Sunday, 27 March 2016


I had two trips to Cossington Meadows on Monday and Tuesday and even though the light was awful, had a reasonably successful visit. The images below are from the Monday visit when I finished up on the site mostly on my own and even though the birds were sitting on posts, one eventually flew around and came that bit closer and sat on a post in the normal spot. This bird eventually had a bit of a fly around and then flew a lot farther down the field and landed on a post. Almost immediately one of the darker birds flew in from the left and flew up the field and appeared to fly over the track to the field on the other side. Checking up the track no bird crossed, and so I slowly walked up the track and eventually after what seemed an eternity I { being very conscious not to disturb the bird }  managed to get within 20 metres of the bird, most of the images are at a greater distance, the flying images are over 100 metres away so I'm not unhappy with the results, just the light I had to deal with. 

I am holding my second visit in reserve in case I am short of images for a post needless to say I was unfortunately not on my own, in fact people were everywhere up the track trying to get the last images before the birds decide to go North.

Then on the Wednesday I had a visit to my farmer friends who are seeing both Little Owls on a regular basis, sometimes on the branches sat side by side and occasionally one will be sitting in a hole in the trunk, so really at the moment we are not sure as to whether they use the nest box or one of the holes in the tree, but time will tell. I saw one bird on my way home but by then the light was not good. 

The next outing was for Osprey Duty at Rutland Water, Richard was away mid morning so as allow him to visit the Little Owl sites and arrive well in time to get to the hide for 13.00 hrs. I am unable to leave much before 12.00 hrs but when underway I drive straight through to the reservoir and arrived at the car park just after 13.00 hrs. I booked in with Kayleigh, returned to the car and put my coat on, picked up my camera kit but in its bag as for most of the trip over it had been raining, so with brolly in hand, back into the centre and a quick chat with Paul and away down the track to Waderscrape Hide to see our female Osprey and hopefully for the Male to return whilst we are on duty, this happened to us three years ago as the male 5R returned whilst we were on watch. Unfortunately this didn't happen but we still had an eventful and very enjoyable shift.

When I arrived at the hide I was greeted by Richard and told he hadn't seen an Osprey. The female didn't arrive back at the nest until 15.37 hrs and only returned as she was chasing another Osprey, 5N/04  another female from site N, some images are below. This did not last long and the female for a short time settled on the nest and the camera post and then went away for a short time and returned with a nice rainbow trout, this she devoured on the camera post and the adjacent T post. When the next volunteers came on duty I then headed back to the centre and met up with John Wright the Field Officer who said that the intruder bird was 5N/04 due to the green ring and the wing pattern. 

On my return trip to home, I diverted around our Little Owl sites but only saw one bird sat in the nest hole at Site No. 5, mind by this time it was raining again and also getting dark, will try again next week after we have changed the clocks.

21st March 2016.

Short Eared Owl.

I was looking at the images with John Wright at Rutland Water after our Osprey duty and he is of the opinion that the pale bird is a Male and the two darker birds are females. This is where the bird sat when I first arrived. It then flew a further fourty metres down the fence and sat without moving for nearly an hour and virtually out of site. 

Just a little shuffle around on top of the post 

Always something to look up at.

This is after the bird had sat farther down the fence and eventually decided to fly back up the site and closer to me. Why after a break in taking images are you never ready for when the bird moves?  

This is after my stalking of the bird up the track. 

When you get a lot closer to the bird you appreciate what a beautiful creature it is. 

You can only see one talon but I don't think I will be trying to encourage it to land in my hand to feed as I did with the Robin. 

24th March 2016.

Mallard Drake, Waderscrape Hide.

Very common bird but also very pretty.

These three had a quick meeting to the front of the hide. This is in the pool that the channels feed away from. We had Mallards landing in the channels for most of the afternoon, kept us amused. 

Greylag Goose, Waderscrape Hide.

This bird swam down the channel and up to the Hide and got out onto the bank.  

 Newly refurbished nest  all ready for the season. The cameras are on the post on the left. The distance from Waderscrape Hide to the nest is 320 metres.

Sand Martin, Waderscrape Hide
We saw lots of these flying about the bay, very long distance image. 

First Ladybird of the year, this just outside the door into the hide.  

5N with Manton Bay female giving chase. 

5N making good her escape but she after this flew a little closer to us. 

Resident female returns to nest to reclaim it. 

5N  flying high above Manton Bay, John Wright recognised the wing pattern and also the fact she has a green ring, this you cannot see at this size. 

 After this she left the bay and we did not see her again.

The resident female then was away for a while and returned with a very nice Rainbow Trout for her tea.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I have in putting this all together, please feel free to leave a comment.

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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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