Sunday, 24 April 2016


I decided on Tuesday the 19th to have a quick afternoon visit to Rutland Water and have a visit to the area of a possible new Osprey nest site. I managed to get away from home at about 12.30 hrs and headed straight for Rutland and eventually arrived at the site at approximately 14.00 hrs. As I walked up towards the site, I could in the distance see two birds on the nest, which is always a good start. I then met up with a couple from Taunton who were on holiday for a few days and spending some time at Rutland. They told me they had been trying to have lunch for about two hours but had been so engrossed with the three Ospreys, this threw me a little, three I quizzed, yes we  have had three birds most of the morning. They then went and sat by a small pool and had lunch and I carried onto the site.

On arriving I could see the two birds who were both food begging so obviously females but no sign of the third bird which I assumed to be a male. After a while the third bird appeared and was a male so I gave the Lyndon Centre a quick ring and spoke to Kayleigh. I explained as to where I was and said I had got two females and one male, to which she replied John Wright { Rutland Field Officer} has been this morning and its two males and one female, I then reiterated that I had definitely got two females and one male so she said I will phone John straight away. John arrived with me within five minutes with a "what have you got then", so I explained to him what was going on. He said its two males and one female and then had a look himself, so I replied we have got one female and one male on the nest then both food begging!. Its changed from this morning and you are correct with two females. He could recognise one of the females but not the second. Likewise with the male bird as it was sitting on the T post near the nest.

This nest is 183 metres from the vantage point which is virtually half the distance to the nest site at Manton Bay which is a plus, but will I'm sure be put out of bounds if the birds settle to raise young and people will be moved farther away to allow the birds some peace. 

We both then set about getting some images of these birds to see if we could see some ring numbers, and then after while to really throw a spanner in the works, the other male that John had seen earlier turned up and was flying about.  To say it got confusing is an under statement, you were not sure which male you were following and the females would not leave the nest. I remained on the site with John until 15.30 hrs and then having had a super afternoon, had to make my way back to the car park and calling in at a hide and head for home.

Then Thursday Richard and myself were on duty at Manton Bay for the afternoon shift, Richard arrived for 13.00 hrs and I arrived for about 13.30 hrs and did our shift, we only lost the male bird twice or should I more accurately say misplaced. It was a very peaceful shift with very little going on, the action really starts once the young have hatched and then we really have to monitor what is going on and who is being fed and what with, so we are at the moment making the best of it until we have to step up a gear. We had numerous visitors in the hide to take a view at the Ospreys, we even had the couple come to visit from Taunton whom I had been with on Tuesday which was nice to see them again.  One nice thing in the afternoon Richard saying I wish we could see a Water Vole and within seconds one appeared and swam across the front of the hide, must use his talents for other things!!!!! {images below}.       

19th of April 2016.

This was the site that greeted me on first arriving, two females sat on the nest both food begging. 

Male Osprey arrived and commenced fishing but unfortunately missing the fish. 

Very quickly the Black Headed Gulls were up and chasing him but no fish to steal.

Chasing him past the front of the nest, you can still see he is dripping water. The two females watching and still food begging.

 Calling and still dripping water.

He then gained height and spent some time looking for fish. 

Under the new Volunteer Rules we are not supposed to talk ring numbers other then for the Manton Bay Ospreys, well I'm not talking ring numbers am I, so please ignore the blue and white thing on his leg. Thank you.   

Male on the T post and two females on the nest, still food begging. 

Back into the air and again hunting for fish. 

He had just dipped his feet into the water. 

Male just landing on the nest T post, this is the closest I saw him to the females. however in the morning John had two males on the nest and only one female. 

This is the only image I got of the second bird at a lower height, most of the time he was well up above the water. 

Just a quick swoop around and a bit of a dive after. Such spectacular birds in flight for the size.

Landing again on the T post. 

Second Male hovering from behind, just could not resist putting this one in the post because of the wing pattern. Unfortunately still high and a long distance away.  

Lagoon 4.

Common Sandpiper, Dunlin Hide.

Called into hide on my way back to the car park, this bird was on the end of one of the islands, another long distance image. 

Lapwing just checking up on a Greylag Goose on its nest.

21st April 2016.

Male on the camera T post, female on incubation duties. 

Awful image of the three precious eggs taken from the television in the hide, female was leaving and the male taking over incubating. You can see his metal ring on the left leg.  

Water Vole, Waderscrape Hide.

This vole appeared just after Richard said I wish we could see a water vole, will try him with a "golden eagle" on next duty.  


Little Owl Site No. 12.

The only bird I saw on my return journey. Talking with farmers they are hearing the birds being out late lambing so its fingers crossed for seeing more soon.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the visit as much as I did in getting the images.   

Monday, 18 April 2016


I also had two visits to Cossington Meadows, one on Sunday the 10th of April arriving at 18.45 hrs as I had been told the birds were appearing later. On arriving I met a couple who had been round the reserve and they had met a couple when they had arrived who had seen a Short eared Owl in Swan Meadow from 16.30 hrs to about 17.30 hrs, I unfortunately saw nil but if we saw what we wanted every time we were out it would become boring. So I visited again the following afternoon arriving at about 14.30 hrs and met up with another six people who were all waiting to see if the owls showed, this again turned out to be a blank so I'm sure they have gone and headed North so good. luck and a good breeding season to them and hopefully see them again in the Autumn.

So late afternoon on the Tuesday having seen a Great Grey Shrike was reported as being on site at Warren Hills, I made a very quick visit to see if I could locate the bird. I made my way up the site and eventually met up with some of the Gents I have been seeing at Cossington Meadows, so after the usual greetings I asked the question, is the Shrike still about and sure enough sat in the top of a Hawthorn bush 185 metres away sat the bird. It had been considerably closer earlier as it had flown up the field and sat on the wall only about 30 metres away but not for me. My pals then left as they were going to Cossington but I remained with another gent. The bird then flew across to an Oak tree in the next field so we followed, but this was 200 metres away. However in the same field we saw three Wheatear, unfortunately though for such a small bird they were a long way away, but they were a lot closer than the Shrike.

Then on Thursday Richard and myself had our normal afternoon out and as it was my turn to drive, Richard arrived at 13.00 hrs and we got on our way and headed for our Little Owl Sites.  This  even though it was a lovely day was not one of our better days and we only saw two birds, these being one at Site 10 in the hedge at the top of the field, Richard demonstrated his field craft and managed some good images using his  cross the field approach. The next bird we saw was at Site 12 and a long distance away, so after this we had a where shall we go next and decided to visit Rutland Water to see what was about.

We arrived at the Lyndon Centre at about 15.30 hrs and after a quick nod and a chat with Paul we got on our way down the site. We visited all the Hides on the way down and eventually finished at Shallow Water Hide, we settled in and watched the Osprey's out in the Bay, saw our first Common Terns of the year and left the hide at about 17.15 hrs and headed for the Car Park.

We then made our way back through the Little Owl sites and had our tea at site 9, but saw no birds at any of our sites on the return journey, we stopped and had a chat with the farmers at Site 5 who are still hearing the Little Owls most nights, they are out late most evenings at the moment as they are still busy lambing so even though we had not seen the birds we have at least confirmation they are still about.

12th April 2016.

Great Grey Shrike.

This bird sat in the top of the Hawthorne bush and showed very well but was 185 metres away, still great to see the bird. The bird was on site for four days which I am told is a very long time when they are heading North.

Both these images are only record shots.

The bird sat in a bush to the front of the Oak tree some 200 metres away, at this point we chatted to a gent who wa walking by and on looking back the bird had gone and took us about 10 minutes to find but we then took some images of the Wheatear. 


These little colourful birds were about 50 metres away and were on the move continuously, every time you had them fixed and focused they had gone. 

Meadow Pipit.

This bird was a little closer and at least kept still when it sat on the wall.

14th April 2016.

Cock Pheasant, Near Little Owl Site No. 5.

Birds are in full mating colours strutting around the fields. 

Little Owl Site No. 12.

This bird in virtually the same position as last week, but only the one bird seen this week. These are the most nervous birds we encounter, Richard sat in the car whilst I attempted to approach the bird, I only crossed the road and got to the gate and the bird was gone, no chance to even attempt any field craft.?? 

14th April.

Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck Hide.

Of late we have been seeing these birds in the fields feeding, nice to see one out on the Reservoir.

Osprey Female, Shallow Water Hide.

We were told the male had returned about an hour earlier with a good trout, the male then took over incubating duties and the female flew to the T post and had her fill, no sign of a trout, just having a preen.

Osprey Female, Shallow Water Hide
She then decided to have a fly around the bay.

This female is believed to by a Scottish bird that stopped on her way North and decided she liked the area and has been at the Reservoir ever since. Note she is an non ringed bird. 

Male and Female Osprey.

 Female just landing on the camera post whilst the male is on the nest.

She then returned to the T post and had a quick preen, and then took over duties from the male {33/11}. 

Male Osprey 33/11, Shallow Water Hide.

Having been relieved of incubation duties, he flew around the bay but we didn't have a repeat of last week bathing display. 

After this fly around he flew onto the far side of Manton Bay and sat on a fallen branch he used last year. 

Common Terns, Shallow Water Hide.

First of the birds we have seen this year. 

As I have said before, I really enjoy catching birds in flight, a Common Tern this time. 

And landing. 

Great Crested Grebe, Shallow Water Hide
We both were hoping to see the Grebes Mating dance but none as yet seen, will try again next week.  

Juvenile Mute Swan, Track back to the Lyndon Centre.

As Richard always says, its good practice catching a bird flying for when you really want to do it. 

Lambs at Little Owl Site No. 5.

Just could not resist this image, these three were being closely watched by Mum, we had just been chatting with the farmer with regards to lambing and of course the Little Owls. They were saying it had been a good lambing for them as nearly all the Ewes had triplets.

Thank you for your visit, I had a wonderful time getting these images and hope you have enjoyed looking at them.

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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