Saturday, 25 March 2017


Richard and myself had a visit out on Thursday the 16th of March and being my turn to drive, Richard arrived at 11.30 hrs and we got on our way heading for our Little Owl sites, not with much expectations of seeing much as it was very dull with a very cold wind. But how birds can surprise you. We saw our first Little Owl at  Site 8 and after that we saw two birds at Site 9 whilst having our lunch. After this we travelled through the remaining sites but saw no more birds. We then headed for the Lyndon Centre at Rutland Water for a look around the Hides and a check to see if we had any Osprey arrivals, of which we had none, but they will soon be with us 30/05 left her Senegal Winter beach resort on the 11th March so is well on the way. We had a steady walk down to Waderscrape Hide calling in at both Deep Water and Tufted Duck Hides but nothing of consequence was visible. The computer and television were up and running in Waderscrape and two Volunteer ladies were on duty and told us that they had decided the first Osprey would arrive at the nest at 16.00 hrs {WRONG}. We sat for a while hoping to see some Water Vole but non showed so we headed for Shallow Water hide. It is usually at this time of the year very good for getting Shoveler Ducks reasonably close to the Hide but really nothing was that close, in fact we saw very little at all so after a short time headed back up to the centre and the car park to start our return trip.

Our Ospreys are at last returning in reasonable numbers so I am looking froward to an extra Osprey duty I have been asked to carry out on Thursday the 23rd. Lets hope our birds have returned by then.  


Little Owl Site No. 8.

Bird spotted by Richard and difficult to get a decent image without moving the car to try to get a clear shot through the branches. We both commented that it would be great to see two birds at this site. 

Only when getting home and uploading the images did I find this, yes the elusive second bird, so a quick call to Richard with the news. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

We sat to have our lunch by this site, its a really beautiful and peaceful spot, and this bird sat and watched and was joined by its mate at one point.

16th March.

Mute Swan, Female, Shallow Water Hide.

Always a delight to see and get an image. Reasonably long distance shot.  

Manton Bay Osprey Nest. Shallow Water Hide.

It seems so sad to see the empty but already prepared  nest but hopefully it will not be long before these birds return.

Juvenile Mute Swan, Shallow Water Hide.

23rd March.  

I was asked to carry out an additional duty at Waderscrape and jumped at the chance of being on duty when our birds may return. This being 33/11, the male and the Scottish female, as you can see below the little beggars beat me to it and came back a day early, but at least I will have birds to watch during my visit. Last year Maya arrived on the 21st March and 33/11 on the 27th, so this year they split the difference and virtually arrived together.

I managed to get away from home for 12.15 hrs and headed straight for the Lyndon Centre arriving at 13.10hrs and after booking in, walked swiftly down to Waderscrape Hide to get my first glimpse of the returned Ospreys. It had become very windy by this time and with the wind coming from the reservoir, it was feeling extremely cold. On arriving at the Hide I was greeted by my fellow conspirator, Sheila who told me the female was on the nest and 33/11 was away fishing. He eventually arrived back but with no fish, the reservoir was covered with white horses which must make fishing very difficult. He remained with the female for a while and then had to see off an intruder Osprey and then after a while went away fishing again, my duty finished at 17.00 hrs and he was still absent so hopefully they both finished up with a fish after I left.

Male Osprey 33/2011 . Note he has the Blue ring.

Here having just arrived at the nest, {10.04 hrs} some serious nest building will take place in the next few days. You can see the black cable ties used to hold the nest together by the brave guys that go out in a very small boat and put a ladder up to the nest an rebuild it.

Female Osprey {Maya} left. Non Ringed.

Just arrived at 13.38 hrs so very little time or distance between them. And so the season begins.


Female Osprey on the nest.

This is the site that greeted me on arrival at the Hide. The male had left to go fishing about 10 minutes before I arrived. Please remember the bird is 320 metres away and I was shooting virtually into the sun. 

 She kept getting lower in the nest as the wind increased all afternoon.

Unknown Raptor.

I haven't got any idea as to what this bird is, one lady in the Hide said it was a Buzzard, but the bird is white under the tail and has a quiet distinct black end to the tail. Unfortunately the bird was going on for 420 metres away in the hedge.

Anybody any ideas??????

Just had a call to say this bird is a Female Rough Legged Buzzard. the male has a smaller black tip to the tale with a second thin band above it. Thanks Derek.

The Male,33/11 returns from Fishing

He had just returned and her on the nest was looking at him

Because we had an intruder Osprey approaching the nest, 33/11 responded and returned to the nest. 

They both mantled at the intruder, which could have been a bird that was bred on the nest, we had a young male land on the nest last year who was tolerated by both birds, not for long but was a bird that had fledged from the nest. 

The intruder retires gracefully.

Cormorant in Dead Tree, Adjacent to the Hide.

This tree always has Cormorants roosting, you can only just make out the green eye, the tree is 130 metres from the Hide. One of the previous Manton Bay Males 5R, would take great pleasure in flying around the bay and he would then plough through the tree and dislodge a few from perching.

Immature Great Black-backed Gull.

I was told that this was what this bird was by a visitor to the hide. Not very good with gulls.
John  Wright, the field officer tells me that numerous immature birds stay at the reservoir all year until mature, and several mature adults overwinter on site.  

Not sure as to what the bird is carrying.

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


  1. Hi John, you have a load of photos, some of them goes number years. All of them are alluring.

  2. Hi Bob and thanks for the visit, I really enjoy putting the posts together as I am sure you do. Great that the Ospreys are returning, we are up to nine at the moment. Lets hope you and Callum have a return visit. Try Eyebrook Reservoir if you do, you get considerably closer. All the best. John

  3. Yep, that was really embarrassing to have missed that second owl when it was so visible and close to the first one!

    Delighted to see that you survived Thursday, with all that cold wind - and you got some Osprey images too!

    See you soon - - Richard

    1. Well Richard it took both of us to miss the bird, I think it only appeared after we and used the bins and started taking the images. Lets hope we have some better weather for our duty this week. See you soon. John

    2. Sounds like a good excuse to me, John. I think we'll go with that!

    3. Don't let me down, lets stick to the story, not that its the first time we have done this.

  4. Lovely shots again. Like your header - nice to see the Spring lambs. Great the Ospreys are returning. What a fantastic journey and your duties start again. The Little Owl shots so appealing especially the pair in the tree trunk. Quite envious!! Will mine ever appear? Next favourite image is the Cormorant on the branch. Beautiful! M

    1. Hi Margaret, and what a delight to see the lamb, they are such beautiful little things and it won't be long before they are chasing around, great to watch. The Ospreys are amazing how they navigate over such a distance, and I am on duty again this Thursday, hopefully with better weather. Not sure as to what has happened with your Little Owls, I could always depend on seeing them at both sites. See you soon John

  5. Forgot the young mute swan, very pretty feathers.M

    1. Hi Margaret, and I agree with you they are really striking with the white edges, Glad you also enjoyed the Cormorant. John

  6. Gran reportaje John!!! Las águilas pescadoras Pandion haliaetus en el nido me han encantado. Un abrazo desde España.

    1. Hola German y gracias por visitar. Me alegro de haber disfrutado de los Ospreys, veras muchos de ellos durante le temporada, ya que estare de servicio cada dos semanas cuidando el nido. Deben haber volado razonablemente cerca de ti en el camino de Africa. Todo lo major de Inglaterra. John

  7. Hi John, yes I confirm it is the rough-legged buzzard.
    A great and interesting post with insight on the Osprey situation. Oh and I am glad "Maya" has no ring!!!
    Lovely to see the LO's are well on their way to breed in the usual sites, cant' get much cuter than that!!
    I believe the gull is carrying some nesting material especially because it doesn't look like a prey!
    Warm regards and keep well :)

    1. Hi Noushka and thank you for confirming the rough-legged buzzard, this means I will have to report the bird as it's very rare in this area. I would rather call the female the Scottish Female and as you say she has no ring. I think at the moment with us having so few birds it is useful to find out which birds return and from which nest sites, The Little owls will get a bit more of a visit this week as my Osprey duty doesn't start until 17.00 hrs. Looks like nesting material with the gull. Thanks for the visit and you look after yourself. John

    2. Hi John,
      I got alarmed when I read your sentence:
      "Mind we manage to loose Ospreys whilst on duty??"
      I hope the species is doing well this season.
      Warm regards and enjoy your WE :)

    3. Hi Noushka, no panic, we always manage to loose a bird whilst on duty, someone talks to you, you take your eye of a bird and when you look back its gone and then the job is finding it in 2500 acres, invariably its the male gone away fishhing or to get some twigs for the nest. They are having a good return at the moment and we have 15 birds to date, they really are such magnificent birds. You have a good weekend and the coming week, all the best John

    4. Oh, I get it!!
      And I agree, they are fabulous birds, wish I the pair we have 3/4 of an hour from my place soon.
      But for now, I am off to the Atlantic coast again till next we.
      Enjoy your outings and keep well :)

    5. Hi Noushka have a wonderful break and I'm sure you will return with some wonderful images for us to see. All the best. John

  8. Hi John,

    wonderful to see these little owls :-)
    Today I also saw the first two little owls and am therefore very happy :-)
    It will be some time before I go places, but I'm even more take pictures of.

    The series of the swan is a beautiful series. The drops on the mute swan head are wonderful to see. The juvniel swan is beautiful clear and sharp. The stork nest will soon be populated lol ...

    I am impressed with your photos Osprey. What a wonderful series and the many foto'sdie you could make here! The flying seagull is prey in its beak. Well spotted.

    Warm regards, Helma

    1. Hi Helma, glad to see you have seen your Little Owls, they are such a delight and if like ours, tend to watch you very intently. Also pleased you enjoyed the Swan images. The Ospreys are returning in numbers which will carry on into June with the first time back birds. They are wonderful to watch and I am back on duty with them this Thursday, the only problem is they are a long distance away. The gull was a pure lucky shot as it suddenly appeared and was then away. You look after yourself and have a good week. Regards John


  9. Oh my John, adorable owls again. Well spotted Richard, and then you finding the second bird, I am totally envious. Fabulous shots! The side profile of the female mute swan is incredible, as is the juvenile mute swan. Again I am envious, I wish I had the opportunity to see more of them here. The osprey building the nest was very enjoyable, and I think those chaps who go out to the nests in their small boats deserve a big pat on the back. I don’t know enough about birds to have helped you with an id but knew someone would help you out with letting you know that it was a female rough legged buzzard. Blogging friends are so generous with their help. Another wonderful post John, thank! All the best, Denise

  10. Hi Denise, and yes the Little Owls are real little beauties, this is not the first time we have taken images and found a second bird later, we must try harder!!. I find Mute Swans fascinating, in fact all swans they are such proud looking birds. The Ospreys are a real treat for us and as you say the lads that go out in the boat to prepare the nests deserve a medal and a pat on the back. I seem to have gained some wonderful friends since blogging and they have all been helpful, some with help with camera settings, and some with id. Thanks for the visit and glad you enjoyed the post. All the best, John

  11. Hello John, it has been a while since my last response being out a lot and things on my mind. This is again a wonderful blog. And is it not fantastic that the Ospreys are back! I watch them on the webcam and I understood that there was already the first egg? Enjoy the season and I hope that it will be a succesfull one.
    Take care,

  12. Hi Roos and thanks for the visit, The Ospreys are amazing birds, the way they return to Rutland travelling all that distance, and yes we have an egg, hopefully another tomorrow. We have 15 adults back at the moment, lets as you say we have a successful season. All the best, John. Loved your Spring has arrived blog, hopefully I will see some orange tips soon.


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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