Friday, 30 December 2016


I am finding this lens is nowhere as forgiving as the 50 - 500 mm and you have to put more thought into what you are doing, I have had a couple of outings not doing this and have paid the price with totally mediocre images, but that's the name of the game. Hopefully with this last visit out with Richard things are improving.

We had our normal Thursday visit out and were very lucky with the weather, the forecast was for fog all day but we had virtually wall to wall sunshine with the frost remaining throughout the day, and some very slippy roads in Rutland.  It was Richards turn to drive and we got on our way and headed initially for Loughborough as some Waxwings had been reported on Nanpantan Road but were not visible to us, so after a search we headed towards Eyebrook Reservoir arriving at about 14.00 hrs and after a quick drive round a new section of road I found on a previous visit where we saw four Buzzards but only managing images of one in a field, they are very nervous birds and are soon away if you stop the car or get close. After this we went to our Red Kite area and put out a few of my frozen chicks that I had for the Barn Owls and then down to the inlet bridge at the reservoir for some lunch and hopefully a site of the illusive Kingfishers. They both actually arrived and duly sat in a Willow tree some 98 metres away, a small bird buried in the middle of all the branches??? Some poor results are below. 

After this we returned to the Red Kite area but this time they never arrived but we can only hope for another day and hopefully some birds.

We then headed for a trip through our Little Owl Sites and managed two birds, one at Site 5 and likewise at Site 9.

May I wish you all a Happy New Year and that we can all manage to get that illusive image we are hoping for.    

29th December.


 This bird remained still for a reasonable time whilst we managed a few images but even with us sat in the car and shooting through the gateway it didn't  stay for long. We saw another three birds but they were up in a tree and were away as we approached and were attempting some images.

This is a very pale bird, we had one at Rutland two years ago that was even paler and many people got confused and thought it was another Osprey coming towards Manton Bay. 

Buzzard, Little Owl Site No. 9.

This bird is much darker than the birds we saw at Eyebrook, not a welcome site as it was very close to the area where we see the Little Owls. Also shows that the lens has focused on the branch, not the bird. 

Kingfisher in Willow tree in feeder stream to Reservoir.

This image taken at 600 mm and as you can see the bird is well buried in the tree and is some 98 metres away. 

Image after some cropping, you can see its a Kingfisher but that's about all. 

It then had a quick dive into the stream and returned to a lower branch in the tree.  

Even more buried in the tree canopy, we will keep visiting and hopefully get it sat on some tree stumps {that are considerably closer} that other people have got images on.  

Kestrel {Female I believe due to streaked head}, Near to area where we see the Red Kites.

As we were leaving the Red Kite area to go Little Owling we saw this bird sat in the top of a tree, Richard pulled into a gateway and managed to get the car at an angle so I could get these images.

Dunnock, Near the Bird feeders at the bridge.

Delightful little bird, several were about most of the time we were at the bridge. 

Robin again at the Bridge.

Several Robins were busying themselves about at the bridge and near the feeders. 


Red Kite.
This bird has a wing tag number 39. 

Here you can see the wing tag is orange, after doing a little research, I find that the East Midlands birds have a White wing tag and Yorkshire birds have orange, so this is a bird that fledged and was tagged in Yorkshire.
Eyebrook Reservoir is in the East Midlands.

They are really beautiful and so graceful in flight. 

Hopefully on my next visit out I can master these birds with the lens, still a way to go to get what I want.

Boeing PT 17, Kaydet.

This plane flew virtually over the top of us whilst we sat in the car waiting for the Red Kites. It was built in 1942 and is powered by a Pratt and Whitney R985-AN1 Wasp radial engine. What fabulous condition this old aircraft is in. It is apparently based at Leicester Stoughton Airfield.

Somewhat different to todays modern Boeing aircraft with Carbon fibre wings and enormous fan engines.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I did in getting the images. Again this has been a bit of a feeling my way with this lens post.


  1. Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful, the new lens is brilliant, what is it? Have a wonderful new year in 2017.

  2. Hi Bob, I have still got a way to go in mastering the lens but so far I am very pleased with it, just me that requires some work. I have bought the Sigma 150 - 600 mm Sport lens. You and your family have a wonderful New Year. All the best, Regards John
    Loved your post.

  3. Wish you and your family a happy New Year 2017. Let this year be a happy one:)You have done a wonderful job with your lens. All the pics looks beautiful!

    1. Hi and thanks for the visit, may I wish the same to you and your family> Glad you enjoyed the images from the lens. Regards \john

  4. Lovely shots! Specially like the Kestrel and Red Kite images.Aeroplane interesting too. Happy New Year and good hunting with the camera! M

    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for the visit, I think I am starting to get the hang of the lens but still early days. The Kestrel and Red Kites are a bit of a challenge. Boeing Aircraft a bit different from todays ???. You both have a wonderful New Year. John

  5. Hello John, first of all Happy New Year, with good health and more great moments in nature and photography. Great you found the Kingfisher now you have to find a spot to get closer to it. The Kites are stunning birds. Great captures. The Kestrel is a beauty.

    1. Hi Roos and a Happy New Year to you and your family and lets hope for some good visits out for us both. Yes we have been seeing the Kingfisher at this spot but the first time we have managed to get some images, all we've got to do is get it considerably closer, so lets keep fingers crossed. Thanks for the visit. All the best, Regards John

  6. Hi friend.. Very cool pictures.. Interesting birds…I wish you all the luck and health for 2017!!

    1. Hi Ana and all the best to you for 2017. Lets hope we all can get the images that we are hoping for. Good luck and all the best from England. Regards John

  7. Lovely photos. Willow trees give a creepy effect. Birds are too majestic...

    1. Hi, Thank you for your visit, the Willow tree does look as if it should have Witches around it I must admit but had never thought of it that way, I only tend to concentrate on the birds. Hope you have a wonderful 2017. Regards John

  8. Hi John,
    Yes I know the feeling of being unhappy with out of focus images!
    I have that with the 800 mm once in while and I even went back to the shop to discuss it.
    To cut a long story short, it seems I was really trying to get subjects in perfect focus at enormous distances! So past a certain distance the lens will never be able to focus perfectly.
    Also, sometimes the quality of the light some days can be difficult for the lens to analyse, especially if the contrast between dark and light pixels is lacking.
    You'll get the hang of it soon although the kestrel and dunnock seem fine and the Red kite pics are very decent :)
    Wishing you a great new year again and many wonderful photo opportunities :)

    1. Hi Noushka and hopefully you are feeling 100% and rid of the horrible bug. I am at the moment in discussion with the suppliers but from what you are saying I am probably expecting the same as you were. Some of my images as you will have noticed have been over silly distances, but when I think back to the Redwing image a matter of a few week ago, longish distance for a smallish bird and it was spot on. Richard and myself have been out this afternoon and I think again things are improving, just have to put more effort into what I am doing with the lens and camera. All the best to you for 2017 and look after yourself. Regards John

  9. Hi John. No idea where my original comment from Wednesday went! Delighted to see that the Kestrel opportunity worked out so well for you. The third image, of the Buzzard on the ground is rather nice, and those last three Red Kite images are great, considering the conditions!

    Looking forward to seeing what you made of last Thursdays visits. See you soon - - - Richard

  10. HI Richard, this has been a bit of an odd post, it showed as a new post a couple of days before I actually posted it?, your comment has not again arrived as an email, the same as most of the others. The only problem with the Red Kite is the pale background, again down to conditions. Next post is nearly ready. Great visit out Thursday. See you soon. John

  11. Your Buzzard shots are splendid, John, but you probably are not too keen on having them hang around your Little Owl sites. I really like the Dunnock images too - a bird relatively seldom covered it seems to me.

  12. Hi Both, unfortunately we seem to be seeing more and more Buzzards and as you say we are not keen on them near the Little Owls, Dunnock are a lovely little bird that as you say, people seem to ignore, they have such a beautiful eye. All the best, 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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