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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A TRIP TO EYEBROOK RESERVOIR.



As Richard was unavailable I decided as I was still not feeling 100 % to have a less strenuous visit out so I drove our normal route through our Little Owl Sites and saw a bird at Site No. 6, this was a real bonus not having seen any birds for several visits out. After this I carried on through our normal route and met up with the farmer {an Irish gent} on whose land Sites 10 and 11 are situated. Telling him we were not seeing any birds in the normal areas he told me he was still seeing plenty of the Little Fellas and was also seeing large numbers of big owls as he called them on the other side of his farm so things are probably not as bad as we have been thinking. 

After this I headed for Eyebrook Reservoir for an easy afternoon and some decent images of anything??

It was not a busy but very interesting afternoon and the results follow.










Kestrel near Little Owl Site No. 6.

As I approached the Little Owl Site I saw this bird sat in the top of the tree and could not resist an image. 



Little Owl Site No. 6.

At last I have seen, after such a time a Little Owl and having spoken to the farmer perhaps things are not as bad as I thought.





EYEBROOK RESERVOIR.

This is such a delightful place just to sit, watch a few birds and let the world pass you by. I spent some time at the bridge with a gent with a scope and a little farther down the stream we could see, a Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Ruff and Greenshank but all much to distant to even attempt an image. 



Red Kite.

I sat in the car and suddenly a shadow passed over me and six of these beauties all flew in at once, about spoilt for choice but they soon had made a reasonable distance out over the reservoir, so much for just letting the world pass you by. 













This bird decided to do an about turn and flew parallel to the road where I was parked making life a little easier, it was however still a good distance out over the water.  
















 AND THEN THE BIGGEST BIRD OF THE DAY.




Lancaster Bomber, Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight.
I was just about to commence my tea and had the sandwich in my mouth when I suddenly heard a mighty roar behind me, dropped the sandwich, jumped out the car as this wonderful old aircraft flew by. This aircraft is based at RAF Conningsby . After a fire in engine nimber four, it was decided to send the plane to RAF Duxford for some work to be carried out taking some 9 months. A new firewall was put in place in engine 4 and numerous other improvements made, the bomb doors were replaced. The actual number of the aircraft is PA474 . The new livery is of the Royal Australian Air force  460 squadron with the number AR-L with a Kangaroo with bagpipes on the side. 



The aircrew on a test flight, the cockpit is not built for comfort. Somewhat different to our modern aircraft.



And away it went over the far hill, by this time the crew would be seeing Rutland Water to the front of them .





OUR BARN OWLS.

We still seem to have the young male bird hanging on in the large box, he is coming out later and later which is making the getting of images very difficult. Lets hope he will like his sisters and soon decide to disperse, he's obviously enjoying the warmth and protection given by the box.




 Young Male having a quick look out before going back into the box and eventually coming out about an hour later when totally dark.



A real struggle getting this image when he finally decided to appear, everything was flashing on the camera saying too dark.  




Another evening and a little earlier but still shooting at silly ISO numbers. 
 





AND AT LAST!!!!!!!!!




Thursday, 7 September 2017


 A VISIT TO RUTLAND AND THE BARN OWLS.



Sorry for the blog being so late, but I unfortunately had the Flu over the Bank Holiday weekend and still suffering with the after effects.



Richard and myself managed an afternoon out and had a visit to Rutland Water visiting our Little Owls sites on both the outbound and return journeys and seeing nothing in either direction, but we did hear two Little Owls call.

Rutland Water was really a bit of a disaster, very little of consequence to see as many birds are on the way South and we are waiting for the Northern birds to come South.

Richard had a wander round looking for Dragonflies that seemed absent, it has unfortunately been one of those Summers {if that's what you call it} that has not been conducive to these beauties appearing, we to be truthful other than early Summer when we saw considerable numbers of Emperor Dragonflies, the weather has been dire with large amounts of rain, wind and cold.

After our visit to Rutland we visited Eyebrook Reservoir for our teas and hopefully some sightings of the last few Ospreys that were about. 

As of today no Ospreys are on site at Rutland Water, they are all heading South to warmer climes, wish I was with them, could do with some good weather.









Southern Hawker Dragonfly, between Little Owl Sites 11 & 12.

This spotted by Richard as we drove down the road and we saw it land on the verge, so window down and out with the 600 mm and this was the result, Richard should have got considerably better results as he virtually had the lens touching the dragonfly.



RUTLAND WATER. 



Little Egret, Lagoon 4, Sandpiper Hide.

I was the only person in the hide {which is never a good sign}, so I am always very careful in opening the windows so if anything is close I don't disturb it. I had no cause to worry, this was the closest at about 60 metres. 





It then after a few moments decided to fly up to the other end of the lagoon.






Great Crested Grebe & Juveniles.

Always think the Juveniles are so beautiful with the head stripes. 





EYEBROOK RESERVOIR.


We stopped for a short time and had our teas when an Osprey appeared carrying a really large Rainbow Trout, I'm sure many anglers on the water would be cursing seeing the bird get away with such a trophy.




Male Osprey with large Rainbow Trout. {Awful Image}

This bird being chased by a gull appeared whilst we had our teas carrying this large Rainbow Trout.






OUR BARN OWLS.


We still have two Juveniles Barn Owls with us, the male and one female, They appear reasonably together most evenings but are tending to get later and its getting more difficult to get any images. 

I think the second female has also dispersed leaving us with just the Juvenile Male. 





Juvenile Male Barn Owl.

Usually the first bird to appear, sometimes its just a case of head out of the box and then retire back in.  




But this evening he came straight out and stood in the front of the box for a couple of minutes. Mind it was still almost dark.




Juvenile Male.

Giving his serious look. 











Juvenile Male.
Wind blowing the feathers on the back of his head. 



Having flown up into the trees at the back of our land, he sat and watched for about five minutes, managed this image without falling out my chair.



Juvenile Female.

Have not seen her since taking this image. 



How to tell if a box is in use, look for the dust on the box at the entrance.




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

Unfortunately the last ten days I have had the flu so hence not many comments posted on others blogs, sorry about this but will catch up in the next few days. 
 








Monday, 21 August 2017

A COUPLE OF VISITS OUT AND THE BARN OWLS.


Firstly an apology to all my friends in Bloggerland, I have been somewhat slow in commenting on Blogs but with being out making the best of the Barn Owls most evenings {even in the rain of which we have had plenty } my time has been very limited on the blog.

I had a visit to Rutland Water on Saturday the 12th of August going on a direct route through to Egleton as I had not got a great amount of time, so I missed the Little Owl Sites that Richard had visited on the Thursday.

On arrival I parked in amongst all the marquees that were all ready in place for Birdfair, I booked in at the centre and headed for the Lagoons to see what was about. It was really a very disappointing visit and very little was seen at a reasonable distance, two Marsh Harriers were spotted by some others on Lagoon 4 but even for me they were a silly distance away. 

So after this I decided to have a visit to Eyebrook Reservoir for a look for any Ospreys and Red Kites, saw the Ospreys but no Red Kites.  


RUTLANDWATER,
EGLETON RESERVE.





Shelduck In Eclipse Plumage. Lagoon 3, Shoveler Hide.

 This pair were in the pool to the front of the hide.



Mute Swan Cygnets.

These four were on the first island out from the hide and mum was close by. 



Great Crested Grebe, Lagoon 4, Sandpiper Hide.

This bird suddenly appeared from the reeds and dived and came back to the surface with a fish. 



Egyptian Goose, Osprey Nest, Lagoon 4. Sandpiper hide.

When I first arrived in the hide, two of the birds sat on the nest, one then flew up onto the T post. This is the nest where these birds destroyed the only egg laid in the nest last year.




EYEBROOK RESERVOIR.

I arrived at the reservoir at 16.40 hrs and it was not long before I saw my first Osprey. By the end of my session I had seen three Juveniles and two Adult birds. Its a lovely place to visit and you can at times get much closer to the Ospreys than is possible at Rutland. 




Adult Male Osprey.

This bird flew down the far side of the reservoir and carried on down towards the dam. 



Juvenile Osprey.

This bird was again on the far side of the reservoir this time flying back from the dam. 



Same bird just a little bit closer. 


Again the same juvenile but not possible to see the ring. 



Still no ring visible. 



A quick turn but I still cannot see or read the ring number. 



Adult Osprey.

This bird returning with a very small fish, someones going hungry this evening. 



Adult Osprey.

This bird made a sudden appearance, hovered on the far side of the reservoir.



And then headed down the reservoir towards the dam. 



Female Juvenile Osprey, 3 AF, A Bird Fledged At Site O.


At last a bird came a little closer and it was possible to almost read the ring number. I made the bird to be 3 AT but I sent the image to Kayleigh at the Lyndon Centre who got John Wright the Field Officer to have a look and he told me it was 3 AF.  




She circled down the middle of the reservoir and eventually headed farther down. 



She eventually finished up fishing to the front of some trees about half a mile away where she caught a small fish. I only can confirm this as I had a gent with me with his scope and he watched her dive and catch the fish, and I saw her fly away with it. I have never seen a juvenile catch a fish before. 



You cannot but admire the beauty of these birds.





OSPREY DUTY.
13 th August.


I got away from home at 14.10 hrs and headed for our Little Owl sites, I just wanted to see a bird, it is a while that I have been Little Owl less.

I arrived and followed my normal route and eventually at Site 9 I saw a Little Owls, what a relief. mind it was so buried in the tree I was unable to get an image but at least I had seen a bird.

Then on my return journey I saw a bird sat on the barn roof at site No. 11, it was virtually dark by then so I didn't even attempt an image.

On arrival at Waderscrape Hide, I found it to be bulging at the seams with visitors, most of whom were on site for Birdfair at Egleton and were staying locally, luckily later on things got considerably steadier with visits.





Adult Female, Shallow Water Hide.

Virtually a carbon copy of two weeks previous with the female on the T post, juvenile male on the nest and no sign of the adult male 33/11. 


Juvenile Male 2 AM.

He had moved from the nest up onto the camera post and was having a quick preen.



Female Osprey Chasing and Egyptian Goose.

She is still very protective of her youngster and gave a real chase to this unsuspecting goose that just happened to fly by. 



Juvenile Osprey 2 AM.

Had a quick fly and thought about having a chase with the female after the goose, but then why bother.  




Common Tern, Shallow Water Hide.

Numerous of these birds still about and could not resist this image. 





Mallard Duck, Shallow Water Hide.

A long distance image, they look so dowdy this time of the year. 



Juvenile Little Egret, Waderscrape Hide.

This is I'm sure the same bird as last time I was on duty but this time it only was with us for a short time. 






Then someone came into the hide and that was it. 



Left to Right, Great White Egret, Cormorant, Great White, Heron and Little Egret.

Unfortunately this is the closest the Great Whites came to us, this was a 530 metre shot.




OUR BARN OWLS.


We still have all three young with us but they are still not coming out of the box any earlier. I have been out with these birds most evenings either in the hide or in the car on evenings when its been raining, and I've had several evenings in the car, the weather has been awful.

Please remember all these images are taken at high ISO numbers, up to 28200.

Just about to go out with the birds and hope they will appear earlier.





Female Juvenile Barn Owl.

First to appear from the box. 







Second Juvenile Female.

Second female appeared in the front and flew away {plus I was slow in pushing the remote button} but then returned and sat on the left of the box for me. 



Then up into a tree at the back of our land, so it was a case of moving about in the hide, swinging the camera round on the tripod, falling out of my seat and being amazed she was still  sitting in the tree still with all the noise I made {and must admit to a bit of cursing}. At least I managed an image away from the box. It was getting really dark  and I had great difficulty in finding this bird.



Male Juvenile Barn Owl. 







Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did in getting 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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