Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Richard and myself had our usual Thursday visit out even though the forecast was not very good, as he had missed the previous week due to the Dentist visit and the removal of a tooth he was really wanting to see some Little Owls.

Luckily it was Richards turn to drive as the car windscreen developed a crack in the morning and as usual he arrived at 11.30 hrs and we got on our way heading in the Rutland direction and the usual route. We decided that because of the forecast and Richard still suffering from his tooth extraction not to get over far from the car, and luckily we did that as it poured with rain as the afternoon went on.

We drove through the usual route and saw a bird in the coppiced tree at Site 8, and then had our lunch at site 9 where we saw a bird in the nest hole and even managed a few seconds of sun, that was a real shock.

After this we carried on through the remaining sites but saw no more Owls so we headed for Eyebrook Reservoir to have some time waiting for the Kingfisher. We arrived at the bridge and parked the car and immediately saw how coloured the water in the inlet was from all the rain we have unfortunately had. But we stuck it out for some time and eventually saw the kingfisher fly down stream and carry on down into the reservoir to find some clear water to fish in.

So after a while we drove down the reservoir to an area where I had found a bird hide the previous week.  Last week was the first time I had driven in the opposite direction round the water and saw the hide, we actually nearly drove past it, its not over easy to see and after the visit it most certainly is not of the quality of the Rutland Hides but it will keep you dry and warm.

As we came out of the hide it actually started to rain so we took a steady drive about and then slowly headed for home passing the Little Owl sites again for another check . 

17 th February.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This bird took a bit of finding being tucked in amongst the branches, but after a little manoeuvring of the car we managed some images. 

Same bird but on the return journey.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

Stopped for our lunch and it came as a shock when the sun came out so I quickly grabbed an image. 

Kestrel Near Eyebrook.

Bird spotted by Richard who got the car at an angle so I could get this image. The light was pretty dire by this time. 

Robin, by Eyebrook Hide.

We had just got back into the car and it had also started raining when this Robin landed on Richards side of the car, then lucky for me it flew across to the far side of the road and that bit farther away, it would have been much too close on Richards side for it to focus, they are such delightful and nosy little birds.

17 th February.

As we sat and ate our lunch this solitary bird flew across the field and another two were in the distance. 

The area we had found at Eyebrook with all the Red Kites appears to have gone cold so it was good to see this bird.

14th February.

The forecast was for some sun after lunch and as the site was close to home, after a quick sandwich I headed for the birds but unfortunately the sun did not last, story of our lives lately.

We had two flocks, one of about 90 birds that were roosting in the tops of some Poplar trees about 400 metres  away and another of about 70 birds which were moving between the apple tree and some silver birch trees. 

I apologise for the inclusion of these images but we have an element of self indulgence I'm afraid as I think these birds are absolutely stunning.

Having looked on the LROS site this evening, we appear to have Waxwings at numerous sites all over the County.

Getting stuck into an apple but with the shadow of the branch above on its head. 

Several Silver Birch trees are down the side of the road and it appeared that when the birds had fed, they flew into these trees to digest the food a little before returning for some more. 

This bird sat in the top of one of the Silver Birch trees.

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


  1. Fantastic photos as always. I may have said this before but if I saw an owl - have only seen one in the wild - I would probably fall out of my shoes! The kite in flight must have been amazing to see. Loved the waxwings and the other sweet birds. Thank you John, all the best, Denise

    1. Hi Denise, owls are somewhat secretive and have to be searched out unless you can approach either a farmer or someone who goes bird watching and they can point you towards a site. If you fall out of your shoes, get your husband to take some photo's. Luckily for this visit with the Waxwings i made sure the camera was set on RAW, does help. All the best, John

  2. You did well to get such good Red Kite images, John. Love the Robin images too.

    As for the Waxwings, I think you did even better on this visit than on your previous one. I particularly like the third image with all the Waxies in the tree - very atmospheric!

    The rain forecast for tomorrow have moderated a little, but they're still forecasting 100 km/h winds for the area in the afternoon, so it's not looking good for our afternoon out!

    1. Hi Richard, yes the Red Kite if you remember was whilst we had our lunch in the gateway and I jumped out the car for a few images. Waxwings were shot in RAW this time, wonder how much longer we will have them about. Glad we decided not to go out today, what a wind we have had. Look forward to a revised visit tomorrow with hopefully better conditions. John

  3. I really love the little owl and your photos are also great to see. The third picture is so cute! Really super.
    The red kite is breathtaking wow! What cool to see who and what was this beautiful fototograveren. Just great. Pretty sharp robin and then also the waxwings. Beautiful series with many wonderful moments.

    Warm regards, Helma

    1. Hi Helma and thanks for such comments, the weather was far from good and I was really lucky to get the images. The Little Owls are really super and the third image is a site we found many years ago. We have Red Kites in reasonable numbers in the UK but they are not always easy to locate. The Waxwing season I am sure will not last that much longer before the birds head North. All the best and thanks for the visit. John

  4. Beautiful John, the Waxwings are tremendous. And there are the Red Kites, special.

    1. Hi Bob and thank you for the visit, we at the moment seem to be surrounded by Waxwings, some are in flocks of over 100, I really must try to stop going and taking more images, they are such beautiful birds. I'm sure we will be without them very soon as they head North as will the Ospreys be heading towards us. All the best to you, John

  5. Otro reportaje fantástico, me ha gustado mucho. Un abrazo desde España.

    1. Hola German,y gracias por la visita, tan contento que te publicar que ultimamento ha sido muy dificult con el tiempo que hemos estado experimentado, todo io mejor de Inglaterra, John

  6. Hello John,
    Well that was a great outing with Richard despite the dull light - for bird photos it is not exiting!! -
    You got quite a few species and you dear LO's!!
    I find strange the white background behind the Red kite, a bit like he is going to fly around in the blog! LOL!!
    And your Waxwings, pure magic!
    Keep well and enjoy your we :)

  7. Hi Noushka, yes we had a good afternoon out even though it rained towards the end of our visit, we have had some awful weather for our visits out, we cancelled our visit for last Thursday due to a severe storm, luckily we did as many trees were blown over. The Red Kite images were taken in very grey conditions hence the pale background, the only way I could get any of the colours and definition on the underside of the bird. And of course we are always pleased to see the Owls. All the best and glad you had a good visit to the Atlantic. John

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for your lengthy answer.
      I really wish you a much brighter weather in the coming days as the migratory birds will be (or are already, for quite a few species) on the wing!
      Take care :)

    2. Hi Noushka, like you we are wishing for better weather but we are failing miserably, the forecast for this week is awful, so depressing when you want to get out and get some images in the sun, much easier than in the weather at the moment. As you say the migratory birds will be on the way, should soon be seeing the Ospreys. All the best and lets hope for a good Spring and Summer. John

  8. Hi John, the first thank you so much for your kind comment..
    Beautiful series of pics.. Love specially the adorable little owl and the Waxwings.. Thanks for sharing..
    Have a great week..

    Greetings from Madrid..

  9. HI Ana and thank you for your visit, thought your last post was beautiful, great to see some Madrid Little Owls. You look after yourself. John

  10. Another super selection ! Specially like the robin and Red Kite shots and you keep coming up with those beautiful Waxwing images. So colourful showing the vivid colours of their tail feathers. You do well to track them down. M

  11. Hi Margaret and sorry, replied to your comment very shortly after you placed it, must be lost somewhere up in the sky. Very fond of the Robin myself, they are such inquisitive little bird and always take great interest in anything you are doing outside. The Waxwings are such a delight to see and get images, they will be soon heading North as our migrants are doing with Sand Martins already at Rutland. See you soon. John

  12. Hi John,
    Thanks for your comments on my blog :)
    I get the definition on the white feathers because I under-expose.
    Since I set the ISOs on automatic (in manual mode), I only have to adjust the speed and the exposition.
    I guess you are preparing another post since you last outing with Richard!
    Keep well and enjoy your Sunday :)

  13. HI Noushka, thank you for the information, I will try this. I am working on my next post at this moment but we have again had awful weather and is pouring with rain at the moment. You have a good week, all the best. John

  14. I chuckled at your comment about being shocked to see the sun. I remember once an English guy telling me that if you read the newspaper you miss summer! You must have been thrilled with the Bohemian Waxwings - wonderful birds.

  15. Hi Both, I was dumb founded with the sun coming out, we have had some really dire weather this Winter, if we had some snow and frost it would have been far better and brighter. The gent was certainly correct in his statement about the newspaper, but it must be a very small edition. The Waxwings have been wonderful this Winter and the odd ones are still about. Thanks for the visit. All the best, John


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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