Tuesday, 16 February 2016


I decided on Tuesday afternoon the 9th of February to have another quick visit to Longmoor Lake area [Jubilee Wood] to have another look for the elusive { to me that is } Hen Harrier. I arrived at the hide at about 15.30 hrs to find three of my friends from Cossington Meadows already on site but no one had seen the Harrier. So I settled my self down for a wait and keeping an eye out with the bins on the area. First bird to arrive was a Barn Owl at 16.00 hrs, keeping my eye in as first one to spot it. The second Owl arrived about 5 minutes later, this bird spotted by one of my Cossington Meadows pals. We finished up having the Barn Owls flying around for about twenty minutes before they disappeared up the hill and out of site. Unfortunately again they did not come very close, in fact the first image when checked on Google Earth, the bird is 354 metres away, so not that good but still worth putting on the blog. I eventually decided at about 16.40 hrs to leave, the Hen Harrier had not shown whilst we were in the hide but as the car park is locked at 17.00 hrs, it seemed prudent to get under way to avoid spending the night with the car locked in the car park, this has apparently happened before.

The second visit out was with Richard on our usual Thursday outing, and we got under way from our house at 11.30 hrs and headed for our Little Owl Sites. On arrival at Site No. 1, no bird was visible this week, it would have been my side of the car as Richard was driving. So we carried on our normal route. On arrival at Site No. 2, no bird was visible again, so we carried on down the road and turned round, on passing the nest tree we suddenly saw a Little Owl that had either just arrived back at the tree or had just come out of the nest hole,  its the first time since the 5th of November we have seen a bird at this site. We then carried on to our other sites seeing birds at Site Nos. 9, 12, 18 & 6. Particularly pleased with Site No. 9 where we stopped for lunch and saw two birds in the nest hole. So we had a six Little Owl day, getting better but we could do with finding some new sites soon.

After this we decided to have another visit to Longmoor Lake for another attempt at seeing the Hen Harrier and arrived on site at not much after 15.00 hrs and made our way down to the hide. As we made our way down the site, it was evident the news of the Harrier and the Barn Owls had got out as people were standing around the area, some on the footpaths and some near the Hide. On arriving at the hide we found some of the people I see at Cossington Meadows and was told that the Shorties had been seen the previous afternoon at Cossington Meadows so must have a return visit. Again the first bird seen was a Barn Owl at about 16.00 hrs by Richard, and the second about five minutes later, you can almost set your watch by them. Again the Hen Harrier made no appearance for us but was told by a friend the following afternoon at Cossington Meadows that after we departed the Hide, the bird arrived???.

I had a visit to Cossington Meadows on Friday 12th February for the Short Eared Owls but this will be on the next post.

An update on Little Owl Site No. 19. Margaret has e mailed me regarding having seen two Little Owls near the box twice and numerous sightings of a single bird. She had also maybe have seen a Barn Owl, this would be wonderful if she had as we have erected a Box in one of the barns. However I had a very excited e mail on Thursday evening to say that when her and Eddie were returning to the farm down the drive, she stopped for Eddie to see the Little Owls but she noticed a white heart shape next to the tree trunk, so she got out of the car and the heart shape flew away, it was a Barn Owl, "BRILLIANT". Also sat on the same branch within 60 cms was a Little Owl so a double. Must get some images but carefully so as to cause no disturbance whilst the birds are settling in.   


9th February 2016.

First Barn Owl to appear.

This bird did a short flight then landed in a tree, then moved from the tree onto a post. 

It then started to fly up the site but still kept at a reasonable distance from the Hide and people outside. 

Then back to where it first started. 

Second bird arrives about five minutes later. 

Then both birds flew up the site. 

This one coming slightly closer but making it difficult for the focus with the small trees it was flying in between.  

Then back to where it started and then away.


11 th February 2016. 

Little Owl Site No. 2.

On first passing the site, no bird was in attendance, but after turning around the bird sat out on the branch, unfortunately this shot was virtually directly into the sun.


Little Owl Site No. 9.

Highlight of the afternoon seeing the pair of birds taking in the sun. They were still in the same position after we had our lunch and were leaving the site. 

Little Owl Site No. 18.

This image taken on our return trip, no bird in place on our outbound journey.  

Little Owl Site No. 6.

This bird also not in attendance when outbound but this image on our return trip.


11 th February 2016.

First bird to appear. 

And was soon up and hunting. 

For a second I thought the bird was going to come close but I think it saw all the people in attendance. 

Turned and went farther away. 

The second bird then flew up the site. 

Moved over towards the hedge. 

Flew along near the hedge and then turned across the site. 

And flew across the footpath down to the Hide. This gives an idea as to the number of people who had arrived to see both the Hen Harrier and the Barn Owls. More people were to the right also. This bird then carried on this route and went over a hedge about two hundred metres away. 

The first bird then flew up and was doing some serious hunting. 

Stopped and hovered a little closer to us.
They are such difficult birds to get decent images from, you are either getting flare on the white or the body is much too dark. We are never happy with the light.

Hovered for a little longer.  

Then a pair of Magpies turned up and moved the bird away.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in getting them. Please feel free to leave a comment. 

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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