Monday, 21 November 2016


I decided on Wednesday afternoon to have a quick visit to Swithland Reservoir on another hunt for the elusive {to me} Mandarin Ducks. Having spent about half an hour searching to no avail, I suddenly heard the sound of a steam train in the distance, the Great Central Railway line crosses the reservoir on a mixture of embankment and bridges, again after a few minutes I heard the train again so back into the car and head for the noise. On arriving at the line a large engine sat by the bridge with numerous people getting out of the carriages and onto the track. It was apparently a steam special where the train stops at numerous places along the track for photo opportunities  and I was just lucky to have come across  one of these stops.

After this it was getting very cloudy and dark so I headed towards home just taking on more image at the far end of the Reservoir of a Little Egret.

My next visit out was with Richard on Thursday and as it was my turn to drive. Richard arrived at our house for 11.30 hrs and we got on our way on our normal Little Owl route. We made our way through to Site No. 9 and had our lunch. From here we passed the remainder of our sites but no birds were seen and it had become very windy with leaves flying everywhere. We then made our way through to Eyebrook Reservoir for another try for the Kingfishers at the bridge which also meant I could rest my knee for another week just standing at the bridge and not walking.

On our return trip we again passed all our Little Owl sites and this time saw birds at Site Nos. 8 &15  which was a bonus for how the weather had turned with heavy rain and very windy. In fact it was the wind that had removed the leaves at Site 8 allowing us to see the bird. We had not seen a bird at this site since the Spring.

16 th November.    

70013, Oliver Cromwell, Brittania Class, {Standard Class S7.}

This engine first came into service in May 1951 and appears to be ready for Winter with the snow plough fitted.

This is after the people had disembarked and had all got onto the embankment and bridge for a photo call of the engine.  

This for me was a real bonus to find such a beautifully preserved engine. 

Grey Heron sitting on the side of the Overflow Channel near the Dam.

By this time it was getting very dull and I had just heard the train in the distance so I took a quick image of the bird which was at a distance of 75 metres. 

Little Egret.

This taken at the far end of the Reservoir and was 30 metres away and the light was failing.

17 th November.

Red Kite.

Whilst we stood at the bridge waiting to see if the Kingfisher would turn up, we finished up with three Kites flying around, not over close but wonderful to see. 

These birds were reintroduced to an area near Corby in Northamptonshire and are doing really well and spreading. We even see the odd bird at home. They really are beautiful graceful birds and the way they move the tail to steer is stunning.  

Managed to get two of the birds together.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

On our outward journey we saw no bird here  but on our return and with the high winds we had experienced during the afternoon, most of the lower leaves had been blown away and the bird was visible between the branches. We have not seen a bird at this site since the Spring. probably has been hidden by the leaves?

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

Monday, 14 November 2016


At the moment we are having some awful weather for anyone trying to get some decent images, the last really good day was the day I got my images of the Glossy Ibis for the last post. I was amazed to read David Gascoignes recent post where on his last outing in Canada  the temperature was 20 deg plus. 

The last visit out with Richard was on the 28th October when we visited Rutland Water at the Egleton Reserve. My first three images were from that visit and the only ones I decided to use, I had got some images of the G.W.E. but decided I had got better previously and would not post them. Also the light was abysmal and after getting the mouse images it only got worse as the afternoon progressed. 

My next visit was last Thursday the 3rd of November when I had a singleton visit out leaving home at 11.45 hrs and having my lunch at Little Owl Site 9, where I saw a single bird. After this I headed straight to Egleton and booking in with our friend David, was told to get to get to Lagoon 4 as he had seen two Peregrine Falcons about in the morning. So I headed straight through to Lagoon 4 and Sandpiper Hide and sure enough sat on the Osprey Nest was a single Peregrine, I then headed for Dunlin Hide as this would about half the distance of the shots and arriving very quietly and opening the shutters very slowly the bird still sat on the nest. After a few trial shots as the bird sat on the far side of the nest and was not that visible but was still a reasonable distance away. Must admit its a lot easier getting images of the Osprey on the nest than the Peregrine.

After this I headed for Shoveler Hide but not much was about, so out and along to Buzzard Hide where I managed a few images and decided to head for Crake Hide, on the way towards the hide I slipped and pushed my left knee in a direction its really not supposed to go. It took me about an hour to get back to the car park with numerous sits down on fence posts and anything else I could find. So since Saturday I have been wearing a very fancy hinged knee support which takes most of the weight from the knee and damaged cartilage.
Hopefully given time it will heal without the use of a scalpel, so fingers crossed.

Unfortunately this means I will be unable to do much walking around Rutland Water until it eases so the posts may be thin on the ground.


28th October .

Wood Mouse, Near Redshank Hide.

As we walked down the site this little soul sat in the middle of the path and didn't appear to be bothered by us at all, in fact it gave us the look of "I've eaten bigger than you". It was however a delightful little mouse and we managed to get very close without bothering it. The tail length on this specimen appears excessive to what the books say. { can be up to one and a half times the body length.}  

If you look into the eye, you can just make out my reflection. 

After spending about ten minutes with it, we gave the little soul some peace and got on our way.

Little Owl Site No 9.

Stopped at this site for our lunch before carrying on through to Rutland Water and not to let us down this bird sat in the nest hole.

3rd November.

Peregrine Falcon, Lagoon 4, Dunlin Hide.

At last I have managed to get to the Lagoon and the bird be still about. David had seen two in the morning but I am grateful to see just the one. The nest is 185 metres from the Hide.  

At this time the bird was being hassled by several Black Headed gulls. 

And eventually flew towards the T post. Its considerably easier getting images of the Ospreys on the nest.  

The bird then landed on the post and the gulls went away. This time the bird was 190 metres away. 

Amazing thing was that none of the other birds in the area showed the slightest interest in the Peregrine, or appeared bothered by this bird. 

Wigeon Drake, Lagoon 4, Dunlin Hide.

This bird is in full plumage following eclipse, really stunning. 

Dunlin, {I think} Lagoon 4, Dunlin Hide.

This bird was when checked was 86 metres from the hide so unable to crop the image any more.

Black Headed Gull, Lagoon 3, Buzzard Hide.

These birds are around in large numbers all over the Reservoir. 

Little Egret, Lagoon 3, Buzzard Hide.

Find it very difficult to resist taking an image when I see these. 

Pintail Duck, Lagoon 3, Buzzard Hide.

Unfortunately a long distance shot, the bird again is just developing full plumage following eclipse and the full long tail has still to arrive. 

Grey Heron, Lagoon 2, Smew Hide.

As a rule this hide is very difficult  to get images from but by this time the sun had gone in and it was turning very cloudy so had to have a try.

Wasp near to Crake Hide.

Seen on a section of new fence, it was about three steps after taking this image that I slipped.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them. However if I could have avoided slipping it would have been even better. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016


I decided on Wednesday the  2nd of November to have a quick trip out,  firstly to visit Swithland Reservoir to look for the Mandarin ducks { which didn't materialise } so I then had a quick visit to Cossington Meadows and Rectory Marsh to see if the Glossy Ibis was still in attendance.  This time I parked at the other end of the site and walked through the fields so as to finish by the water with the sun coming from my right hand side. On arriving I found a lady and gent already on site and stood about fourty metres from them was the Ibis. I took my first safety shots at about 50 metres and then slowly approached them. The lady said she had been on site for about an hour and the bird had been reasonably stationary all the time she had been on site. The gent had apparently only arrived about five minutes before me so we all settled in and watched until it got into the right position sun wise and then fired a few shots to check settings. 

Eventually another couple arrived, one with a small camera and her husband with a camera phone. We all tried to be tactful and say not to go close to the bird, but after about ten minutes it became evident we would have been better telling the Ash Tree behind us, She got closer and closer to the bird, so I said please stay where you are, other people are arriving and it would be most unfair to flush the bird. Her answer was "we haven't all got big lenses" and proceeded forward yet again. She eventually flushed the bird so then she and her husband got both barrels, I then remembered some words that had been used on the LROS site and finished with them. " Please do us all a favour and take up a different interest". With that they both set off with the husband trying to retaliate against me to the other side of the water where the bird had flown again only to disturb the bird and luckily send back to us.

With that they obviously decided not to come back via us and took the long walk back to the car via Cossington. We all said good riddance, and carried on with getting some images. This was followed very shortly by a gent with two dogs who walked up to me and said  "its still here then" and then proceed to walk towards the bird and disturb it. I will not repeat what I said to him but I apologised to the lady who was I must admit in fits of laughter and said " I could not have put it better myself". After this we gave it best and left the poor bird in peace.      

First safety shot taken at about fifty metres.  

I then walked up to the other people on site so the rest of the images are between thirty and fourty metres. 

 So far the bird has been stood on one leg.


And eventually had a scratch. 

And this is when the stupid woman disturbed the bird. 

And it flew to the other side of the pool, also frightened the Teal.  

This is after she chased the bird round the other side of the pool and it returned to within about fifty metres from us. 

It then walked closer to us, this at thirty metres approx. 

It then proceeded away from us feeding at speed with head down. 

Very dificult subject to get decent images from. body in the sun but the head completely in the shade. 

Even with this image very little of the sheen is visible, really critical at getting it totally in the sun and then pulling the EV into a negative value.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did in the getting of the images. {Even with the IDIOT factor we had to deal with}

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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