Tuesday, 24 January 2017


Richard and myself both decided to have our normal Thursday visit out as normal even though the forecast was far from being perfect, in fact it was dire, but we both needed some time out and you never can tell what Little Owls are going to do. So as normal Richard arrived at 11.30 hrs and with him driving we got on our way heading for our Little Owl sites. And then after we thought we would carry on through to Eyebrook Reservoir, what a pair of fools.

It soon became evident that we would be battling against the fog and even though it was varying in thickness it was going to be a very difficult afternoon image wise. We travelled through our Little Owl Sites and not until Site No. 8 did we manage to see our first bird, this bird sat and watched whilst we took a few images, a reasonable amount to be truthful because of the weather. We then headed for Site No. 9 where we planned to have our lunch and sat in the nest hole sat an adult, the images from here were rubbish as a much longer shot to the nest hole. After our lunch we carried on through our remaining sites but saw no more birds and so headed for Eyebrook. On arriving we immediately went and visited the bridge and went on Kingfisher watch, virtually immediately I spotted a bird flying upstream which was followed by Richard spotting a bird in the usual Willow tree, as much as I tried over this distance with the fog no decent image was taken but we kept up with watching in case a bird landed any closer. After this we had a drive around the reservoir and stopped at a new site I found a week or two ago and this looks very promising for the future without the fog.

After visiting all the areas around the reservoir where we have been seeing Red Kites and seeing none we decided to head for home and a return trip through the Little Owls Sites. Within a very short distance from the bridge we spotted a Little Owl in a large tree in a field, this is a well documented site but still good to see the bird. On our return trip we saw two birds and Site No. 5, one in the nest tree and one in a tree on the far side of the field so for me a five owl day.


19th January.


Cock Pheasant, Near Little Owl Site No. 5.

This bird sat on a gate not far from the field Road we were using. Richard stopped the car and as we were reasonably close the fog just gave a back drop.  

Little Owl Site no. 8.

This bird just sat and watched us as we attempted to get a decent image. 

Little Owl Site No. 5.

This bird sat high up in the nest tree and its mate was in a tree on the far side of the field where we see them on a regular basis. 

Lapwings in the fog at Eyebrook Reservoir.

As  most of my images are as a rule shot over reasonably long distances, this shows the fog with the Lapwings flying at the top end of the reservoir.

20th January.

We then had some sun on Friday the 20th and so after lunch I had a very quick visit to Rutland, so after booking in at the Egleton Centre I had a walk down the reserve with a friend from LROS and headed initially for Shoveler Hide. On arriving in the hide and having a quick chat with the gents in the hide, they all agreed they had not seen so many ducks on the Lagoon but unfortunately for me, they were all a very long way away. After a short time some Teal flew in  a little closer but still not really close enough for a decent image. After a few images I then walked farther into the reserve and visited Crake and  Fieldfare Hides where I met up again with a gent I had walked into the reserve with who pointed out some birds well out in the reservoir with his scope, he had found eight Red- crested Pochards, a beautiful duck and he also showed me some Smew and a Red-necked Grebe, unfortunately these birds were all a silly distance away from the hide so I made no attempt for an image. 

Drake Teal, Lagoon 3, Shoveler Hide.

First time using the new lens and Rutland Wate and shooting down from a hide to the water. Should have used more - EV. A considerable number of ducks were on the Lagoon but at a long distance from the hide. After a short time about ten Teal flew in and landed about 60 metres from the Hide.  

Better balance and with its head down and feeding. 

A really beautiful duck that with Garganey are the smallest of the ducks. 

Great White Egret, Lagoon 3, Shoveler Hide.

 Even the G.W.E. would not play ball and come close, this image taken at 398 metres.

G.W.E. Lagoon 1, The Egleton Centre.

This image taken from the upstairs hide in the centre, the bird was just under 600 metres away. While at the Reservoir I had met up with Steve Lister who told me another five G.W.E. were at the Fishponds area. With the numbers that are being attracted to the reservoir maybe we will get some young this year, fingers crossed. 

Lapwing, Shoveler Hide. Lagoon 3.

Considerable numbers of Lapwing are around the Reserve.  A count of birds around the reservoir is carried out  by a team of volunteers on a day each month and last months count for Lapwing was 5098.

The first image of the Lapwings has been cropped, this is just a greater cropped version of the above.

24th January.

I had an early lunch with the idea of going on a hunt for Waxwings at Loughborough,so I arrived in Loughborough for about 13.20 hrs and went directly to Park Road, this is where I last saw some birds. I soon met up with a gent who I had seen on a regular basis with the S.E.O. last year at Cossington Meadows. He had seen some Waxwings about 2 hrs previous as they flew over Park Road and showed me some images but he had seen nothing since. So we both got under way on all the side roads to see if we could find anything but to no avail so after about 30 minutes I decided to visit Swithland to see if anything much was about which unfortunately it was not.

Shoveler Ducks and Drakes.
These birds were swimming around in circles and feeding, not sure what they were feeding on but it certainly kept them busy, Birds were about 60 metres away, 

Black Headed Gull. On the Dam.

This bird sat on the hand rail of the bridge which spans from the dam to the draw off tower.

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

Sunday, 8 January 2017


I decided on Monday  to have a quick visit out, and as in the morning on the LROS site it reported some Waxwings in Loughborough, I decided to make this my first port of call. So I managed to get away from home for about 12.30 hrs  and on arrival at the site found Richard already in place, this at least giving me confidence that the birds were still about. The unfortunate thing about the site the birds had chosen was that it was on the side of one of the main roads into the town and was very busy traffic wise.

Richard and the gent he was with explained that the birds seemed to be flying between a tree farther down the road and one in someones front garden, they said the problem with the tree we were watching was that the birds would fly up to it go to land and be disturbed by the traffic but we should get some flight shots. The lady whose garden we stood in front of was very friendly and offered for us to go and stand in her front garden which we declined. Mind if she had offered to open her garage door that would have been a different kettle of fish. 

The birds flew up a couple of times whilst I was on site and managed a few seconds landed and as predicted virtually flew away immediately as cars drove by but it was most certainly worth the visit, but proved to be a site I could not stay at for long, the traffic was noisy for me as well as disturbing the birds, so I headed away to get into the countryside for some peace at Eyebrook Reservoir which I found to be crowded with people so I visited the area where I see the Red Kites and was all on my own and at peace with the world.

 Then on Thursday Richard and myself had our weekly visit out and with my turn to drive. We had another quick visit to Loughborough and the Waxwings but only had a reasonably short visit as we wanted to spend some time with the Little Owls and also another try for the Kingfishers at Eyebrook. On our outward journey we saw two owls at Sites 8 and 9 and on our return we saw another two at Sites 5 and; 6.

On arriving at Eyebrook Reservoir we had a quick lunch and then positioned ourselves on the bridge on Kingfisher watch. We hadn't been watching for long when another gent arrived and a Kingfisher flew downstream and landed in the same tree as last week only then to be joined by a second bird, at this time it became a somewhat confusing as we thought at one point we saw three birds but in the end we decided one must have sneaked back upstream and then flown down again. Then a bird flew into a tree no more than thirty metres away but we were both in the wrong place with another tree in the way and by the time we had moved so had the Kingfisher, we will get it closer some time.  The gent who was with us then had a message through on his phone to say that five Whooper Swans were at the inlet, {that's where we were} but upon looking they were on the shore where the stream enters the Reservoir so it was a quick move to get some images before they flew. Then it was time to retrace our steps and head for home through the Little Owl sites.

As you can see my initial script and some of the wording below the images has converted to capitals, has anybody any ideas as to why?????. 


2 nd January.

This was the first return of the birds whilst I was on site. This was virtually a fly by with no attempt to land but they then flew around and returned. 

Then some more birds joined up with them, at this point I could count 25. 

Getting lower and looking to land.

At least with this image I managed to see a little of the red in the wing. 

Virtually in the tree, look like three males with the wider yellow band to the tail.

And then a quick rush in to land and grab a berry or two. 

As you can see it was somewhat chaotic, it was a case of point the camera and shoot.  

Another couple landing. 

These birds have managed a berry and then the traffic disturbed them and they were away. So I headed away for Eyebrook Reservoir.

2 nd January
Red Kites.

These birds were in a slightly different area but I was shooting up to the sky and nearly into the sun.

 Common Buzzard Near to the Reservoir.

I was driving away from the area when I could see this bird sat up in a tree, so I drove very slowly towards it and got within about 50 metres and stopped, switched the engine off and managed to get three quick images before it flew, you can see it had me spotted, Buzzards are very nervous birds and it seems impossible to get any closer for a decent image.

5 th January.

Whilst we were on site, we only had the one visit from the birds. 

Here with beak wide open and just about to devour a berry. 

Another berry bites the dust. 

At last a single bird lands virtually at the top of the tree so a clear shot through. 

Then the traffic disturbed them and they were away. 

And gone, and so were we, Little Owling. 

5 th January.


In the same tree as last week, but this time you can make out some blue to its back. I am sure we will get some decent images soon. {perhaps} 

Whooper Swans.

This image taken from the area of the bunker whilst the birds were swimming down the Reservoir, with Pintail Drake to the front of them.  As they swam they were making the most delightful call.

This take about 200 metres farther down the road as the birds were heading out to the middle of the Reservoir. 


Little Owls Site No. 9.

This week we could only see the single bird but still very happy to see the one. These birds were ousted from this site last Spring.  

 Little Owls Site No. 6.

By this time we had lost the light so not a very good image.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

Took a little time to find this bird as unusually it sat high up in the tree unfortunately with the sun virtually behind it.  

Kestrel Near Little Owls Site No. 19.

 Had a visit to see my farmer friends on Wednesday and this bird sat in a tree on the Opposite side of the Road to the Little Owl Site.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I have 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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