Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Richard phoned on Monday morning to say he was going to visit Alvecote Woods on the last official opening day on Monday the 30th of August and asked if I would like to visit with him. This is a privately owned woodland to which Richard had previously visited with great success, so I decided to visit with him and so on the afternoon after lunch I got under way and met up with him on site, he managed an earlier start than me so I met up with him at the bottom of the site adjacent to the canal and some small ponds. We had a busy but excellent afternoon getting images and generally having a good look about, another certain visiting spot for next year.

Then we had our normal Thursday outing and decided to visit Rutland Water and the Lyndon Centre as the Ospreys were still in attendance at the Manton Bay nest. Richard arrived at about 13.15 hrs and we got on our way and with Richard behind the wheel drove straight through to Rutland Water, deciding to look through our Little Owl sites on our return. On arrival and chatting with Paul, he told us that the Long Tailed duck was still showing at Teal Hide so with that he gave us a conducted tour down to Teal and sure enough Richard spotted the duck after a few minutes. After that we had a very slow walk down to Waderscrape Hide looking for and following Dragonflies which were as usual being very elusive. We followed them, watched them to see if they landed, and eventually managed some images but they certainly made it hard work. We then had a quick visit to Waderscrape Hide to find out where the birds were and had a quick chat with the volunteers on duty and then headed for  Shallow Water Hide, again looking and watching the Dragonflies on the way through. We eventually arrived at the hide at 15.50 hrs and spent about a hour and an half  before making our return through to Teal Hide looking for Dragonflies.  We left then for the Car Park and our return journey and some tea at about 17.50 hrs and headed straight for Site 12 but no birds were seen so we decide to head for site 9 to have our teas. On arrival we could see a bird in the entrance to the nest hole so we sat, scoffed our tea with us watching the owl and the owl watching us. After this we visited all our usual sites but the light was going fast and no other birds were seen.

31st August.

European Hornet.

I thought getting a decent image of a Dragonfly in flight was difficult, with a Hornet I found it virtually impossible. They change direction, dart behind reeds in fact anything to make life difficult. As soon as you find them in the viewfinder they change direction, then camera down and find them again, and then go through the same process. Luckily we had a reasonable number of them, so eventually you had to get something, even if it was not that good.

This one landed just for a second or two. 

Another sneaking through on the weed but still partially hidden by reeds.  

Common Darter, Male.

We had Common Darters around all afternoon, but it was at this time my camera started playing up, in fact it was not the camera that was at fault, luckily, I was, with Richard who noticed I had pressed the bkt button and he soon had me firing on all cylinders again.  

Brown Hawker, Ovipositing.

Brown Hawkers were the most seen Dragonfly, these were mostly females and were Ovipositing which for images made life considerably easier, but as with the Hornets its surprising how many reeds they can find to hide behind. 

You can see how clear the water was, as over half the abdomen is under water.  

 Close up of  Thorax.

We were both walking around this pond and up to the edge with the cameras up to our faces, I think we were both waiting for the other to be first to fall in, but we both managed to get away with it.

Dragonfly Exuvia.

Not sure as to which Dragonfly but with an Interesting beetle above it. 

An interesting looking Beetle.

Another I am still looking on the Internet for to find out what it is.

1st September.

Long Tailed Duck, Drake. Teal Hide.

First I have ever seen, I believe not the first to visit Rutland Water. 

Cormorant, Teal Hide.

They swim so low in the water.

Start of a dive. 

Up comes the tail and down goes the bird. 

Black Headed Gull.

Common enough gull and also very noisy, these were chasing around to the front of Teal Hide but still an interesting subject to get an image. 

Tufted Duck.

Again a common duck but a delightful little creature.  

Brown Hawker, Male.

 This spotted by Richard on our walk down to the Hides, sitting up high in a Hawthorne bush to the side of the path.

Ruddy Darter, Male, between Waderscrape and Shallow Water Hides. 

Common Darter, between Waderscrape and Shallow Water Hides. 

Migrant Hawker, Males, Near Tufted Duck Hide.

We had been searching for either Southern or Migrant Hawkers as we had only seen them flying, then just like the buses, three came along at once!! 

Crane Fly.

Always have had a love of Daddy Long Legs, when I trout fished at Rutland Water this was a super time of the year with trout splashing about all over after the Daddies. 

Hornet outside Tufted Duck Hide.

It has been years since I have seen a Hornet, then on two trips out to different venues, have seen them twice.

1 st September.

Male and Female birds both on the 'T' post. Waderscrape Hide.

As you can see even though the Juveniles are long gone, adults are still in attendance in the bay. 

Female flying over the far side of the Bay.

Male and Female {left} from Shallow Water hide. 

Female did a some flying about, the Male very little.

Female taking a dip at the base to the nest pole. 

Female flying near the hedge in the fields behind the nest.

Then returns to the T post. 

And lands. 

Male sat on the camera post and watched. 

Migration Route of 30/05.

This female has a satellite transmitter and this was her position at 20.00 hrs on the 1st of September. She should be well into Morrocco by today.
Will keep updating as to her progress, she will be heading for her tree on Lampoul beach in Senegal where she is visited by Project Members.

Update on £0/05 migration, she is well into Morrocco and is three quarters of her way to her Winter ground after only 8 days, 1865 miles, some going.  

Juvenile Wagtail, Shallow Water Hide.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Wonderful at last to have a Little Owl Back on the post, we have been seeing the odd bird but either the light was no good or the quality of the image was poor. These birds have had at least one juvenile in a tree farther down the field and have at last returned to the Winter and hopefully again nest hole after being evicted last Spring.

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


  1. Great post John,
    Wonderful shots of the Brown hawker that I have still to see. They are fairly rare in France and non-existant in the south.
    Those 3 Migrant hawker together is a sight I not witnessed although I know that it is not uncommon to see many together at migration time.
    I hope you only have the indigenous hornet, we here have to face the invasion of the Asian one and it is a very real threat to bees :(
    And a LO in the last pic!!
    Great stuff, keep well :)

    1. Hi Noushka, thanks for thew visit, was pleased to see the Brown Hawkers, I didn't realise that they were rare in France. The three Migrant Hawkers together is something IO have not seen before, usually if they are that close together they are fighting. I believe the Hornet was European so hopefully not your Asian. and at last a Little Owl image, can keep the blog name as it is. Have a good rest of the week. Regards John

    2. Thanks for your reply, John, yes your hornet is european!
      I have a picture of the asian one soon to be posted. The difference is quite obvious, the asian is quite darker.
      Enjoy your WE!

    3. Hi Noushka, thanks for the confirmation, we really could do without anymore foreign imports. Look forward to your posting of the Asian. You have a good weekend. Regards John

  2. Well, John, this all looks rather familiar to me! You did better than I did with the Brown Hawker and Hornet at Alvecote Wood! A very comprehensive and enjoyable post.

    See you on Thursday - I wonder if our two Ospreys will still be there?

    1. Hi Richard, must be an element of snap. I have just come in from the back, chasing Hawkers earlier, then sat down and suddenly heard a Little Owl call, in the corner by the Owl box, this followed by a call half way up the back, this carried on for about fifteen minutes and I came in then as it was nearly dark. Most likely juveniles on the move. We still from what I can see have the two adults, wait till Thursday. See you then whatever we are doing. John

  3. You did it again John, an amazing series of the most enjoyable photos. The water birds, dragonfly close ups and other insects are impressive. The Ospreys are always a treat, the wagtail and little owl, wonderful! I also enjoyed the migratory map very much. Thank you for sharing all :)

    1. Hi Denise, thank you for the visit, as I am sure you can tell from the images, I am very fond of all the subjects. As you will understand from your own blog, its very satisfying to get positive comments from your visitors. So glad you have enjoyed your visit. Regards John

  4. Wonderful shots of dragon flies - they look so sinister! Nice to get an owl back on your blog but you always manage to get so many super, varied shots . Love the young wagtail too. M

    1. Hi Margaret, glad you enjoyed the Dragonflies must admit to being pleased with the header image, and yes at last a Little Owl image, out yesterday on Osprey Duty, saw two Little Owls but darkness was descending when having the chance of an image, see you soon. John

  5. Hello John, that Brown Hawker is amazing and more so to be able to take a picture of it. I did not succeed because they never stoped to have a rest. It is nice to go out with a friend like Richard and still see the different angel in wich the same subject is captured. Those three Hawkers hanging on the branche is stunning. As I followed the Ospreys and read the blog they write I understand that all birds are now gone on their way to Africa. Another season ended.

  6. Hello Roos, it has been difficult year with both Dragonflies and Butterflies due to the wind over in England, as you say its not easy to catch them landed. Richard and myself have some wonderful visits out, unfortunately we get some overlaps of images but as you see they are from different angles. Yes the Ospreys have all gone, we had the end of season meeting last night, it has been a really successful season for the birds, it's also a sad time for the volunteers as we miss the birds and the duties. Regards John A good video posted on the Rutland site of the year in Manton Bay put together by Kayleigh.

  7. Fantástico reportaje mi amigo John, unas fotos realmente buenas. Un abrazo desde España.

    1. Hi German, thank you for the visit and comment, all the best from England. Regards John

    2. Hi German, thank you for the visit and comment, all the best from England. 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.
Free counters!