Sunday, 7 August 2016


Due to works being carried out on our central heating system and my wife being poorly, I had to cancel my Osprey duty last week. Richard was asked to be on duty from 09.00 hrs to 13.00 hrs and so Sheelagh did our normal shift, so all was covered. I must admit I really missed the duty. For those that follow the Ospreys on either the cameras or facebook you will have read that T6 went missing for four days, nobody has come up with a reason for this and as to where she went who can tell. She was either fed by 33/11 or she fed herself but all is back to normal with her back in Manton Bay.

This week Richard and myself had our normal Thursday afternoon visit out. Our initial idea was to visit a site at Brigstock near Corby to look for Butterflies but the weather was somewhat mixed in the forecast so we opted for a trip along our normal route with a stop off at our Little Owl sites and then finish the rest of the afternoon at the Egleton Reserve at Rutland Water. Richard arrived at 13.00 htrs and we got on our way heading for Little Owl site No. 1 where no bird was seen. We eventually saw two birds at Little Owl site No. 9, one on a fence post and one sitting in the hedge bottom, we then moved onto towards Site No. 12 where a bird was seen sitting on the Barn door, again images were taken but are not over good, Richard took his images from a bit farther along the road and got the shadow of a second bird in his shot, do shadows count as to having seen a bird???.

On arrival at the Egleton Centre we booked in with our friend David and set on our way to the Woodland Walk to see if anything of interest was about. It took a while for anything to show but after a short time the sun broke through and we started seeing a few Damselflies, then the odd Butterfly and eventually we started seeing some Dragonflies in one area we were seeing reasonable numbers of Southern Hawkers interacting and of course then it started to rain, so that finished that for a while. We headed to the nearest hide for refuge out of the rain neither having taken any wet weather gear, only a polythene bag for the cameras, so we headed into Grebe Hide and upon opening the shutters found we had a Great White Egret to the front of the hide partially covered by some small bushes but as it had been mobile over the previous few day were sure it would come into better view. This it eventually did after it had flown up to Osprey Hide and then returned.

We then after the rain had stopped returned to the Woodland Walk but the rain had put everything deep into cover so we headed back to the car park and head towards Little Owl Site No. 9  for our teas which we were both ready for. 

At Site 9 whilst devouring our teas  we watched a Juvenile Little Owl sitting in the original nest hole, so we have had a breeding pair in the area of the nest tree again. We then tracked our way through the sites and eventually at Little Owl Site No.1 found a juvenile sat outside the nest hole. So all in all we had a wonderful afternoon out and finishing with at least four little owls.        

4th July.

Great White Egret, Grebe Hide.

This was a real bonus for us, two birds had been at the reservoir for a few days but had been very mobile and people were reporting them all over the place so for us to find one on Lagoon 2 was sheer luck and all through a rain shower.

Same bird having a preen of its wings. After this it flew left and headed towards Osprey Hide.

It then returned and landed on this platform where it perched for a reasonable length of time, a family of Mum Dad and three young boys arrived and were fascinated by the size of the bird. The young boys were having a wonderful time , it was great to sit and talk with them, whilst with us they also saw an Osprey and a Marsh Harrier.  

This is when the wind caught the back of its head and flicked the feathers up. 

This bird has the black end to its bill, the other bird has a pure yellow bill. 

And then it headed away towards the centre and any of the Lagoons, it had been on Lagoon 6 earlier.
Not the best of images, as soon as the bird took off, I started to shoot as soon as I could find it in the view finder, only after thinking about any +EV??????.


Comma Butterfly.

Just a head shot of this delightful butterfly.

Emerald Damselfly, female.

We saw plenty of females but I think Richard saw a male but that was the only one. 

Another female Emerald Damselfly.  

Speckled Wood Butterfly.

As you can see the sun had come through and things were starting to show for us, several Speckled Wood appeared. 

Southern Hawker Dragonfly, Near Osprey Hide.

First one I have managed to get up close to this year, they are late and still scarce.

Southern Hawker Thorax and wing base.

Ruddy Darter, Outside Osprey Hide.

We saw a few Darters but not up to last years numbers.

Marsh Harrier, Grebe Hide, Lagoon 2.

Again some rushed shots, the bird appeared and no thought given to any EV, these are really only record shots. 

2nd August.

We are seeing less and less of these youngsters as they venture farther away from our garden, they are also becoming far more cautious and these images are taken over about sixty metres. 

I have today only seen one bird and that flew up the garden, my wife saw one land on the nest box about lunch time.  {6th August}

It has been a delight having these youngsters around but we want our Barn Owls back. 

It has been wonderful to watch them develop. 

And they have become real experts in landing and are also hovering.

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

Please from Russia leave a comment at the bottom, I had 292 hits in one day from you. I will reply to all.


  1. Fantastic images John, my favourite is the Egret, beautiful.

    1. Hi Bob, the Great White is certainly a wonderful bird and is really large when you see it against a Little Egret, managed a photo of the two together last year. Thanks for the visit. Regards John

  2. Some great images here, John. Your GWE images are far better than those I got. On the LROS site and twitter, there are two birds that were being seen at RW. On had mor black than yellow on the bill, and the other had a black tip to the bill. It seems that the one we saw on Thursday was between the two as far as the amount of yewllow was concerned - maybe it changes quickly as they come into or out of breeding condition?

    No, I didn't see a male Emerald Damsel at RW that day.

    See you on Thursday

  3. WOW these young kestrels allow for great images!!
    Your dragons are lovely too! I wish I could have had the opportunity to photograph more this season but my removal happened when dragonfly hunting was at its most interesting.
    About kingfishers, the most difficult thing is to find a dam (South African word) or small lake.
    If you know someone who has one then you can maybe organise a hide or bring your folding hide and plant a nice perch. When that's done, the rest is a piece of cake.... most of the time!!
    Keep well, I am running off again!

    1. Hi Noushka. I think the Kestrels have at last departed the box so things can steady down and I can get the box cleaned out hopefully for the Barnies to return. The Dragonfly hunting is not easy this year as at last the rain has stopped but it has become very windy and they seem unwilling to land. I have a small lake within 100 metres but have never seen a Kingfisher, will keep trying, one of these days success will be mine, {hopefully}. Have a good visit out. Regards John

    2. Hi Noushka. I think the Kestrels have at last departed the box so things can steady down and I can get the box cleaned out hopefully for the Barnies to return. The Dragonfly hunting is not easy this year as at last the rain has stopped but it has become very windy and they seem unwilling to land. I have a small lake within 100 metres but have never seen a Kingfisher, will keep trying, one of these days success will be mine, {hopefully}. Have a good visit out. Regards John

    3. I sincerely hope your wife feels better by now, John.
      Kind regards :)

    4. Thank you Noushka but this has been going on for a long time. John

  4. Wow! Those are incredible photos! Amazing close-ups and so sharp. Thanks for stopping by TJ, always enjoy your comments.

    1. Hi Denise, thanks for the interest, shame you cannot email apiece of that cake, it would go down fine with my tea tomorrow when on duty with the Ospreys. Always a pleasure to visit, so many different subjects.

  5. Hello John, these are some wonderful captures again. Glad T6 is back after some days of absence. Not long now before the Ospreys start their migration. I hope to hear that in a few years T6 will be spotted again in England. The Kestral in your garden is amazing and the photos of the Dragonflies are spectacular.

    1. Hi Roos, lovely to talk again. Richard and myself are actually on duty tomorrow so an update will be in the next blog. It was thought by some of the top people that T6 was actually in trouble and we had seen the last of her but after 4 days she returned very hungry, I suppose in some respects it was a little training for when she migrates and how hungry she will get. As you say hopefully in two or three years time we will see her again. The Kestrels have been a bit of a bonus even though they displaced the Barn Owls. Talk again soon. John

  6. Congratulations on your Great White Egret, John. Here it is known as simply Great Egret and in recent years has become reasonably common.

    1. Hi David, yes the Great White Egret was a real bonus for Richard and myself. Years ago the Little Egret was a scare bird, in fact to see one was a real thing, today we seem to have them everywhere, lets hope the G.W.E. does the same.
      Regards to you both. John

  7. John, I can't get over how gorgeous and captivating your photos are! I honestly feel as though I am right there taking this walk myself! I love to take long walks in nature and living in Montreal I don't get to see egrets (well, perhaps they are around somewhere), but the largest bird I recall seeing and photographing on a couple of occasions was the blue heron. And seeing your egret was so amazing, and in flight, too! You have an amazing talent in photography. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Hi Linda, thank you for your interest and comment, I met a gentleman some time ago at Rutland Water who lived in Montreal and was telling me that he had seen a Great White Egret in a park towards the centre of the city. The gent who posted the comment above {David Gascoigne} also lives in Canada. Again thank you for your kind words. Have a good rest of the week. Regards John


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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