was covered by a section of hedge. We stood for a time chatting and the light was going rapidly, so I then had a short walk down the track and a couple had found an owl on a fence post in the next field, so I tried for an image and it was no good at all, I eventually finished with an ISO set at 10,000 for a record shot of the other bird and to show a lady who couldn't find the bird with her bins it was getting so dark. Another gent then turned up who I had walked back to the car with on Monday who said he had been around to one of the lakes and had seen both owls and they flew within about three metres of him and panicked and put up the Snipe in the margins, not sure as whether they would take snipe or not, anybody any ideas.  

If you want to see some really good images of Short Eared Owls, go onto my pal Richards Site to the right hand side of the blog, they are brilliant.  

23rd November 2015.

Short Eared Owl.

This was the first image I managed of one of the birds, taken at a considerable distance. 

 This was the closest the bird got to me, you can see it is still close to the trees on the far side of the field.

Then turning its back on me at going away.

Looking again after Richards comment, the bird is actually flying towards me with its head down. 

Then another quick turn and then away again. 

After this the bird went down and this was this last I saw of this particular owl. 

Short Eared Owl Spotted by another Group.

This bird was spotted by some others on the far side of the track, again the light was going rapidly and shot through a track in the reeds at an ISO of 3200.  

Robin That Decided to Visit.

Prior to taking the above image, this robin came in to visit reasonably close.


26th November 2015.

Little Owl Site No. 5.

Bird in the same tree as last week but this time sitting in the open, not tucked in the cavity. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

On arrival no sign of the bird, but within a very short time it appeared to see who had arrived. It was in and out having a look all the time I was stopped for my lunch. 

Little Owl Site No. 15.

On my outbound journey, the bird was sat in the same hole as last week, but on my return in had moved out into the tree. 


26th November 2015.

Short Eared Owl.

At a greater distance than earlier in the week and only put on the blog as a record shot. I should have wound the ISO up higher, this taken at 1000. Images taken later were at an ISO of 10,000. please lets have some decent light and the birds a bit closer, you can but ask, doesn't mean anybody is listening? 

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have found the blog of interest, I have had a wonderful time getting the images and putting it together, even the getting soaked bit. 

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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