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Friday, 26 May 2017

ANOTHER OSPREY DUTY.
AND THEN UGH!!!




Richard and myself were on Osprey duty on Thursday the 11th of May and it was Richards turn to drive so he arrived at our house for 14.30 hrs and we immediately got under way initially heading for our Little Owl sites. On our outbound journey we saw two birds at Little Owl Site No. 8 and one at Site 9. We arrived at the Lyndon Centre at 16.15 hrs and signed in for our duty and had a steady walk down to Waderscrape hide calling in at the hides on the way down.

On arrival the couple on duty got us up to date with the goings on, the male Osprey was on the 'T' post with a fish, the female was sitting on the nest and they had seen several Water Voles and a pair of Water rail. So they got underway back to the car park and we took over and to be truthful very little happened with the Ospreys, but plenty elsewhere. We had numerous Sedge Warblers, Water Voles and eventually saw a single Water rail, but I managed no image other than a mostly covered by reeds mess. Again the male dropped the fish and whilst we were on duty just spent his time between the T post and the fallen tree with the odd visit onto the nest.

On completion of our duty at 20.00 hrs we had a steady walk back to the car park and headed on our way home. We called past some of out Little Owl sites and not until site 5 did we see a bird, by this time is was nearly dark so I eventually managed to get an image even if its not that good. 

Upon getting home I started to shiver whilst getting my things out of Richards car and only when getting in home and my wife insisting on taking my temperature, I realised things were not correct, I had a temperature of 103 F {39.45 C} so no wonder I had started to feel rough.

Since this time its been several visits to the Doctors and at last I'm starting to feel a little better. sorry for all the misses in leaving comments on my friends blogs and hopefully I will soon be able to get out and get some images.

Lots have happened with the Ospreys since my last post, all four of the chicks have hatched but unfortunately two have since died, the feeling is the female stood on them, it's so sad after all that time and effort, but we still have two so lets be positive.






Sedge Warbler, Waderscrape Hide.

Delightful little bird of which we had numerous active most of our shift.
















Water Vole, Waderscrape Hide.

We have never previously seen as many voles swimming to the front of the hide. we in the end totally lost count of the numbers.














This one making a dash back towards the reeds from the area to the front of the hide. 





Greylag Goose, Waderscrape Hide.

This bird flew by and you just have to try for an image.





Male Osprey 33/11

On the 'T' post with his fish just prior to dropping it again




Female Osprey leaving the eggs for a minute.

Decided to have a quick preen but only for a short time then back on duty.




Little Owl Site No.5.

This is the only Little Owl I managed to get an image of, it was virtually dark hence the rubbish quality but I was asked to put a Little Owl in my next post.




WE ARE SO LUCKY.

Even though I have not been well, it has given me more time to keep an eye on the Barn Owls and have had a really wonderful time. The previous time we had the camera on the female was sitting on six eggs. This week we have had the cameras on and we have at the last count three Owlets and two eggs hopefully still to hatch. We have again as last year had some problems with the Kestrels which was starting to concern us greatly, they were landing on the front of the box the Barn Owls were in and creating a considerable noise. This all came to a head on Sunday the 21st of May when I walked across to the boxes only to find a dead Kestrel under the box, so very sad. The only worry then was as to the health of the male Barn Owl. In the end all is well and he is supplying a regular supply of food for his youngsters.

I am just about to go out with the camera and see what time the male comes out, things will really hot up in a couple of weeks when the Owlets get larger and he has to supply considerably more food and then hopefully he will, if he follows the previous birds be out much earlier.

Follow on from last night the male came out and was only away just over two minutes when he arrived back with a mouse, quick hunting!!


.


Box that is in use by the Barn Owls.






Awful image taken from the television, female sitting at this time on six eggs. The lens on the cameras could do with a good clean. This will take place whilst they young are ringed.





So very sad, the dead Kestrel under the box. But if it comes to a choice better the it being the Barn Owl.






Again an awful image, the male is on the right and the female to the left. the white blobs to the front of her are the three Owlets.







This was about 20.30 hrs and the male can be seen hiding just inside the entrance, probably catching some of the cooler air.







Eventually stuck his head out at 21.50 hrs, this taken at ISO 10,000 and at 1/6 sec so lucky to get any image at all.







All taken at high ISO so not good images, lets hope he soon starts coming out earlier.



I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I did in the getting of the images. Sorry for the gap in posts but this awful kidney bug has not been good.





Monday, 8 May 2017

ANOTHER OSPREY DUTY AND A TRIP TO EYEBROOK.



Firstly an apology for the late post, Richard and myself had to miss our weekly visit out due to us having a poorly dog, after a day in the vets and being scoped, x-rayed and every other test you can think of and a great lightening of the wallet. She seems considerably better at the moment, we are just waiting for the results of some tests taken.

Osprey Duty. 27 th April.
I was on duty again but this time with another lady, Kathy, another
delightful volunteer with a wonderful sense of humour.


So having left home at about 14.15 I headed for Rutland Water and travelling through our Little Owl sites, having visited all the sites and seeing nothing, the weather was somewhat poor and by the time I arrived at Rutland it was pouring with rain. So I decked myself out in my waterproof clothing, put the camera into my backpack and headed into the Lyndon centre out of the weather. I met up with Kayleigh and John Wright and then my fellow conspirator Kathy arrived so after a chat and the rain steadying up, we decided to head for Waderscrape Hide and the Ospreys.

After a steady walk down and calling in at Tufted Duck Hide we arrived to take over from the previous couple and were told that 33/11 had just arrived back with a reasonable trout and was sitting on his favourite  fallen tree and having his fill. The previous volunteers got  underway back to the centre and we started our watch. The first thing we had to note was that 33 had decided to take his fish to the female but dropped it as he took off. After this he messed about for the rest of the afternoon, this even though it was obvious she wanted some food and was telling him so.  

On my return trip I saw a Barn Owl in a tree where we have seen it before but then near to Little Owl Site No. 1, I saw a Little Owl in an area where we have never seen a bird previously so another site to keep an eye on. 


An update on the Barn Owls in our garden.

We have had the camera on in the box this afternoon and the little beauty is sitting on six eggs, this is the most we have ever had so we must have plenty of food in the area.  







Male Osprey 33/11 on his favourite fallen tree.

This is the position of the bird when we arrived at Waderscrape Hide, he had not been back from his fishing trip for many minutes.
Please remember this bird is 370 metres from the hide.  



Here he has just been joined by a Corvid, and was about to fly to the nest to give the fish to the female when he dropped the fish;



So he flew straight to the nest almost to rub it in, with sorry dear no tea, I dropped it ???



He then flew from the nest onto the adjacent T post and had a quick preen. 



He then had a quick fly around the bay and washed his feet. 



And returned to the T post. 






He then flew onto his favourite fallen tree again, probably to look for the fish he had dropped.



And eventually flew away and looked as if he was going fishing for some food for the female, so we made a note of the time to enter into the daily log when we were sure.  







So after about twenty minutes we made the entry into the daily log that the male had gone fishing. 



WRONG.

About five minutes later he returned  with some more hay for the nest. The number of times these male birds catch you out on duty, you put then down as away fishing and they have just gone on a jolly!! 






So another entry had to be changed in the book. 



Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck Hide.

This bird was swimming about 30 metres away so had to get an image, and you have to be quick before they dive. 






EYEBROOK RESERVOIR.
7th May 2017


I managed to get a quick visit in in the afternoon as the weather was beautiful, the sun was shining and the temperature was 18 deg. I managed to get away from home for 12.30 hrs and went the direct route through without visiting the Little Owl sites and arrived at 13.30 hrs.

I went directly to the bridge over the feeder stream and met up with two ladies who told me they had been on site since mid morning. Once was dressed in a totally camouflaged outfit. the other was in twin set and pearls but were a lovely pair of ladies. I asked had they seem the Kingfisher at the bridge, answer no!!. They then told me what they had seen and then I asked have you seen any Ospreys, we had our lunch over in the area by the low fence {this is where I normally see the birds} and told me  that whilst eating, three Ospreys had turned up and had given them a fishing display.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in my normal area where the ladies had been awaiting a visit by the Ospreys, I had Kestrels, Ravens, Red  Kites and numerous other species and I wanted to be away for 15.45 to get home and get my wifes evening meal. At 15.40 an Osprey eventually arrived, very high and moving at great speed, I managed one reasonable image as it  headed down the reservoir towards the area of the dam. I got back in the car and decided I hadn't got the time to chase the bird so I headed for home after a delightful afternoon, it had also become windy again hence the speed of the Osprey.  





Kestrel,

This in the area where we normally see the Ospreys, this bird was hunting at a considerable height so I was amazed after cropping greatly as to how the images turned out.  














Coot at the inlet Bridge .

This bird was busying itself just down stream of the bridge.



Canada Goose, by the inlet Bridge .

In the long grass by the bridge and just stuck its head up occasionally, took the image  of the head up in one of these moments.




Red Kite.

Several of these birds flew about but this was the only one at a reasonable height and was making it easier for me by flying into the wind.











Mute Swans having an argument.

Two swans flew in and this bird for a reason only known to him, flew in and attacked to bird to the rear of he two. 






Osprey.

This was my one and only Osprey of the day, I cannot see any blue coloured ring. 



Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them
  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A VISIT TO EYEBROOK.


Richard and myself had our normal Thursday visit out on the 20th of April, our initial thoughts were for a visit to Ketton Quarry and some butterflies  but as time went by the forecast changed from sunny and warm to cloudy and cooler with a chance of rain so we opted for Rutland and the Egleton Centre, but once underway and we ran into rain we had to think again and decided to visit Eyebrook Reservoir instead as we would not be over far from the car if it rained and we still had a good chance of seeing some Ospreys.

So we got underway with my turn to drive and headed through our Little Owl sites and saw a bird at Site 5 in the fallen tree but this was the only bird seen on the outward journey. 

On arrival at Eyebrook we had a drive around looking for Red Kites but non were seen so we headed for the area where we had seen the Ospreys previously. We saw no Ospreys but saw my first Common Terns of the year which is always good, they are such acrobatic birds. We then spent some time at the Bridge over the inlet brook hoping to see the Kingfisher, but this was again a vain hope. We managed a few birds and then visited one of the stockades  for bird watching. After this we returned to our original area and had the first half of our teas. We had a reasonable afternoon with the birds but no Ospreys arrived, I think this is the first time I have visited Eyebrook in the Osprey season and not seen at least one bird, never mind.

After this we retraced our steps through our Little Owl Sites and stopped at Site 9 for the other half of our tea and upon arrival no bird was evident, but after a short time a bird appeared in the nest hole so we were delighted with this. Hopefully the female is sitting on eggs. After the remainder of our tea we carried on through our remaining sites and saw a bird again at Site No. 5, most likely the bird we saw earlier but at our last site to visit, Site No.1 we saw a Little Owl, this was a super end to the day as we have not seen a bird at this site for a considerable time.





EYEBROOK RESERVOIR.
20th April.




Common Terns on raft
.
Looked at the Tern raft and saw four birds, took the image and only three?? Houdini Tern.  



 They are such wonderful birds to watch in flight, they are so agile, this bird in a vertical dive and pulled out just above the water.






Black-headed Gull.

These are around in reasonable numbers and tend to chase the Ospreys hoping to steal a meal, I have never seen this happen however.




Red Kite, whilst we were watching for an Osprey .

This single bird flew across the Reservoir. 







Grey Heron when we moved to the Bridge.

This bird was wading in the shallow water at the side of the feeder stream. 






Goldfinch Near to Bird Feeders. Adult Male.

Several birds were visiting the feeders and managed to catch this on on its way in. 



Small Fish to the side of the Bridge.

looked over the bridge and saw these fish they were about 25 mm. long, you would think the Kingfisher would have been tucking into them. Mind that's probably why we didn't see it, it was still full from earlier.



Skylark.

This bird was gaining height and singing away to our left, it then flew across towards us and I couldn't resist an image. 



Chiffchaff.

This bird flew into a Willow tree next to the bridge, so I very carefully picked up the camera for a record shot.



I then very carefully shuffled to my right and managed to get some more images without so many leaves in the way. 



Cock Pheasant under the Bird Feeders.

This and the following image just shows the variation in colours we encounter. 



This bird was by Little Owl Site No.9 whilst we had our tea.





Kestrel.

This bird appeared whilst we had our first bit of tea in the area where we usually see the Ospreys.  









LITTLE OWLS.





Little Owl Site No. 5.

This image was taken on our outbound journey. 




This on our return and looks to be the same bird, its sitting on what remains of the stump after the tree blew down. 







Little Owl Site No. 9.

This again taken on our return journey, we stopped for our tea and after a short time this nosy little beggar had to have a look to see who had turned up to disturb his peace. 





Lambs Near Little Owl Site No. 6.

These lambs were initially using mum as a trampoline.



This then changed into a game of King of the Castle.




Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them.

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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