Thursday, 21 December 2017


May I take this opportunity to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR, and may we all see the elusive birds we have been trying to target. 

I decided to have a look through my images from last year, firstly to make a Calendar but then remembered that last year I did a favourites of the Year post so I have repeated this. 

Buzzard, Eyebrook Reservoir.

Image taken in April, this bird flew over part of the Reservoir towards me.

 Buzzard, Near Stockerston Village.

I was leaving Eyebrook and on my way home when I spotted this bird sat in the top of a tree at the side of the very narrow country road I travel, so it was stop the car, camera up and shoot. January.

Chiffchaff, Eyebrook Reservoir.

I was stood on the bridge over the inlet stream watching for the Kingfisher when this little beauty came and sat in a tree alongside the stream. Again April. 

Waxwing, Glenfield Village.

This apple tree had the greatest concentration of birds in our area, up to 150 in two flocks had been counted {not by me however} whilst visiting birds were continuously coming and going, wonderful to watch. February.

Male Barn Owl, Our Garden.

Having returned with food for the young inside the box, he appeared back on the front of the box to have a bit of a break, and had a quick shake before flying away on the hunt again, I sat under a willow tree in my hide some 60 metres away. June.


Water Rail, Waderscrape Hide, Rutland Water.

This image was taken whilst I was on Osprey Duty in August. We had the one adult and two young in the channels to the front of the hide. August.

Juvenile Water Rail.

Wood Sandpiper, Shallow Water Hide, Rutland Water.

This beautiful Sandpiper was unfortunately not that close but luckily I finished up with a reasonable image. I was put onto the bird when I booked in for my Osprey Duty so it was a quick visit to the hide prior to going on duty.     July.

Such a beautiful head with the white stripe above the eye.

Female Barn Owl, Our Garden.

Just returning to the box with a mouse to feed her growing young. She normally only did one hunting trip early evening { still nearly dark however } then until the Owlets were that much bigger, she would let the Male supply the rest of the food.  May.

Water Vole, Waderscrape Hide, Rutland Water.

Water Vole were introduced into the Reservoir some years ago, some were left over in a box and Tim decided to put them into the channels to the front of the hide and they certainly appear to have taken. May. 

Juvenile Male Kingfisher, Kelham Bridge Reserve.

These birds were regular visitors at the Reserve and I have been told the juveniles are still visiting so I must have another visit. September.

Owlets, Our Garden After being Ringed.

These are the three Owlets produced in one of our Owl boxes, we had two females and a single male. Made for some wonderful evenings sat in my hide watching the birds. June.

Juvenile Female Osprey, 3AF/17, a bird Fledged from Site O.

This bird spent a little time flying to the front of me and appeared to be fishing, she then flew some way down the Reservoir and myself and another gent saw her catch a fish. First time I have ever seen a juvenile catch a fish. August.

Linnet, Rutland Water, Shallow Water Hide.

Even though they are a reasonably common bird, not to me so upon seeing this bird I made sure of a few images.  July.

Juvenile Barn Owls, Our Garden..

The three fledged Owlets, two females and a single male. It was an absolute delight going out in the hide of an evening to monitor them. August.

Female Juvenile Barn Owl.

Just returned from a quick fly around the garden. August.

Lancaster Bomber, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Eyebrook Reservoir.

On a test flight after an engine fire grounded the plane for a while.  September.

Red Kite, between Stockerston and Eyebrook Reservoir.

Those of you that follow my blog will have realized I am very fond of these birds, they are just very graceful in flight. September.

Little Owl, Site No. 8.

Just not possible to have my favourites without a Little Owl. They have been very thin on the ground of late, so lets hope I will very soon find some more and things will look considerably better. November

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the blog as much as I have in putting it together.

Sunday, 17 December 2017


I have had two trips to Eyebrook, both for different reasons. My first trip was on Thursday the 7th of December, the forecast was not over special so I decided to go to Eyebrook as it meant I could keep reasonably close to the car and keep the camera dry if it decided to rain, it was unfortunately very cloudy and not good for any decent images. When I got away from home the sun was showing but the farther East I travelled the cloudier it became. And eventually by about 15.30 hrs I got some rain.
I only saw the one Little Owl on by outward journey, but at least I saw one.

My second excursion was on Thursday the 14th of December, my reasoning behind this trip was I had spoken earlier in the year with a professional bird photographer who had got some wonderful images of Red Kites. Talking to him after his show I asked him how he got such good image of the Kites. His reply was you need snow on the ground to highlight the underside of the bird, this will show the wing pattern without any loss of definition of the birds head.

So as we had about 150 mm of snow on the Sunday and another 50 mm on the Wednesday I decided to give this method a try, the roads appeared to be OK if you kept away from the side roads so I got on my way for about 12.00 hrs.

Having only travelled about 7 miles from home, the snow had virtually all but gone, so I carried on hoping it would re appear as I got higher and climbed out of the River Soar valley. Unfortunately this was not to be and most of the fields were clear of snow with small amounts still showing on the shade side of field hedges.

I visited most of the Little Owl sites but saw no birds, one site the farmer was putting some hay into the Barn, at another site the farmer sat in his four wheel drive within metres of the tree and at another site people were walking along the footpath adjacent to the site.

So I carried on through to Eyebrook where small areas of the road were icy but mostly clear as were the fields. I approached the Reservoir down a little country road that had some icy patches and saw my first Red Kite, this was however a silly distance away, by the end of my visit I had seen 18, but not one would behave and come close, so all my images had to be greatly cropped.  

7th of December.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This was the only bird I saw and what a job getting an image with the bird buried in the middle of a mass of branches, but it obviously saw me arrive and thought "hello that idiots back" and just sat and watched me as I tried to get an in focus shot, wherever I seemed to move, one branch would obscure the bird only to move and find two branches had taken over!!  

Red Kite Near Little Owl Site No. 9.

As I drove up the hill I saw this bird circling slightly to the right of the road, so it was a quick stop and jump out the car and try for an image,[luckily its a road that is used very little] but by then the bird had travelled a good distance away.


I had a wonderful afternoon just slowly moving around the perimeter road to the Reservoir and even though it was very cold, I spent most of the time in the car {with the heater on} but in the sun it was really good to be out and about.

Red Kite.

This bird was not far outside the Village of Allexton as I head towards Stockerston, the first of a series of long distance images, all very heavily cropped. 

I had atrip around the back road to Hallaton and this bird was well away over the fields to the right of the road and away from the sun. 

They are such a graceful bird in flight, all appears so effortless with just the tail feathers moving to act as a rudder. 

At last an image showing the top of the wings.

This bird was over the Reservoir and probably the closest I managed to get to a bird, this would be 300 metres plus away 

I sat in an area I visit most of the time when I saw two Red Kites and a Buzzard circling on the far side of the Reservoir so it was a quick chase around and over the inlet stream when I suddenly spotted this single bird so a quick pull off the road and into a gateway and a shot out of the passenger window, laying across the inside of the car, most uncomfortable. 

Buzzard, by the village of Stoke Dry.

By the time I manged to get into the area where I had seen the two Kites and the Buzzard, they had moved a considerable distance so it was a quick drive up the hill through the village of Stoke Dry where over the fields I could see the Buzzard in the distance, no signs of the Kites but I had check of the number and these two Kites made me up to 18 seen.  

This bird was circling very slowly and disappeared into the distance and so did I and got on my way back home as it was very cold, only 0.5 degrees.              .


 Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I have in the getting of them, even if it was so very cold.

At least this week I had some birds to watch.

Please appreciate all the images of the Red Kites have been cropped to the extreme,why can't the birds do as the weather did for once and co-operate and fly that much closer. I took numerous other images but most of the other birds were just that bit over far.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


I had two visits to Rutland Water, the first being on the 23 rd of November when I decided to have a visit to the Dam area to look for the Great Northern Diver and the Red-breasted Mergansers. of which three had been present that morning.

I arrived at 14.15 hrs approx and upon getting out of the car noticed that the wind had increased greatly since leaving home. Having paid my dues I met a gent just coming away from the dam who said that he could basically see nothing as he could not stand up and keep still with the wind on the dam, but had met up with another gent with a scope who had seen both sets of birds earlier. 

So like an idiot I got on my way out onto the Dam and after about 100 metres stopped to have a look through the bins to see what if anything was about, I had great difficulty in standing up in the wind and most certainly could not keep still enough to see anything.

So I carried on farther out onto the Dam, getting about a quarter of the way across and by this time being really battered by the wind I stopped for another look about. So I got down on my knees so as to get some protection from the Dam top and again tried to find said birds, still with no luck, I still could not keep the bins steady. Having put the bins down and looking through streaming eyes I hoped I would see something bob up on top of the waves that were pounding the Dam but nothing.

I then looked back to where I had come from just to see a lady blown over, so I got up and I started to walk back to see if she was alright , she however got up and waived she was alright, so about turn and carry on across the dam being blown about and repeating the above process several times but with such large waves it was a hopeless.

I eventually reached to far end of the dam  and carried along the far side of the reservoir to see if I could get a bead on any of the birds sideways on but no luck. 

So I eventually had to admit defeat, turn round and head back across the dam for the car park, on my way back the wind even seemed to get stronger and I must admit I was glad to get back to the car having walked about two and a half mile  for nothing.

The only good thing to come out of the trip was to see a Little Owl at Site No. 8 again, hardy little bird this one.

My next trip to Rutland Water was on the 30 th of November when I decided to visit the Egleton Reserve, it was a little breezy but the temperature was only 1.5 deg C so I thought Egleton was the best bet with its numerous hides.

I had not been on site for long when it clouded over and the light became very poor, so it was a case of visiting the hides quickly to see what was about, and then return to the car park. On arriving back at the car park I felt a few spots of what I thought was rain hit my face, but by the time I had taken my boots off and got in the car it was snowing with a full blown blizzard that luckily only lasted about half an hour.

On my outward journey I saw two little Owls, one at Site No. 6 and another at Site No. 8. Then on my journey home I saw a Little Owl sitting in the doorway at Site No. 12. I did not even try for an image as it was still snowing, luckily not so hard and was getting dark so at last I have seen more than one bird in the visit.


Little Owl Site No. 8.  23rd November.

Even though it was reasonably windy, this little soul sat out getting some protection from the tree.

Little Owl Site No. 6.  30th November.

This a bird I have not seen for a reasonable length of time so wonderful to drive round the corner and see it on the girder. 

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This week the bird was tucked in on the other side of the tree. 

Red Kite, Little Owl Site No 9.

Stopped to have my lunch quickly on the way through and this bird came by and interrupted my sandwich and cup of tea.  

30th November. 

Having visited all my normal hides, the only images worth posting I have put below, the light became awful and not worth really carrying on around the reservoir.

Kestrel, Adjacent to Car Park.

This bird was in the same tree I saw the Red Kite in a few weeks ago, approx 200 metres  away but before the light went completely on me.

Redshank, Crake Hide.

This bird suddenly appeared, first wader I have seen for a few weeks. Awful job trying to get a decent image.  

Redhead Smew, Lapwing Hide.

On arriving in the hide I asked the only other gent if he had seen the Smew, [they were reported as being in the South Arm of the reservoir] this gent who had a scope said he had been looking for about half an hour and could not find them in amongst the Wigeon, Teal and vast numbers of Coot. So I had a token look through the bins and after a few minutes the gent said his good-byes and left the hide, I got up to do the same and thought I might as well have a look out the other side of the hide into Lagoon 2. Peeping through the hole in the shutter guess what I saw, yes the two female Smew only about 50 metres away. Mind with the light as it was this is only a record shot.


Having had six visits to the site having had phone calls from Rhys telling where the birds were, my results follow.

On my first visit, the Hawfinch sat out in the open in the tree next to where they were feeding, had my bins but no camera with me, I was on my way to see a Rugby Match. Next visit the birds had been seen just before I arrived, this time with the camera. The sun came out but the birds did not.

And this is how it has carried on so I had to be happy with a few images of some Redwing. It seemed when the Hawfinch flew in they either landed in he back of the tree or when landing on the front, they were obscured by the fronds and berries.

Rhys has reported they are in the next village so I will have to have another try for these little beauties.


These birds were reasonably regular visitors whilst the sun was shining, you can see why the Hawfinch were visiting, plenty of food.

Just struggling to get its footing. 

Grey Squirrel .

Oi, I'm here as well. \suddenly popped up and waited for me to take an image.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the visit as much as I did in the getting of the images.
That is except on the Dam at Rutland.

Thursday, 23 November 2017


I decided to have another trip to the Egleton Reserve for another try for the Water Rail. I took my normal route through the Little Owl Sites and at last saw a single bird at Little Owl Site No. 8, unfortunately the only bird I saw but at least I saw a bird.

On arrival at Egleton I checked in with David who said he had been on a different route that morning and gone over Lax Hill and had seen virtually nothing.

So I got on my way and headed on my normal route to see what would appear for me.  I headed for Redshank Hide and nothing out of the ordinary was evident, so onto both Grebe and Buzzard Hides, again nothing unusual about but the light was getting dire. Having had rain on the trip over I was getting concerned as to keeping the camera dry.

I then walked round to Shoveler hide where again little was showing close by so I headed for Crake hide where I manged some images of a Marsh Harrier, this bird initially just kept showing above the hedge on the embankment between the main Reservoir and Lagoon three, eventually some Corvids pounced on it and for a few seconds it showed slightly better and then departed the area.  Later as the light was going but the clouds clearing two Goosanders appeared for a few minutes swimming around the bay at great speed, most of the time with the heads submerged looking for fish. 

The water level in the Reservoir is still getting much lower, I tend to forget that even though its been very dull, we have had very little rain. Whilst in Crake Hide I saw two Water Rail hidden well in the reeds.

I am trying out a new backing page to the blog, please comment if you find it acceptable.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

Only a single bird but wonderful to see after so many weeks without seeing a single bird.


Marsh Harrier, Crake Hide.

This bird kept flying along the far side of the embankment that encloses Lagoon 3. It hardly was showing above the trees but I'm sure it was hunting. 
At this point is was approximately 300 metres away, plus I was struggling with the light.

Eventually it went slightly higher only then to be attacked by Corvids. 

 By this time the light was going and a little sun was starting to show even if the sun was very low in the sky.
This bird was in excess of 200 metres away and I was having to shoot at ISO 5000.

After this it went out over Lagoon 3 and didn't make another appearance.

Male Goosander, Crake Hide.

A pair of the birds and swam around the bay at great speed, mostly as below with the head under water looking for fish.

These are a bird I see very little of on the reserve, I think its three years since I saw them last. 

After this image I headed back to the car park and home for tea, only four weeks to go and the days start getting longer. Next thing we will have the Ospreys returning.

Teal Drake, Crake Hide.

Here standing in the shallow water having a quick preen, difficult to resist not taking an image.

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

We still have our Juvenile Male Barn Owl in the large box.

Had a visit to Rutland Water this afternoon, {23rd} my idea being to get some images of the Great Northern Diver and Red-breasted Merganser, both in the area of the dam. The wind hitting me on the dam virtually blew me away. It was impossible to keep still to use the bins and when you picked the camera up, forget it!!!!!!!!
After a walk of about 2 miles, I saw nothing worth photographing and if I had it would have been an impossible task. 

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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