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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

SOME WINTER RESIDENTS ARRIVE AT EGLETON.



Having missed a Rutland Water visit last week,only to be told at the bird club on the Friday evening how good it had been on the Thursday, with Water Rail and even a Bittern walking along the path towards a very surprised lady.

So I decided to have another visit to Egleton and see what would appear for me. 

On arrival I booked in at the centre and after a quick word with David who gave me a few pointers as to what and where birds would be found, I set on my way down the Reserve.

I visited all the normal hides on my way in but not until Osprey Hide did I find anything new.  As I walked into the hide three people were already sitting, two with scopes and a lady with bins. I asked if anything was about and the gent on the far end of the hide said I think I can see a Red Head Smew, have a look, so up to his scope and sure enough a very long distance away with two Wigeon was a Red Head, very early for this bird to arrive but unfortunately no chance of an image, small bird , long distance.

I then visited Shoveler Hide and nothing much was showing close, so I then visited Buzzard hide, again nothing much to see so on to Crake Hide. A reasonable number of Teal were present so I sat for a while and watched some antics and then onto Lapwing Hide.  Some gents in the hide pointed out a Red Crested Pochard and the American Wigeon. Both birds were at a silly distance so I made no attempt at an image.

I then returned to Crake Hide for the rest of my visit and as the light was failing a Water Rail came out from in the reeds for a short time, a delightful little bird but even with winding up the ISO not easy to get any decent images.

I then made my way back to the car park where I saw a Red Kite sitting in the top of  a tree, being almost dark it really was a case of winding up the ISO and hope for the best, I could have done with my tripod but used the car roof  to steady the camera, not brilliant images but not perfect conditions. 







Teal Drake, Crake Hide. North Arm.


These are the first Teal I have seen this autumn, such a beautiful little duck. 





They are such a beautifully marked duck. 



Great Black-backed Gull, Buzzard Hide, Lagoon 3.


Sitting in one of the Tern rafts, a distance of 150 metres away. 



 Teal Duck, Crake Hide, North Arm.

Decided to have a quick bathe, nearly for me as good as a flight image with the water droplets.




Carrying on a little longer. 





Then a quick dip under the water. 






Then a quick dry. 



Little Egret, Crake Hide, North Arm.


Wading steadily looking for a fish, then suddenly part run part fly and eventually got a fish about 3 metres to the start point, good eyes!! 











Unfortunately when it caught the fish, it was behind some reeds. 



 And then back out to see what else it could catch.




Water Rail, Crake Hide, North Arm.


This bird suddenly appeared out from the reeds on this area of mud just over 50 metres away. I saw two birds but this was the only one that ventured out onto the mud and then not for long. 






Not sure as to what it was finding. 




Then around and back whence it came. 



A quick run. 




And that was it. 



Grey Heron, Crake Hide, North Arm.


Then one of my favourites flew in, I just could not resist a flight shot. 






Then after landing , it walked up the bund between the North Arm and Lagoon 3.








Red Kite, Egleton Reserve Car Park.

Having left the hides as the light was going fast, its a good 30 minutes walk back to the car park,and sat in the top of a tree about 60 metres away was this beauty. So I stopped wound the ISO up to 8200,walked very slowly between the couple of cars remaining and used the car roof as a tripod, I am surprised as to how they have come out.




The second it heard the camera, it was away, the rest of the images were rubbish. 



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




Thursday, 2 November 2017

A VISIT TO EGLETON AND LYNDON.


Two weeks ago I decided to have another visit to Rutland Water, Egleton reserve to see if I could get any better images of the American Wigeon,  this was not to be as the bird was still on Lagoon 2, as its still is, but this time was even farther away, so I got on my way round to Sandpiper Hide, not much to see here either, so onto Shoveler Hide and unfortunately a very similar outlook, the water level had risen but very few birds at a reasonable distance. Onto Crake Hide  and a few birds not that distant but nothing to get excited about. Unfortunately it was very slow and only during this last week I see some Pintail Ducks have arrived so hopefully things can only get better. 

However I had a good walk around the Reserve and visited most of the Hides.

   





Juvenile Great Crested Grebes, Crake Hide.

This bird and the one below were swimming around together, and kept stopping. The bird to the front would turn around, the bird to the rear stopped, then the front bird would turn back around and carry on swimming. This process would then be repeated. 



Not got the beautiful red eye yet, still orange. 



Tufted Ducks. Crake Hide.

This pair were diving on the far side of the Lagoon.




One gone under the water boil and the other following.





Heron, Crake Hide.

As I have said before, I always find it difficult to resist taking an image of a Heron.


THE LYNDON RESERVE.


I arrived at Lyndon at approx 14.30 hrs having passed through the Little Owl sites and again seen nothing, its getting really depressing. After walking down to Deep Water hide and seeing nothing I then followed on down the site and arrived at Tufted Duck Hide. It was then I realised how much the reservoir had fallen in level with large areas that were water just a couple of weeks previous being dry, so very little was seen. It was a very peaceful visit being the only person on the reserve.

I then headed for my normal haunt Waderscrape Hide, the Osprey Hide, and on arriving  it really struck me as to how low the water had become in such a short period of time.

I would have normally followed on down to Shallow Water Hide but such low water any waders would have been a considerable distance away.






Osprey Nest, Manton Bay, Shallow Water Hide.

Normal water level is at the start of the long grass, the short green grass has grown this Autumn. The cameras have been taken down and sent away for a service, hopefully normal service will be resumed in the Spring. 





Great White Egret, Shallow Water Hide.

This bird is one of four I could see, it was walking along the far side of the bay at a distance of 360 metres. 



This one was to the left of the hide in the shallows some 150 metres away.


Number three is just below the embankment to Heron Bay. 500 metres away. 






Then a fourth bird flew in and pestered the first, always one trouble maker.






A QUICK VISIT TO EYEBROOK FOR TEA.


After leaving Rutland I headed for Eyebrook as a Marsh Harrier had been reported but never unfortunately it never appeared for me.

Unfortunately again very little was seen other than a large number of Greylag geese. Had my tea watching gulls chasing each other.





Less than a quarter of the birds, I kept think they were going to fly as they became very noisy, but unfortunately not in the end deciding to fly.






Heavily cropped version of the above image. 







MORE OF THE KINGFISHERS.

I had another visit for these little beauties and again they came very close, I have peck marks in the lens hood!!.
I only had a very short visit but it was most certainly worth it. I have been advised by Noushka that she believes these birds to be Juveniles due to the colouration of the feet . 






Juvenile Female Kingfisher.
Only visited the once and then only for a very short visit and then appeared to fly towards the stream and that was it. 










Even with a mostly rear view she is still a stunning bird.



Juvenile Male Kingfisher.
This young bird eventually arrived but he appeared to come in from the stream. He as in the case of the female didn't stay around very long. 
 




He had just landed with a fish but by the time I took the image he had swallowed it but his beak is still open. 





Barn Owl Update.

Our young Male is still in attendance in the large box. Having contacted the experts, they feel he will probably see the Winter out in the box and then move on as the weather improves. 




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









Thursday, 19 October 2017

ANOTHER AFTERNOON AT RUTLAND WATER.


I decided to have another visit to the Egleton Reserve at Rutland for my afternoon visit this week. Following reports that a Cattle Egret and American Wigeon had been seen, the Egret at Fishponds and the Wigeon on Lagoon 2. I managed to see the Wigeon but no decent images to show for my efforts , on visiting Fishponds no one had seen the Egret during the afternoon.

On arriving at Egleton I had a walk through the hides and on arriving in Redshank Hide I met up with a gent I had seen on a regular basis at Cossington when we had the Short Eared Owls, so after a quick chat and a look from the hide we had a walk about for the afternoon.

We then visited Grebe Hide where an American Wigeon has been for a few weeks and with the help of another gent with his scope we managed to see this very stunning Drake, but when we tried for a photo, we all failed, the gent with the scope was digi scoping and he would look through his scope, get the bird in view, lift  his camera onto the scope and take a shot, to find no bird, we all three spent a considerable time and none of us had a clear and positive image, we must all be useless!!!!

We then visited Osprey Hide but nothing much was within reach so we headed for Sandpiper Hide, plenty of birds but all at a long distance, my friend tried a few shots but must admit I didn't bother.

We then moved onto Shoveler Hide where we could see plenty of ducks, the area to the front of the hide that is normally a shallow pool is virtually dry, not sure as to why this should be with all the rain we have had, so again all the birds were well away. Another gent who was in the hide said he had been in the hide the previous day and a Bittern had walked along the dry bank about 60 metres from the hide and walked about for about ten minutes, makes you sick, no sign during my visit.

We then walked onto Buzzard hide where we managed a few ducks and then onto Crake Hide where we were told a Water Rail had been seen earlier and whilst we were in the hide we heard it call but no bird was seen. A couple of Kingfishers were about but never landed anywhere useful for an image. 

After this I headed back towards the car park and a visit to Eyebrook Reservoir for my tea. My pal was going to Plover Hide  and then onto Bittern Hide, so we said our goodbyes and parted company, hopefully to meet again soon. 

Again unfortunately I saw no Little Owls in either direction, I hope once the leaves are away from the trees, hopefully I will start to find them again.





American Wigeon, Grebe Hide, Lagoon 2.

Myself and two other gents attempted for a good twenty minutes to get a decent, in fact any image of this Wigeon. It has been on the Lagoon for the best part of 3 weeks. It is a most delightful bird with a green stripe above its eye and a pale line down the forehead, I could see it in one of the gents scopes,but unfortunately never with the lens. The other gent with his new 600 mm prime lens on a new D5 also suffered  with the same problem as me, all we could put it down to was it must have been bum up when we took an image, eventually after searching through the images I found the ones below                                     



General consensus is the bird to the right of the upended duck is the American Wigeon. Must try harder on my next visit.




Silly distance image, and I was focusing on a duck six to the left. 




Cormorant, Crake Hide, North Arm.

Beautiful eye, but they sit so deep in the water, this one was hardly showing but continuously diving and swimming just under the surface, the fish must have been swimming very shallow.  








Little Egret, Crake Hide, North Arm.

This bird came just that little bit closer and managed to get an image of its head for my header. 




HERON, CRAKE HIDE, NORTH ARM.


Those of you that follow my blog on a reasonably regular basis will have realized I enjoy taking images of birds in flight. On arriving in the hide I found this Heron about 60 metres away and decided to give it time to see if it would fly and sure enough eventually it didn't disappoint.  








 First time ever, a head on view of what appears to be a three legged Heron






Which then after about ten minutes did as required and flew towards me and then turned and headed for the far bank. 



At this point I just kept the button pressed and took about 30 images.






 Here with full flaps and air brakes getting itself lined up to land.




Legs up and here we go. 








Both feet down, just got to get my balance sorted out. 








And that's it folks.






Then a quick move and it had a preen.

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon getting these images.




Drake Wigeon in Eclipse. Crake Hide, North Arm. 

Only a few of these birds were visible from this hide, far more were on Lagoons 2 and 3.








Gadwall Drake, Buzzard Hide, Lagoon 3.

I always think they are a very stylish duck.



Just having a quick preen. 





Red Kite, Eyebrook Reservoir.

 Having had a good walk around the Egleton Reserve, I headed for Eyebrook for my tea, I saw several Red Kites but this was the only bird that I didn't have to take the image direct into the sun.




My thoughts at the moment is for another visit to Rutland for another try for the American Wigeon, lets hope I meet up with someone to help find the bird again.

Up date on the Barn Owls.

Young male is still with us and appears to be making no effort to move on.


Thank you for the visit, I hope you have enjoyed it 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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