Monday, 14 December 2015


Richard and his wife were out for lunch with his brother and wife so I decided to have a trip out anyway. The forecast for the morning was rain, but supposedly clearing around lunch time. I managed to get away from home at about 11.45 hrs and headed for our normal route and the Little Owls. As I left home the rain had become a very light drizzle, but as I headed across country it got a lot heavier. I visited our normal Sites and only saw a single bird at Little Owl Site No 18. Even at Little Owl Site No. 9, Mr Nosy never appeared in the time I stayed eating my lunch which is really unusual for the bird. Having visited the farthest out site No. 12, I did the return journey and headed for Cossington Meadows. I took a slightly different route on the return missing out a field gate and the getting wet it would have entailed, as by this time it was raining heavily. On the new route it took me across some other fields where I saw a white pheasant, we had seen some last year but it still seems unusual. Being a white pheasant on a shooting estate cannot be good news, at least in natural colours they do blend into the background. On arriving at Cossington Meadows it was raining heavily so I set course for home and a cup of tea.

Friday was very much improved weather wise, so after lunch I headed to Cossington Meadows to hopefully see the Short Eared Owls. I arrived at about 14.00 hrs with at last some sunshine, decent light at last. I quickly walked down the site and on arriving several other people were already in attendance and telling me the birds had been out and about for about thirty minutes. So taking up position at a gate into the field, I got myself sorted and ready for the birds to appear, this they did and flew around for most of the time up to 16.00 hrs when we walked back to the cars. The light was much improved, but the birds came no closer whilst I was at the gate. I left the gate for a while to try for the birds on the other side of the track and during this time one bird returned to the original area. I looked around to see the bird fly and land on a post within 3 metres of the gate, the gents who were still at the gate were both using 600 mm and 800 mm lenses and of course managed no images as the bird was so close, you can't be in the right place all the time, if ever??. During this visit I started with an ISO of 1000, this went up to 1600 but only towards the end of the visit did I wind it up to 3200. Last week I was working at 10100 at the end, what a difference a bit of sun makes, just got to find what will bring closer than two to three hundred metres, but I'm working on it. 

On the return up to the parking area, a Bentley drove by on the main road with the sun roof open and an enormous Christmas tree sticking about 4 metres above the roof, caused amusement amongst the birders I was with.

Little Owl Route.

Little Owl Site No. 18.

First time for a few weeks this bird has been seen. Stopped at the bottom of the hill and got a quick image above the hedge only to look in the rear view mirror to see a Range Rover bearing down on me, so quickly up and away. 

White Pheasant near Little Owl Site No. 3.

As this is a shooting estate, makes you think its not the best colour to be.

11th December 2015.

Short Eared Owls.

At last an afternoon with some decent light, it didn't get the owls to come any closer but it certainly helped with the images. This bird still about 200 metres away. 

This bird appears to be trailing a piece of grass from the tail feathers. 

Same bird. 

Second bird on the other side of the track. 

Both birds, but a long distance image. 

This caption should read "its behind you", next visit when the birds swap sides of the track, I intend to walk down the track and walk across this footpath and hopefully get closer to the birds. This bird doesn't appear bothered by the gent on the footpath and is flying only a few metres behind him..

This bird had obviously got something spotted above it. A Sparrow Hawk was around some of the time so this could be the culprit.

The Usual Robin paid a Visit.

Most of the time I was on site, this little one was about, but this week I forgot the crumbled biscuit.

Promise I will bring the biscuits next time.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have found the visit enjoyable. I most certainly had a wonderful afternoon with the Short Eared Owls. Just wish they would come closer. Please feel free to leave a comment.   


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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