Tuesday, 8 December 2015


I decided on Tuesday afternoon to have a quick visit to Cossington Meadows to see if the Short Eared Owls were still in attendance. Arriving at about 14.50 hrs, I had a steady walk down the site and found several people with cameras, so I asked if anyone had seen the owls to be told that three had been seen a few minutes previous, so I got myself into position and awaited the action, mind the light was not good, in fact by then it was diabolical, so I wasn't that hopeful for any good images, and also you also have the added problem of the bird being a long distance away, also by this time it had become very windy. It wasn't long before two were showing and eventually I saw all three but then one made its way over the track onto the far side fields and was hunting there. The birds were flying up the field {left to right for me} and up wind on the far side of the field and then flying back down the field with the wind behind them much closer to me but at what appeared only just sub sonic speed, obviously exaggerating, but much too fast to get an image. 

I stayed in the same spot for a while and then transferred sides to try for the third bird but the by this time the light had got considerably worse so where I was shooting at ISO 3200 on the first shots, it was winding up to ISO 5400 on this side of the track. 

I decided to stay until it was virtually dark and the birds were flying around or sitting on posts all the while. I think they were up and feeding as the previous day we had a lot of rain and this was the first chance to have a good feed. By the end of the session I was shooting at ISO 10100.

Richard had decided to stay on his local patch on Thursday so I decided to go on our usual route after our Little Owls and then have another visit to Cossington Meadows for the Short Eared Owls. On my outbound trip I saw three Little Owls at Sites 8, 9 & 15 getting images of all three, not good at Site 8. Having visited the farthest away site, Site 12 I took the return trip and managed a better image at Site 8 so this is the one posted. This is one of those sites we see a bird at very occasionally, we then see it two or three times and we then have a long wait again.

I arrived at Cossington Meadows at 14.30 hrs and made my way into the site and found some others with cameras waiting for the birds to appear, again it was very windy and whether this put them off or the have moved on I'm not sure but no birds appeared even though I stayed on site until 16.00 hrs. The only image I got was of the start of a murmuration of starlings, one gent had been to the site on Sunday and said it had been spectacular with about four very large flocks all joining up. 

I will again visit Cossington Meadows and hope the gales we have had have not moved the S.E.O. on to pastures new. Hopefully I will eventually get some closer images with the birds not moving so fast.  

1st December 2015.

Short Eared Owls.

First bird I saw sat on the post about two hundred metres away, the best image I got with its head still looking away, all the rest it was totally a back view. Fly towards me was the thought, it flew away!! what do you expect.

Same bird flying up the far side of the field into the wind but still could have done with an higher ISO, this taken at 15.19 hrs at ISO 1000. 

Again could have done with an higher ISO and still a very long distance image, completely in the far left corner of the field  just starting its flight up wind.  

As you can see, I really struggled with getting any decent images, this at ISO 1600 and could have done with higher.

Not a good image at all but this taken at ISO 3200 on the far side of the track of the third Owl. 

Again getting much later and darker, this taken at ISO 10100, the Owl had certainly got me and the others spotted.

All the rest of the images are taken at ISO 10100, not at all anything like perfect but for the light and the speed these birds were travelling at with the wind behind them I am relatively pleased. 

Robin {In the Same Place as Last Week}

This little fellow turned up again, and was very appreciative of some bits of biscuit I had taken in my pocket in case it showed up.

3rd December 2015.

Little Owl Site No. 9. Mr T.

Stopped at this site for my lunch, you can observe two sites from the gateway and eat, what more can a man ask for??. On arrival no bird was visible but as previous within a matter of minutes, Mr Nosy was out having a look at who had stopped. 

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This is the second time I have observed this bird in a matter of a few weeks, we are checking the adjacent trees but this is the only tree we see it in, a pollarded ash tree.

Little Owl Site No. 15.

Again an Owl we see relatively regular, and appears to like this hole near to the ground.

3rd December 2015. 

Start of Murmuration of Starlings.

A gent I was standing with late on in the day told me he had some wonderful shots of previous and earlier murmurations with considerably more birds. This image was taken at about 16.00 hrs.  

These modern cameras working at high ISO cheat on the amount of light available, it was virtually dark when I took this image.

Thank you for your visit, please feel free to leave a comment, I will reply to them all. 

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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