Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Richard had phoned me on the Thursday morning to ask if it would be alright for us to visit Brandon Marsh in the afternoon instead of visiting Rutland Water, it appears that reasonable numbers of Kingfishers are being seen on site, so what more of an incentive is required. My answer was as your driving its your choice. So  Richard arrived at 12.45 hrs and said, how do you fancy going to Cossington Meadows, the Glossy Ibis is still on Rectory Marsh, we can park just across the road and be with it in five minutes, my initial thoughts were we could waste a lot of time again and miss out on the Brandon Marsh visit, we seem to be getting so many conflicting reports as to where the bird is feeding. So we got on our way to Cossington, parked in the Sports ground car park and within a few minutes went through the gate into the field where sat on the far side of the pool was the Glossy Ibis, we took a few long distance record shots so to be sure we had something before we attempted to get a little closer, the light we found to be awful and were both changing settings to try to get some of the birds coloring. Walking very steadily we crossed on the footpath, stopping and waiting several times so as not to disturb the bird before arriving at the far side of the field. We waited here for a while and took a few more images but the bird kept walking behind the small island it was on, however it eventually came out and then flew almost towards us, it looked as if it was going to pass us by and then turned and landed to the front of us. Unfortunately it was partially hidden by reeds but in time it moved into a clear area where we stood a better chance of an image. After a short time another couple appeared through the gate at the far end of the pool and proceeded towards us, looking through the bins they had obviously seen the Ibis and the gent had a large scope, but they just carried on getting closer to the bird. The gent then walked along the bank carrying his scope with the tripod at the ready until he was close to the bird, put the scope down and of course the bird  flew away, its a miracle it had not gone before, he looked amazed that the bird had gone, what a pair of idiots. The bird landed on the far side of the pool  and buried itself into the reeds.      

After this we headed back to the car park, muttering about the idiot with his scope, a large scope means you have no need to get close. 

We then got underway and headed towards Brandon Marsh, a new area for us both to visit, this was more a scouting visit. The staff on our arrival were very helpful showing us all the best spots for Kingfisher and providing us with a map each. We visited the bulk of the reserve and met up with a few of the locals who all said it was a quite time of the year and again told us the best places to visit later on. One also said it gets very wet near to some of the hides and he at times visits wearing waders. I don't think this will happen with us.

13 th October.

Glossy Ibis.

This is the position the bird was in when we first came through the gate and into the field at Rectory Marsh. This is an area of a small island well covered with reeds that the bird kept disappearing into, so we took a few safety images just in case it decided to go AWOL. At this point the bird was about 120 metres away from us.

By this image it had moved into a slightly clearer area so more record shots. We had moved to about 90 metres from the bird also.

It then moved out onto a spur on the island, no closer but made worse by what light we had got being behind the bird so we had white water.  

It then suddenly took off and headed towards us initially, in fact if it had remained on its original course it would have flown over us, it then turned very slightly away. 

And then turned back. 

And then as much as to say, Ahh your over in that direction.  

Turned and headed towards us and landed behind the reeds to the edge of the pool. 

Unfortunately these reeds kept getting in the way, as you can see from the tail of the bird. 

But it did get into a clear area occasionally, here with a dew drop.  

Then a quick preen, so the bird was relaxed and we were causing it no problems. We just stopped in the same position and shot away.

 It then walked to the left a small amount.

Feeding as it made its way around the pools edge. 

It then turned towards us, took one look. 

And turned to the right and started to move away from us. This was when the idiot turned up and walked up towards the bird and it flew away.

Apart from the couple disturbing the bird, this was a most enjoyable time with a really stunning bird. Just a shame the light was not better.


13th October.  

After the poor light at Cossington Meadows, by the time we arrived at Brandon Marsh, the sun was shining but the wind had got up. We spent most of the time on site having a walk about.

Pair of Mute Swans with five Juveniles. Jon Baldwin Hide. East Marsh Pool.

 These suddenly appeared from under the trees on the far side of the pool. 

Adult Male leading the line.  

Female Shoveler Duck heading towards the hide.  

Male Shoveler Duck, East Marsh Hide. 

Unknown Flower with Unknown Fly. Between East Marsh Hide and Carlton Hide.

I have no idea at all to the flower but it was only about 12 mm across so as you can see the fly is very small but also appears to be unusual with the flat back. 

Grey Heron landing. Teal Pool Hide.

This bird suddenly flew in out of the sun so difficult to get a decent image.

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


  1. Looks like you did somewhat better than me by using the higher exposure compensation for the ibis, John. Well done! Your flight shots as it came towards us are excellent - and something that I, frustratingly, totally missed!! It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

    See you soon - - - Richard

    1. Hi Richard, my thoughts are we are very similar in quality of images, it was just very unfortunate with the light and what little we had got was in front of us towards the bird, but that apart it was a totally enjoyable afternoon and my first images ever of a Glossy Ibis. See you soon for another trip out. John

  2. Magnificent photos Tom. I loved your study of the Glossy Ibis. I have never seen this particular type before, especially impressed with the flight shots. He is a beautiful bird. As for the Muted Swan family and that one close up shot, incredible! The beaks on the Shoveled Ducks are fascinating, beautifully evolved for their task. Great macro of that pretty flower and little visitor, and the landing Great Heron with its reflection was amazing. I’d say this was a very successful photo session. Enjoyed immensely by me, thank you!

    1. Hi Denise, thank you for the visit and glad you enjoyed the Glossy Ibis, likewise I have never seen an Ibis before in England, have seen them in Africa, as you say it is a real beauty, just a shame about the bad light. Mute swans are a favourite of mine as they always are so elegant. Shovelers are a delightful duck and always are busy feeding, so difficult to get an image with heads above water. Glad you also thought it was a successful session, it most certainly was. Glad you missed the Bear, give them plenty of room. All the best, have a good rest of the week Regards John

  3. Fantastic John, the Glossy Ibis is out of this world. Well done John.

    1. Hi Bob, Thanks for the visit, it is a really beautiful bird, just a shame with the light. However have been again this afternoon in the sun so lets see what we have got. All the best. Regards John

  4. Wonderful shots of the Glossy Ibis, specially like the ones inflight . Great images considering you say light was bad and at a distance. I think you were very fortunate to capture such a rare occurrence.Also love the female Shoveler duck and Heron landing. Always something to admire!!

    1. Hi Margaret, Thanks for the comment, hopefully getting easier for you. The Glossy Ibis is a rare visitor so it was superb to see it, it is in fact still on site as I was this afternoon, have still got to download the images. Shovelers are a beautiful duck we see on a regular basis. Again thanks for the visit. All the best and see you soon. John

  5. Many thoughts come into my mind as I rad your words and look at your pics!
    first, it seems strange to me that to get all worked up (me too when I see it in Camargue, south-east of France) with this species when I had a few daily in my south African garden in Johannesburg! LOL!
    About the difficulty of shooting in such light, one must not hesitate to over expose seriously, knowing the water or sky will look white in any case but to get the magnificent shine of the plumage, we need the sun!!
    Considering the distance, these pics are very good.
    I was quite exited to get a Grey plover also quite far ( 65 to 70 m)and in the mist, a first for me but I am fairly happy with the quality of the pics taken with 800 mm... on my blog today.

    Great photos too in Branton park, the swan is such an impressive bird, we don't have many in my area.
    I love the shovelers!
    Keep well John, kind regards :)

    1. Hi Noushka, Thank you for the visit, you lucky person getting the Ibis in your garden. I tend to underexpose with my images as I find it easier to bring back the detail doing so, will try over exposing next time. Managed another visit yesterday and the sun was shining but could not get close at all to the bird, distant images but with the sheen on the feathers. Super images of the Grey Plover, that 800 mm lens really comes up with some superb results, have just left a comment. Mute Swans are a very elegant bird but yesterday we had 12 Whooper Swans at Rutland but about 1000 metres away, to far to even see properly without a scope. Have a good rest of the week. Regards John ps thanks for the advice.

    2. Yes, I just read your comment, thank John!
      I wish I could see and photograph Mute and Whooper swans.... never even saw them!!
      And yes, you are to under-expose when the sun is out or when it becomes dark but one must remember to over-expose when shooting a dark bird against a very light background and sometimes, we just don't think of it or too late! LOL!
      Enjoy you WE :)

    3. Hi Noushka, must admit I have never thought of it in that way. lets hope the bird is still staying about a few more days and I get the chance to try this out. As for the Swans, we seem to have a sudden influx of Whooper Swans at both Rutland and Eyebrook reservoirs. I believe in total at Rutland we have 18 and Eyebrook has 6. both reservoirs have a considerable number of resident Mute Swans. Again thank you for the advice, all the best to you. Regards John

  6. Great photos, I liked a lot. I have linked your blog to mine, Greetings from Spain.

  7. Hi German, thank you for the visit and thanks for the link to your blog. All the best from England. Regards John

  8. Great series of pictures.. Love the Ibis.. In Spain the name is Morito.. :-))) Happy Sundas

  9. Hi Ana, the Ibis is a stunning bird but my images don't really show the full coloration I'm afraid. Hope for a sunny day and will then try Noushkas ideas. All the, Regards John best


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!