Monday, 29 February 2016


The first of the images are left over from our trip out last week, the 18th of February and are of the Red Kite and Buzzards etc at Little Owl Site No. 9, taken whilst we had our lunch, no Little Owls were seen on this visit, I can't say I blame them keeping out the way with this lot about.

My first trip out was to Cossington Meadows on the 23rd of February and was one of my more successful trips with the Short Eared Owls. I arrived down on site at Swan Meadows at 15.15 hrs and met up with a few of the usual birders that are on site, and was told that a bird had been out for about an hour but had disappeared over the trees a while before and had not been seen since. With that the bird came back over the trees and sat on a fence post about 120 metres away. I had just taken my first image of the bird on the post when it flew so I managed to get it just as it left the post but didn't have time to wind up the ISO, eyes and head in focus, wings a bit blurred. As the afternoon went by a second bird appeared, but this bird kept well away from our standing area, the first bird did not come close until later in the afternoon when it landed on a post 54 metres away, getting closer!!!. Eventually the darker bird flew over the track and landed on a post so I managed a little closer image. By the end of the afternoon we had seen all three of the Shorties so all in all a super afternoon.

I then had a quick visit to my farmer friends on the Wednesday and managed to see a Little Owl but nothing of the Barn Owl, once the nights have drawn out a bit more, I will have a visit after tea and hopefully get some images.

My next trip out was with Richard on our normal Thursday outing on the 25th of February. Richard arrived at 11.30 hrs and we got on our way to our Little Owl area. After last weeks efforts we were hoping for better things. Our first site to visit was Site No 1 and no bird was visible so onto the next site. At Site No 2 we initially could nothing but then we spotted a single bird and that was only after a while as it was mostly hid by a branch. So we did our normal drive up the road and turn round and then had a quick look on our way back, and sat higher up the tree was a bird, so we went a little farther up the road and the first bird was still in position, so we have two birds, great news. We then travelled on through our sites and stopped for our lunch at at normal and favourite spot, Site No. 9.  This is a delightful area with some wonderful views over the surrounding countryside but apart from our lunch the important thing is the Little Owls and sat in the nest hole was a bird so all was well with the world, we saw two birds here two weeks ago. Then on through our other sites before turning around and returning through the sites with a bit of a detour to have a look for some new sites. On our return we saw birds at Site Nos. 18, 5 and 1 so making us to a six Little Owl day.

We then headed back towards home and a quick visit to Jubilee Wood and the Hen Harrier and the Barn Owls. We didn't arrive until 16.15 hrs and decided after Richards experience the day before at the site, to stay up towards the top of the site as this was where he had seen the Barn Owls. We saw the birds but they never really came that close before it was time for me to leave.  

18th February 2016.

Red Kite, Little Owl Site No. 9.

When we arrived, and were driving up the hill towards the site, Richard spotted  some birds at the site. These turned out to be a mixture of Buzzards, Red Kites and Ravens, a real mixture. 

I was unsure as to the numbers of Kites, it may have been two with five buzzards and two Ravens.

Two of the Buzzards. 

To me it looks like another Kite below and behind this bird. 

Two Buzzard and one of the Ravens.

18th February 2016.

This image was taken on our trip out last Thursday. This is the area where Richard had seen the Barn Owls as we did but only briefly. Towards the centre of the picture you can see the hide with the small lake to the left of it. The line of trees behind the hide is where the Barn Owls appear and then work up the site. 

Barn Owls, Longmoor Lake.

Again long distance shots but as always wonderful just to see a Barn Owl. 

The bird then landed after this but nothing was caught. 

Wonderful birds just to watch. 


A difficult bird to get decent images of, they fly fast and low and in this case a long distance away.  

The bird has just put a fright into some Lapwings as it passed. 

28th February 2016.

Little Owl Site No. 19.

The bird this time sitting on the front side of the tree taking in the sun. Unfortunately the shot was virtually into the sun. 

Little Owl Site No. 2.

We saw two birds at this site for the first time this year, the second bird was round the back of the tree. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

The bird sitting in the front of the nest hole, its favourite spot enjoying the sun and light breeze.  

Little Owl Site No.18.

Bird in its usual spot. 

Little Owl Site No. 1.

We spotted this bird on our return journey, my first image managed this year.  

Little Owl Site No. 5.

This is a site we have been concerned about as we have seen no birds at all for a considerable time. We saw the farmer today and they have been seeing and hearing the birds so all appears to be well. 

Kestrel On Electric Cable Between Little Owl Site No.5 and 18.

Richard stopped the car so as to let me get this image, he tried to get out of the car to get a shot but away went the bird.

23rd February 2016.

Short Eared Owl .

First bird {paler bird} to appear on arrival, suddenly appeared over the trees and landed on the post. Bird just over 130 metres away.

No time to change the settings as the bird flew virtually immediately, still got the head and eyes in focus.  

Just wish the birds would come closer. 

Still the paler of the three birds.

Pale bird flying along looking at what is going on above it. 

One of the darker birds in the meadow to the far side of the track. 

Pale bird with wings fully extended, just gliding across the meadow.

After this image the bird went to ground but when it came back up had not caught anything. 

Sorry if I have been taking numerous images of the Short Eared Owls, but they are such wonderful birds to watch and will not be with us much longer.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I have in taking them. Also thank you for the Comments on my previous Blogs.

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Sunday, 21 February 2016


I decided to sneak in another quick visit to Cossington Meadows for the Short Eared Owls on Friday the 12th of February having been told they had been seen again whilst on our visit to Longmoor Lake the previous day. I arrived at approximately 15.10 hrs and after walking down the site, met up with some of the gents we had seen the previous afternoon at Longmoor and was told that two birds had been about for about an hour. Again the birds seemed unwilling to come close but the light must have been perfect as the images are about the best I have managed to get so far, hopefully other people agree, or is it me looking through rose coloured spectacles???.

The two birds flew about up until about 16.30 hrs and after this I had a slow walk back up the site with one of the other birders, checking every field as we walked as these birds have been seen in the fields all around, even next to the road, but not on this evening.

My second visit was on Monday the 15th of February again to Cossington Meadows. I arrived at about 15.30 hrs and met up with a couple of gents I have seen many times and was told that so far no birds had been seen. As normal we stuck to the task in hand but by 16.00 hrs still no birds had arrived, but looking up the fence line another birder had arrived and stood with his camera and 500 mm lens on a tripod, sat on the top of the lens was my pal the Robin, so I gave my usual call to the bird and the results are above and below.

The next trip out was with Richard on Thursday the 18th of February, we decided to have a quick trip around our Little Owl sites after last week having seen six birds, and the weather today being perfect. Then to have another visit to Longmoor Lake for the elusive Hen Harrier, but I have kept some of these images in reserve as the weather forecast for the next week is not good. 

We left as usual at 11.30 hrs and headed for our normal route, to be truthful with high hopes as the weather was very good, sunny and only a light breeze, and as we had seen six Little Owls last week we were hopeful for more. Our first site to visit was Site No. 1 and no bird was about, and so onto Site No. 2 with better results, an adult sat in the entrance to the nest hole. We then carried on through our sites seeing another bird at Site No. 6, sat in its usual spot on the R.S.J. watching the world go by. We carried on through to Site No. 9 and had lunch. No Little Owls were seen here but circling a good distance away were five Buzzards, two Ravens and I think one Red Kite.  These birds were circling at times really close to each other and were in the area all through the time we had our lunch. After this we carried on through our last sites and no more birds were seen so we headed for home to collect Richards car, and then on to Longmoor for another attempt at the Hen Harrier.  


12th February 2016.

Short Eared Owl.

This was the first bird I saw, this being the paler bird of the three, I think I only saw two on this visit. Just after this it dived onto the ground but appeared to catch nothing. 

Again the paler bird, this time flying a bit higher. 

The pale bird hunting. 

Just after this image the bird turned sharply and dived onto the ground and this time caught something. 

Head on image, eyes in focus and the wing tips just blurred.  

This is the darker bird, the third bird is slightly cross eyed in its left eye. 

Pale bird up again and hunting just above the long grass.

Coming in to land on a fence post. 

Just as the bird has landed.

Second bird lands on the next post. 

They both then fly and have a bit of interaction before going back to hunting. The darker bird is on the left. 160 metre shot to the fence.

Darker bird on a post about 90 metres away.


15th February 2016.

My little friendly Robin.

After giving the bird a " Come on then " it came and sat on the post near me where I had put some Hobnob biscuit, as you can see on its beak. I was asked by the other birders if I was going to feed it with some seed, to which I answered "No with Hobnobs" and was accused of spoiling the bird, then one of them said give me your camera so I can get you some images of it in your hand.  

And this is my Robin tucking into its biscuit with gusto, we had three or four visits before it stomach was full. What a wonderful interaction with this bird.


18th February 2016.

Little Owl Site No. 2.

This week the bird sat in the nest hole, we have only seen the one bird so far at this site. 

Little Owl Site No. 6.

Again the bird in its favourite position, same as last week. We have seen two birds at this site.


18th February 2016.

Wigeon Drake, Hide at Longmoor Lake.

In reasonable numbers on the relatively small lake.

Hen Harrier, Bird hide, Longmoor Lake .

Still not a good image but better than the previous, with the bird being so low, the camera keeps focusing on the grass and young trees it passes at speed. 

Thank you for your visit, please feel free to leave a comment, I will reply to all.
I hope you have enjoyed the visit as much as I have in getting the images.

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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