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. 

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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