Wednesday, 1 March 2017


We decided with storm Doris that was forecast for our normal Thursday trip out to defer our trip out {luckily} to the Friday. And so after the storm had passed we ventured forth with trepidation to see if any damage had been done to any of our sites. As you can see Site 5 had a major problem, but the birds have survived the damage and Richard managed to get some images of them, I was driving and missed the opportunity. From here we travelled on through our normal route and saw a bird next at Site No. 8. and then onto Site No. 9 for lunch where we saw two birds. We then had a very quick visit to Rutland Waters Lyndon Centre and a visit to Teal Hide but nothing was very close so we decided to travel across to Eyebrook Reservoir for another try for the Kingfishers, we saw nothing but another gent had seen a Kingfisher prior to us arriving. The weather again was not so good as the afternoon progressed, so I finished with very few images that I felt I could use for the blog, it was another case of rain stopped play. 

24 th February.      

What was and hopefully will be still be Little Owls Site No. 5.

This is a site we have been watching where a crack has been developing for going on for two years. When the tree had its previous disaster, Richard and myself erected the nest box, I have only seen a bird sat on top of it once but after loosing home, lets hope they decide to take up residence. These poor birds have had three episodes of sections of the tree falling. Its a wonder they have survived  and not disappeared from the area. We first found this site when the tree had a previous disaster some years ago and the farmer was complaining the wind had taken down some of his Owl tree.,  

Little Owl Site No. 8.

This site was still intact and the bird was eventually found by Richard after getting out of the car, sitting in the car I could not find it, so out of the car and get an image and the bird was not bothered at all. Camera did well to focus on the bird. More tree than bird! 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

When we arrived just the single bird sat in the nest hole, but as we sat and enjoyed our lunch, her indoors arrived from deeper in the hole.

So we sat and finished our lunch watched by both birds. We then visited the last of our Sites and no more birds were seen, we really must not complain as we has seen five which for how the weather had been the previous day was very good.

1st March.

Kestrel Near Little Owl Site No. ???

As I drove down the access road to the farm, I spotted two Kestrels sitting together in one of the trees, I always have the camera at the ready when on the drive but after getting the car at an angle on the road where I could see the birds, one flew away, so had to make do with a singleton.

2nd March.

We decided to have a visit to Rutland Water after a considerable break in visiting, as we had our pre season Osprey Meeting in the Volunteer Centre at 19.00 hrs that evening. As we were going to be late home we didn't get under way until 13.30 hrs with it being Richards turn to drive. We headed for our Little Owls Sites and not until Site No 8 did we see a bird, so we carried on through the remaining sites before heading to the Egleton Centre but we saw no more Little Owls, we put this down to a cold wind, this being our worst numbers count for a considerable time.
We arrived at Egleton and booked in with our friend David and then made our way out into the reserve and hides.  We wandered around the hides until late and tea time so we headed back to the car park and made our way round to the Volunteer Centre after eating our teas having enjoyed a wonderful afternoon.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

We really have to hunt within the tree to find this bird, it always tucks itself well into the branches, a bit more bird and less tree this week.

Goldeneye Drake, Lagoon 2, Redshank Hide.

This bird sat well out into the lagoon but what a delight to see it in some sunshine.

It then started its courtship display, throwing its head back. 

And then kicking water into the air. 

Coot, Grebe Hide. Lagoon 2.

Nearly everywhere you look on the reservoir, you are more than likely to see some Coot, but I find you still finish up getting an image or two of these delightful birds. 

Moorhen, Lagoon 2. Grebe Hide.

This bird was eventually chased away by the above Coot. Again a common bird that is hard to resist getting an image from. 

Greylag Goose, Lagoon 2, Grebe Hide.

 Around the Lagoon in reasonable numbers, also were being very noisy

Canada Geese, Lagoon 2, Grebe Hide.

These were being extremely noisy as they bathed whilst swimming out into the Lagoon. 

Gadwall Drake, Lagoon 2, Grebe Hide.

Another common duck but really eye catching

Duck and Drake together. 

Volunteer Training Centre, Next to Lagoon 4. Sandpiper Hide.

This building was only completed and opened last year by Sir David Attenborough and this is where we were having the pre-season Osprey Meeting. The reason we visited this Hide is because Richard saw the Peregrine fly past and we found it sat on the Osprey nest, we both had problems in getting the cameras to focus on the bird, a little dark think.

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

I have kept some of the images from the visit to Rutland Water for next weeks Blog as I am involved on both Wednesday and Thursday at Crufts. 


  1. I must have missed this one, sorry John. Those Gadwall are beautiful, but everyone is a winner.

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    1. Hi Bob, you hadn't missed the post, I have only just put it up. Agree with you that Gadwall are a stunning duck. All the best and thanks for the visit. John

  3. All good stuff John, nice post and images......

    1. Hi Paul, and thanks for the visit, looking forward to your next update on the Barnies, it has been a lean few weeks weather wise to get any decent images. Looks as if our Barnies are again cast out and the Kestrels are back in place, so disappointing, we have got the licence all in place just in case. All the best, John

  4. Amazing how well camouflaged those owls are. Brilliant photos of them John, as are the ones of the water fowl. I have many nature videos with Sir David Attenborough. They have entertained me over and over again.

  5. Hi Denise, Little Owls are wonderful Little Birds to watch once you have found them, they blend in so well to the background. David Attenborough is a friend of the gent who first introduced the Ospreys to Rutland Water so he visits reasonably regularly. Thanks for your visit. Loved your bridge. All the best. John

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  7. Hi John,
    I see again very nice pictures of the little owl. I also hope that the owls will live again in the hive even if the boom largely broken. Photo 4 with two owls in the hollow tree is great! I really hpu many of these owls.
    The kestrel is also nice. It was a pair and the other will get you surely have to see.
    The geese and goldeneye are also great to see. Nice bright, the crack ducks with beautiful detail in the feathers.

    I wish you a very nice evening.
    Warm regards, Helma

  8. Hi Helma and thanks for the visit. We are hoping the birds take to the nest box, but it was good to see they had not perished when the tree fell. Goldeneye are such a beautiful Duck, love the way they throw the head back and then splash water into the air. You look after yourself, all the best. John

  9. Some super images, John, and some good memories there too, just a little tainted by the destruction of the LO site. I particularly like the second Greylag image - the composition is beautiful!

    See you next week - if not before - that Bittern is a bit tempting!

    1. Hi Richard and sorry to have to miss our weekly outing today but duty called. We had a great day last week other than the destroyed LO site, we must keep an eye on it though, hopefully they will stay around but they have had a rough time over the last year or two. Greylag are a delightful goose,they set themselves up wonderfully. As you say that Bittern is very very tempting, the only image I have previously was over 600 metres away. See you soon. John

  10. Hi John!!!.. Fantastic place to take pictures.. Love the little owl..My owls from Madrid nest in stone hollows.. :-)))


    1. Hi Ana, Rutland Water is a wonderful place to visit, we have some great walks and visits to hides. In the next week or two we will have the returning Ospreys arriving. Loved your Little Owls in your post. Thanks for the visit. All the best, John

  11. Super blog!! Love the two owls together in the tree hollow and all the geese and duck images so distinct showing the beautiful ' layering' of feathers and nice reflections too. Specially like the moorhen shot. Hope your Cruft duties went well. You missed some good weather but forecast quite good for a few days. M

    1. Hi Margaret, glad you liked the two Little Owls in the nest hole, the second bird appeared whilst we had something to eat. It was good to have a change and visit Rutland and see some geese and ducks closer than at Eyebrook and in greater numbers, Crufts went very well and I am off the hook and finished {I hope} and shattered as well, will try to make the best of the good weather forecast. All the best, John

  12. Hi John: You and Richard are certainly having your share of challenges with the Little Owls this year, but hopefully all will turn out well in the end. It would be great to see a pair occupy the nest box you so carefully made and erected for them.

  13. Hi David, Lets hope all turns out for the best but these birds over the last year or two have had some challenges with the tree, this is the third episode they have had to endure so lets be positive and hope they use the box. Thought your holiday posts were superb reading and also some wonderful birds and meals. All the best to you both, John

  14. Hello John, that is a sad sight to see that big tree down by storm. I do hope the LO will use the nestbox or find another good spot to raise their young. Great captures of the two in the hole of the tree.

  15. HI Roos and thanks for your visit, it certainly is a very sad site with the nest tree on the ground, Richard called by this afternoon and the farmer has not seen the birds but hears them in the evening, he is going to leave the tree where it is until we find where they are roosting. Glad you liked the pair in the hole. Hope you are keeping well, all the best. John

  16. Oh dear, John, you must have felt really bad to discover site n°5 in this state.
    Unfortunately, storms do destroy old trees.
    I dearly hope the pair of LO's finds another place to nest this season close by.
    Otherwise great footage of other species, the Goldeneye is a must, at least for me, I wish to see it some day!
    Kind regards and enjoy the new week

  17. Hi Noushka, such a sad site when we first saw the downed tree, however the farmer is still hearing the Little Owls at night and says he will leave the tree where it fell so hopefully they will find another hole in the tree or use the nest box. Goldeneye are such a delightful duck with this wonderful courtship display.All the best. John

  18. Es una pena que hayan perdido su casa estos pequeños búhos, a ver si pronto utilizan la caja nido que les habéis puesto. Un reportaje magnífico john, enhorabuena. Un abrazo desde España.

  19. Hola German,como usted dice una verguenza estos pequenos buhos han perdido el arbol de la jerarquia pero esperanzadamente que utilizaran la caja o un arbol proximo. Gracias por su visita y comentario. Todo lo mejor de Inglaterra. 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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