Sunday, 3 January 2016


May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

I managed a trip out on Monday the 28th and set out to Rutland Water with no stops for Little Owls arriving at The Egleton Centre at about 13.20 hrs. Having booked in I visited the upstairs Hide and had a reasonable view of the Great White Egret but at distance, tried for some images of which one is almost passable, and then got on my way around the reserve before the light got any worse.

I headed straight for Lagoon 4 and Sandpiper Hide hoping to get some better images of the Peregrine Falcon, but wherever I searched it could not be found. I then headed for Plover hide, still on Lagoon Four and here I found some Shoveler Drakes but that was about all. Then on to Bittern Hide on Lagoon Three hoping for a glimpse of the Kingfishers but again failing, so onto Shoveler Hide on Lagoon Three, I saw Green Sandpiper, Red Shank, Lapwing and others but after about 20 minutes of checking the reeds around the Lagoon, I could see no Bittern and another gent with a scope did likewise and he came up with the same result. I decided to then visit the Hides farther around Lagoon Three but found the path was closed for fencing works so finished up heading for Osprey, Grebe and Sandpiper Hides but saw very little and got back to the car park at about 15.20 hrs and headed for home, the light was awful and we had got heavy cloud by this time. Only passed a couple of Little Owl Sites on my return trip but no birds were seen. 

I then decided that as the forecast was not bad for the 1st of January to have a trip out owling. Richard was full of cold and decided to stay at home so I managed to get away from home at 12.00 hrs and headed in the normal direction towards Rutland and the Little Owls. The first four sites I visited all drew a blank, the fifth site, a site we have not seen a bird at for a while Little Owl Site No. 6, at last a bird sat on the roof R.S.J., so a quick image was taken {very poor unfortunately} and I got on my way to the next site where again a bird sat in the nest hole, Little Owl Site No. 18. I followed on from here to Little Owl Site No. 9 for lunch and again this is a site we have not seen a bird at for a while and again sat in the nest hole was a Little Owl, So I sat and had my lunch and watched the bird for about five minutes and then it moved back into the hole and out of view. Upon leaving Site 9 I headed up the hill and towards the top a Short Eared Owl flew across the road, I stopped and reversed back into a gateway and after about ten minutes and search with the bins as I did, no bird was seen so I got on my way again.  Having visited the last of the sites but no birds were seen so I set course for Cossington Meadows and the Short Eared Owls.

I arrived at about 14.15 hrs, got my boots on and set out down the site, I met up half way down with some gents I had met on earlier visits and spent some time chatting with them but no sign of the Shorties. I then carried on down to my normal viewing area and met up with another gent who is normally in attendance. He also said he had seen nothing of the S.E.O's. but as the weather was reasonable, much cooler than of late, we were sure they would appear {how wrong you can be}. Having waited until 15.45 hrs we decided to give it best, the cloud cover had got really bad and the light had virtually gone. We saw our normal Robin and the gent I was with was feeding it with peanut butter, this seemed very acceptable and so my Hobnob biscuit is still in my pocket for the next visit. 

Some of the others wondered if the Shorties may have moved on to pastures new but I will still visit as soon as possible, they must be on site somewhere hopefully?? so watch this space.   

28th December 2015.

Great White Egret, Lagoon 1, Egleton Centre Hide.

As you can see by the time I had arrived the wind had got up, you can see the neck feathers blowing. However the bird was still a good distance away.

Great Crested Grebe, Lagoon 4, Sandpiper Hide.

In bland Winter colours but it won't be long until they start colouring up for breeding.

Lapwing, Lagoon 3, Shoveler Hide.

Some really large flocks were flying about at this end of the reserve and so I just had to get some images for a friend for whom this is a favourite.

Still from Shoveler Hide landing on a spit of land. 

Again some airborne, some were flying in very large numbers. 

Shelduck Drake, Shoveler Hide, Lagoon 3. 

Shoveler Drake, Plover Hide, Lagoon 3.

These striking birds starting to arrive at last.  

Shoveler Drakes asleep.

Out Little Owling and
Cossington Meadows.
1st January 2016.

Little Owl Site No 6.

Awful image but a record shot of a bird not seen for a while.

Little Owl Site No. 18.

Good to see this bird at the same time as Site No. 6 bird. We have never seen the birds at the same time and had wondered if it was the same bird as the sites are not that far apart. Mind it could still be a pair, one at each site.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Good to see this bird likewise having been absent for a week or two.

Cossington Meadows.  

Usual Robin in Attendance.

This time one of the other birders had brought some peanut butter which the bird certainly got its fill on. My Hobnob biscuit is still in reserve for my next visit. 

The only other bird seen being this immature Mute Swan on an area of water that was dry a week ago, the post behind is one of the posts the Shorties occasionally perched on. 

Thank you for your visit, please feel free to leave a comment.
Quick update via Richard, two Short Eared Owls were seen at Cossington on the 2nd January, good news, lets just hope for some decent weather.

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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