Friday, 30 December 2016


I am finding this lens is nowhere as forgiving as the 50 - 500 mm and you have to put more thought into what you are doing, I have had a couple of outings not doing this and have paid the price with totally mediocre images, but that's the name of the game. Hopefully with this last visit out with Richard things are improving.

We had our normal Thursday visit out and were very lucky with the weather, the forecast was for fog all day but we had virtually wall to wall sunshine with the frost remaining throughout the day, and some very slippy roads in Rutland.  It was Richards turn to drive and we got on our way and headed initially for Loughborough as some Waxwings had been reported on Nanpantan Road but were not visible to us, so after a search we headed towards Eyebrook Reservoir arriving at about 14.00 hrs and after a quick drive round a new section of road I found on a previous visit where we saw four Buzzards but only managing images of one in a field, they are very nervous birds and are soon away if you stop the car or get close. After this we went to our Red Kite area and put out a few of my frozen chicks that I had for the Barn Owls and then down to the inlet bridge at the reservoir for some lunch and hopefully a site of the illusive Kingfishers. They both actually arrived and duly sat in a Willow tree some 98 metres away, a small bird buried in the middle of all the branches??? Some poor results are below. 

After this we returned to the Red Kite area but this time they never arrived but we can only hope for another day and hopefully some birds.

We then headed for a trip through our Little Owl Sites and managed two birds, one at Site 5 and likewise at Site 9.

May I wish you all a Happy New Year and that we can all manage to get that illusive image we are hoping for.    

29th December.


 This bird remained still for a reasonable time whilst we managed a few images but even with us sat in the car and shooting through the gateway it didn't  stay for long. We saw another three birds but they were up in a tree and were away as we approached and were attempting some images.

This is a very pale bird, we had one at Rutland two years ago that was even paler and many people got confused and thought it was another Osprey coming towards Manton Bay. 

Buzzard, Little Owl Site No. 9.

This bird is much darker than the birds we saw at Eyebrook, not a welcome site as it was very close to the area where we see the Little Owls. Also shows that the lens has focused on the branch, not the bird. 

Kingfisher in Willow tree in feeder stream to Reservoir.

This image taken at 600 mm and as you can see the bird is well buried in the tree and is some 98 metres away. 

Image after some cropping, you can see its a Kingfisher but that's about all. 

It then had a quick dive into the stream and returned to a lower branch in the tree.  

Even more buried in the tree canopy, we will keep visiting and hopefully get it sat on some tree stumps {that are considerably closer} that other people have got images on.  

Kestrel {Female I believe due to streaked head}, Near to area where we see the Red Kites.

As we were leaving the Red Kite area to go Little Owling we saw this bird sat in the top of a tree, Richard pulled into a gateway and managed to get the car at an angle so I could get these images.

Dunnock, Near the Bird feeders at the bridge.

Delightful little bird, several were about most of the time we were at the bridge. 

Robin again at the Bridge.

Several Robins were busying themselves about at the bridge and near the feeders. 


Red Kite.
This bird has a wing tag number 39. 

Here you can see the wing tag is orange, after doing a little research, I find that the East Midlands birds have a White wing tag and Yorkshire birds have orange, so this is a bird that fledged and was tagged in Yorkshire.
Eyebrook Reservoir is in the East Midlands.

They are really beautiful and so graceful in flight. 

Hopefully on my next visit out I can master these birds with the lens, still a way to go to get what I want.

Boeing PT 17, Kaydet.

This plane flew virtually over the top of us whilst we sat in the car waiting for the Red Kites. It was built in 1942 and is powered by a Pratt and Whitney R985-AN1 Wasp radial engine. What fabulous condition this old aircraft is in. It is apparently based at Leicester Stoughton Airfield.

Somewhat different to todays modern Boeing aircraft with Carbon fibre wings and enormous fan engines.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I did in getting the images. Again this has been a bit of a feeling my way with this lens post.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


May I first take to opportunity to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR.

This post is a bit of a mixture of self indulgence and also the case of not having any decent images to post, the weather last Thursday was so poor, Richard and myself managed very little of use to put on a post, we found we were shooting at high ISO and still only attaining very slow speeds. The only good thing to come out of our afternoon out was revisiting a site I had found previously and finding fifteen Red Kites all flying and circling together, it was worth the afternoon out just to see them.

We managed to see some Little Owls at Sites 4, 8 & 9, looking back through my records, this is the first sighting at Site 4 since 11th August 2015.

I hope we get some decent weather this Thursday so I have some images for a post.

Short Eared Owl. 21st March 2016. Cossington Meadows.

Last Winter was enhanced for me with the visit by three Shorties. They were reasonably accessible all through the Winter. So far this Winter we have the occasional sighting of a single bird. 

Robin 18th February 2016. Cossington Meadows.

This little beauty visited me most of the Winter, in fact I would say I was feeding it with biscuits most visits. Eventually it decided to feed out of my hand and another gent took my camera and got the image for me. 

Male Osprey 51/11. Lagoon 4, Dunlin Hide.

This bird and a female took up the nest platform on Lagoon 4 and eventually laid a single egg, only to have the egg destroyed by Egyptian Geese the following day. The Male moved onto another site within the Reservoir and the female moved to Dyfi in Wales. I have already had next years duties mailed to me so it will not be that long before these wonderful birds return. 

Large Red Damselfly, Female, Pond Outside the Lyndon Centre
A very small pond was constructed some years ago outside the centre and for the last two years we have seen these Damselflies.

Pair of Juvenile Kestrels, Our Garden after adults Ousted Our Barn Owls.

Wonderful to watch and take images but we would still have loved for the Barn Owls to return and be in residence.

Common Blue Butterfly, Barnack Hills and Holes.

Such a beautiful butterfly, which we had gone to see and as it happened were lucky. 

Emperor Dragonfly, Lake to Rear of Garden.

This was not a five minute job to get the image, luckily it was a little windy so caught on the upwind pass which slowed it down. 

Brown Hawker Dragonfly, Female Oviposting, Alvecote Woods. 

I only managed the one visit to this site, site found by Richard, but plan some more visits next year.  

Marbled White Butterfly, Ketton Quarry.

Another stunning Butterfly that we saw in reasonable numbers on this visit. We will be visiting this site again as well next Year, 

Great White Egret, Shoveler Hide, Lagoon 3.

We appear to have a resident three birds at the Reservoir at the moment. Have seen them several times, in fact during most visits. 

 Hare, Near Eyebrook Reservoir.

This taken on a Saturday evening after going for a picnic tea to get some images of the Ospreys. Saw this Hare on my way home.

Glossy Ibis, Cossington Meadows.

It took a few visits to get this bird with the Glossy feathers showing, its a case of getting the bird in the correct position in relation to the sun, a really stunning bird .

15th December.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

The only reasonable image got in the whole afternoon, we were both amazed that we even managed to get this.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed my selection of images. 

Saturday, 10 December 2016


Those of you that follow my blog on a regular basis will have noticed that last weeks blog never appeared, this was due to a mixture of things. Tree Surgeons at home for a couple of days, a builder doing some work on the house and workshop roofs but mainly cloudy weather.  I set out on Monday the 5th of December to get out for an hour or two after lunch but after getting a few miles from home {where we had the sun was shining} it became evident that it was going to be very misty and murky where I was heading, so I about turned and returned home.

I decided that I would go out on our normal Thursday outing, even though Richard was unavailable due to family duties, so I left home at approx 12.00 hrs and headed for our normal Little Owl route with my eventual destination being Eyebrook Reservoir. On my outbound trip I passed all the usual sites and not until Little Owl Site No. 9 where I stopped for my lunch did I see a bird, whilst eating my sandwiches and when the sun came out, a second bird showed in the nest hole which was great to see that we still had a pair in residence. I then turned back towards site No 8 where when I was passing on my way in, a gent was walking down the road with his dog so I carried on by, not wanting to give away the site but also he was likely to have spooked the bird. On my return I eventually spotted the bird and after letting the car roll backwards so I could get a shot between the branches managed an image. I carried on past the remaining site but saw no more birds and so I headed for Eyebrook to what if any goodies were about. 

I arrived at the bridge to have a look for the elusive Kingfisher, I must admit to having seen one during the afternoon but it never stopped, I just saw the blue flash come from under the bridge as it passed by. I only managed a few images during the afternoon but it has certainly showed me what this lens will be capable of achieving. What didn't help was a shoot going on close by but with the shortage of light I really hadn't got time to go else where. 

On my return trip I again passed the Little Owl sites and managed another three birds, one at Site No. 6 and two at Site No. 5, no images were taken at 5 but I managed some at 6 even though the light was virtually gone. So all in all Little Owl wise this proved a very successful outing with 6 birds seen, this being my best outing for a considerable time.  

8th December.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This is the view of the nest hole when I arrived for my lunch, just the one bird visible. 

Then the sun came out and the second bird became visible. The sun was very variable all afternoon, shining one minute and then gone for a while.

Little Owl Site No. 6.

Just a single bird seen here and the light was fading very quickly. Lucky to get an image at all.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This is the site I returned to after passing a gent walking his dog at the site. I eventually managed to find the bird and after some moving of the car managed to get this image without many branches in the way.

8th December.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Adult Male.

As much as I don't like taking Images of birds on feeders, this bird just came in and landed on the feeder and then flew away, only to return again and land on the feeder, unfortunately not in the tree. The other thing being the bird was just over 18 metres away.
Unfortunately I had turned the ISO down, this was an error for this lens it appears.

Chaffinch, Adult Male.

Again in the same area but above the feeders so a similar distance.


This bird upon checking the distance was 56 metres away so delighted with the results, they are such a pretty bird and we have them in large numbers so far this year, 

This bird was 79 metres away and high up in the tree, Just getting ready to fly away. 

Second shot in the burst and away it flies, lucky capture.



This again a long shot at over 50 metres, again reasonably pleased with the result.


These birds had been disturbed by the shoot going on earlier, but as the light was failing I managed a few images. These I am not that pleased with as these birds were only 20 metres  from me and I was really expecting better, especially after the Redwing image at 50 metre + away, I really am not sure as to what I did wrong, any ideas anybody.  

I then thought I would try a really long shot.
238,900 miles.

Again an image I'm reasonably pleased with, my best of the moon ever, but I had to put in minus 4.7 EV to achieve it.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them.
Please remember that this was a very experimental visit for me and the lens. 

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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