Saturday, 10 December 2016


Those of you that follow my blog on a regular basis will have noticed that last weeks blog never appeared, this was due to a mixture of things. Tree Surgeons at home for a couple of days, a builder doing some work on the house and workshop roofs but mainly cloudy weather.  I set out on Monday the 5th of December to get out for an hour or two after lunch but after getting a few miles from home {where we had the sun was shining} it became evident that it was going to be very misty and murky where I was heading, so I about turned and returned home.

I decided that I would go out on our normal Thursday outing, even though Richard was unavailable due to family duties, so I left home at approx 12.00 hrs and headed for our normal Little Owl route with my eventual destination being Eyebrook Reservoir. On my outbound trip I passed all the usual sites and not until Little Owl Site No. 9 where I stopped for my lunch did I see a bird, whilst eating my sandwiches and when the sun came out, a second bird showed in the nest hole which was great to see that we still had a pair in residence. I then turned back towards site No 8 where when I was passing on my way in, a gent was walking down the road with his dog so I carried on by, not wanting to give away the site but also he was likely to have spooked the bird. On my return I eventually spotted the bird and after letting the car roll backwards so I could get a shot between the branches managed an image. I carried on past the remaining site but saw no more birds and so I headed for Eyebrook to what if any goodies were about. 

I arrived at the bridge to have a look for the elusive Kingfisher, I must admit to having seen one during the afternoon but it never stopped, I just saw the blue flash come from under the bridge as it passed by. I only managed a few images during the afternoon but it has certainly showed me what this lens will be capable of achieving. What didn't help was a shoot going on close by but with the shortage of light I really hadn't got time to go else where. 

On my return trip I again passed the Little Owl sites and managed another three birds, one at Site No. 6 and two at Site No. 5, no images were taken at 5 but I managed some at 6 even though the light was virtually gone. So all in all Little Owl wise this proved a very successful outing with 6 birds seen, this being my best outing for a considerable time.  

8th December.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This is the view of the nest hole when I arrived for my lunch, just the one bird visible. 

Then the sun came out and the second bird became visible. The sun was very variable all afternoon, shining one minute and then gone for a while.

Little Owl Site No. 6.

Just a single bird seen here and the light was fading very quickly. Lucky to get an image at all.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This is the site I returned to after passing a gent walking his dog at the site. I eventually managed to find the bird and after some moving of the car managed to get this image without many branches in the way.

8th December.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Adult Male.

As much as I don't like taking Images of birds on feeders, this bird just came in and landed on the feeder and then flew away, only to return again and land on the feeder, unfortunately not in the tree. The other thing being the bird was just over 18 metres away.
Unfortunately I had turned the ISO down, this was an error for this lens it appears.

Chaffinch, Adult Male.

Again in the same area but above the feeders so a similar distance.


This bird upon checking the distance was 56 metres away so delighted with the results, they are such a pretty bird and we have them in large numbers so far this year, 

This bird was 79 metres away and high up in the tree, Just getting ready to fly away. 

Second shot in the burst and away it flies, lucky capture.



This again a long shot at over 50 metres, again reasonably pleased with the result.


These birds had been disturbed by the shoot going on earlier, but as the light was failing I managed a few images. These I am not that pleased with as these birds were only 20 metres  from me and I was really expecting better, especially after the Redwing image at 50 metre + away, I really am not sure as to what I did wrong, any ideas anybody.  

I then thought I would try a really long shot.
238,900 miles.

Again an image I'm reasonably pleased with, my best of the moon ever, but I had to put in minus 4.7 EV to achieve it.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them.
Please remember that this was a very experimental visit for me and the lens. 


  1. Gran reportaje mi amigo John, con buenas fotos e información. Un abrazo desde España.

    1. Hi German and thank you for your visit. Glad you enjoyed the images. All the best to you from England.
      Regards John

  2. I hope you have lots of more great moments with your new lens John. The captures you took look prommising. Great you saw so many LO. The Fieldfare and Redwing are wonderful and the Red Kite stunning. The moon is superbe.

    1. Hi Roos, yes I also hope for some decent images from the lens, I think it will take some getting used to but given time as with the last lens you get start to work on auto and not thinking what to do next. Only bad point is its weight. Was very pleased with the first Redwing image over such a distance. Also pleased with the image of the moon, never before have I had anything like a decent image. All the best and have a good week, hope your husband is completely recovered. Regards John

  3. That new lens seems to be working extremely well, John. Some super captures! So pleased that you managed to get out and find some decent birds in fair light at last - I know how frustrated you've been.

    My favourite image, however, is the moon - it was inspired to do it in monochrome.

    See you Thursday, all things being equal. Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. Hi Richard, thanks for the visit and yes the lens is working well, was a bit disappointed with the Red Kites with them being so close, we will have to have a look on Thursday and see what we can do to improve,may be messing with the f required?? Glad you liked my attempt at the moon, taken in the layby where you got your Barn Owl images. See you Thursday. All the best to you both. John

  4. Oh yes, the Fieldfare is beautiful, and the Red Kite, priceless John.

    1. Hi Bob and thanks for the visit, my favourites are the Redwings, such a pretty bird, All the best and have a good week. Regards John

  5. Hi John,
    Well your new lens did prove to be excellent!
    Great pics here considering the distance... but you don't say what lens it is!!
    About the Red kite, it can happen, I also thought I had a probleme with my 800 mm lens at one point but it turned out that I was trying on very distant subjects or very constrasted.
    It also can be that you move a bit without noticing.
    With practice, you will quickly define its limits.
    I don't know if I was of ny help but you are experienced enough to sort it out!! ;-)
    Keep well and enjoy your week!

    1. Hi Noushka, the lens giving both me and it given time will i'm sure prove to be really excellent, I have bought the Sigma 150 - 600 mm Sports lens and have it on the Nikon D810. It just seemed strange to me that the Woodpecker at 18 m was relatively sharp, apart from the movement on the beak. Where as the Kites at not much greater distance were disappointing, may also be a case of working with the f stop to give me a greater depth of focus. Thanks for the visit and advice. Richard and myself are out on Thursday so between us we will see what we can do. All the best to you and thanks, Regards John

    2. Thanks to you for your reply, John, the sport version of that lens is excellent, no wonder you get great results. No as for the "bad" ones, my experience is that it is always our own mistake whether we had not the focus perfectly right or a depth of field too short. I never go below 7.1 or 8 in Aperture.
      Enjoy your outing with Richard and your week :)

    3. Hi Noushka and thanks for the advice, unable to put a post together as we have awful dull weather. When out with Richard last Thursday it was not good, in fact we finished deleting the bulk of the images. I found that even though shooting at ISO 1600, I was still only working on 1/30s. The only positive thing to come out of the visit was a site I had found a week or two prior where we found 15 Red Kites all flying together. Wish we could get some sun. Look after yourself, all the best John

  6. Lovely blog!! Great shots of Little Owls, super images of Fieldfare and specially like the Red Wing about to take flight,,
    SUPER moon! Nice to have you back in action behind the camera. M

    1. Hi Margaret, glad to be back and lets hope for some sun again this week to help. Red wings are a super subject and normally I have taken them on the ground, see you soon. John

  7. Ohhh love the redwing and the Fieldfare.. Fantastic and lovely the little owl innkeeper.. have a great week.. Merry Christmas..

  8. Hi Ana, thank you for your visit, loved your Robin images, Redwing and Fieldfare are delightful birds which we were seeing in reasonable numbers, I hope this carries on. You have a good week and Christmas. Regards John

  9. How utterly wonderful to see those two Little Owls in the hole together. I will never forget the joy I had discovering them with Richard during my trip to the UK, and of course your kindness in permitting me a great view of a Barn Owl. I am really sorry to hear that they have been driven off.

  10. Hi Both, We are still seeing the two Liitle Owls together, they are at the spot where we have our lunch and I'm sure they watch us as much as we watch them, we were both so pleased when you went out with Richard and saw so many Little Owls. It was also a pleasure to have you round to see the Barn Owl, came onto the front of the box almost to order. Still keeping fingers crossed for this year with the Barn Owls, BTO licence has been received, we still keep hearing them calling late on. 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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