Tuesday, 13 September 2016


We were due to carry out our last Duty at Manton Bay with the Ospreys on Thursday the 8 th of September and on Wednesday we had a call to say that 33/11 was still on site, the Female having left on Tuesday the 6th mid morning. So as normal I arrived at the Lyndon Centre to find Paul, Kayleigh an J.J { the projects Gambian representative } all sitting outside the centre enjoying the sun and eating lunch. I was greeted with no birds in the bay, but he still could come back, he only flew away at 10.00 so Richard was already down at the hide as he had left early and had a morning Little Owling. I upon this news sat and had a chat with J.J. as my wife and I have visited West Africa on numerous occasions and are really very fond of Gambia and the friendly people. We last visited 6 years ago when my wife unfortunately caught a virus and has not been well since.

So after about half an hour with J.J. I got underway for Waderscrape Hide to help with the watch in case of a returning bird, As I walked up to the door Richard was just about to phone me as he was worried as to me being alright, so we settled down to a bit of a boring duty with none of these wonderful birds to watch. At the end of our shift we took a slow walk back to the centre looking for Dragonflies, but it had become rather windy, unfortunately non were seen. When you have been involved with and watched these birds all summer, its a sad time but then we have next year to look forward to.

Richard decided to have another look through the Little Owl Sites as he didn't want to be late home, so he got on his way and I decided to head for Egleton to look at what goodies it had on offer on the Lagoons. I first visited the Woodland Walk, but as it was later in the day and the sun was behind the trees and even though the area was shielded from the wind, again no Dragonflies were seen. 

From here I visited Sandpiper Hide on Lagoon 4 where I met up with a young gent with a superb scope, he was very helpful and  pointed out numerous birds including Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and one Little Stint. These were reasonably easy to see through the large scope he had got, but without it difficult to see, virtually impossible through the bins. So I visited Plover Hide to try to get a little closer, but from here they were shielded mostly by an island, so in the end I headed for Shoveler Hide on Lagoon 3 where a Bittern and three Great White Egrets had been seen. No sign of the Bittern, but by then the gent had moved down from Lagoon 4 and said he had been in the Hide earlier and the Bittern had flown across the Lagoon, he had also seen some Hobbies but they were flying over the trees on the far side of the Lagoon, no doubt picking off Dragonflies.  One Great White flew in and landed just over 80 metres away, not that either me or the other gent in the Hide saw it land, we were busy looking for the Bittern and Hobbies, it came as a surprise to see it when putting the bins down. So I made the best of that, took some images, and as it was getting late and the light was fading I headed for the car park and towards the Little Owl Sites before it was dark. As on my outward journey I had seen a bird on the door at Site 12 I carried on past and headed towards Site 9  for a late tea and again saw a single bird in the nest hole, no image attempted due to the light and no birds seen at any other sites, it had become very windy and was also dark so really no chance of seeing any birds.

Sorry the post is a little late, but we had our end of season Osprey meeting on Sunday evening at the Egleton Centre which Richard and I attended, and had a really good evening with an excellent fish and chip supper.

The end of Season report was a total of eight nests were initially in use, but one was destroyed by Egyptian Geese leaving seven nests. These produced Fifteen Juvenile Ospreys. At one point in the Season we had twenty one adults on site but  after the nest was destroyed on Lagoon 4, the female flew away I believe  to Dyfi in Wales.     



8th September.

The Manton Bay Nest, Waderscrape Hide.

The sad site of an empty nest but will hopefully see the adults next March and some of the Juveniles in two years. 

Tracked Osprey 30/05 Migration Route.

She appears to have slowed down on her route but is well into Mauritania and not far from her Winter roost in Senegal. I would think by the time this post is online, she will be on her beach enjoying the sun and warmth throughout the Winter months, lucky girl.

Made it To Lampoul Beach, Senegal.

As I thought she made it as I posted the blog so have done a quick update, what superb birds to navigate such a trip over some really testing terrain.

8th September.

Great White Egret, Shoveler Hide, Lagoon 3.

Whilst another gent and I were scanning the Lagoon for either a Bittern or Hobbies we suddenly noticed that this bird had arrived, neither of us was aware it had flown in, shows how attentive we were. 

A quick preen and then away into the water for a quick feed. 

Missed on this attempt. 

And this, in fact in the time I was watching it, I never saw it catch anything. 

Another quick preen, it seemed that whilst the bird was in deeper water, it kept its feather tighter to its body. 

It then flew up onto this structure farther out in the bay. 

Green Sandpiper, Shoveler Hide, Lagoon 3.
I could see seven of the birds scattered about the shallows area. 


Chocolate Tip Moth Caterpillar,Clostera Curtula, Late Instar Larva.
This was on the step into our Kitchen. 

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


  1. Oh wow, the feather detail in your egret is phenomenal. Love these pictures and am also amazed at the detail in your Chocolate Tip Moth Caterpillar.

    1. Hi Denise, the Egret is a really handsome bird, we didn't see it arrive, with such a large bird this seems impossible. The Caterpillar was just walking across the step into our kitchen. Have a good rest of the week.
      Regards John

  2. I read the blog of the Rutland Ospreys John and 30 made it to her winter grounds. Almost in a straight line! It give Always a sad feeling to see the empty nest but they will be back next season. I am sure of it. The White Egret is such a beautyful bird and your captures of it are stunning. Love also the Green Sandpiper. A wonderful bird. Al in all a great blog to read.

  3. Hi Roos, it is sad when the Ospreys leave but as you say it won't be that long before they are back and all the monitoring starts again, as usual people from the project will visit her on the beach in Senegal just after Christmas. The G W E is a stunning bird. Thanks for the visit, have a good rest of the week. Regards John

  4. Another year of your Osprey duty completed ! How quickly it has passed. Fantastic news to know they have reached their destination. What an amazing flight! You have posted great pictures throughout of many things. Hope the winter goes as fast and look forward to next season.
    Lovely images of the GW Egret. Specially like the ones with reflection in water and the Green Sandpiper is so pretty. Here's hoping the Little Owls start to make more appearances - also other things of interest! M.

  5. Hi Margaret, it only seems five minutes ago we were talking about the Ospreys returning and the season has gone and they are back to Africa. The G W Egret is a flashy bird, difficult to get a decent image of being white which tends to burn out without having to alter some settings, at the moment we have three at Rutland. As you say lets hope the Little Owls will be easier to find soon once the leaves thin out. Hope you feel better soon. John

  6. Beautiful Great White Egret, pure photographery.

  7. Hi Bob, great to have you back and hopefully feeling a lot better, the G W E is a very stylish and flashy bird, thanks for the visit. Regards John

  8. Absolutely fabulous images of the GWE, John!! You certainly maximised that opportunity, even if you did miss the arrival!

    See you soon - - Richard

  9. Hi Richard, had a wonderful time that afternoon especially at Lagoon 3 and the G W E, as we have said many times, don't miss the obvious, and as usual two of us did this, got to be able to blame someone else as well.

    See you soon for another outing. John

  10. I think that one day, John, you will have to make that long trip to see the Ospreys in their winter quarters. Just imagine how satisfying it would be to see old friends again and it would then add even more excitement at their return the following spring.


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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