Sunday, 12 March 2017


This week I was unavailable to have the weekly visit out with Richard being involved with Discover Dogs at Crufts on both Wednesday and the first day of the show Thursday. Both days were extremely busy and must admit to being grateful on both days in getting home and putting my feet up.  We have over 200 breeds of dog on display for the public to see and ask questions of the owners about the breed.

We still own Golden Retrievers ourselves and this breed is a delight to live with.

We have shown Golden Retrievers for many years and for anyone who shows dogs the pinnacle is to get your dogs to Crufts, the step above that is to get your dog into the "big ring". This we managed in 2010 show in the final for the Pets as Therapy , PAT dog of the year for 2009.
My wife visited Rainbows Childrens Hospice for 9 years with Jody visiting the children, a job I must admit I would have found very difficult seeing these poorly children, some weeks visiting twice if she was called in by the co-ordinator. It was then a real honour when Rainbows agreed to support Jody and my wifes entry for the PAT dog of the year competition which they did. My wife had to submit photographs of Jody working with the children and numerous nomination forms had to be filled in from different departments and parents at the Hospice. A selection committee considered all the many entries and eventually finished up with the final six of which Jody was one, and this is how we made it into the big ring and coming second in the competition. I have nothing but admiration for my wife and Jody for what they achieved in helping these children through such terrible times, the love shown by them both is indescribable. 

When it came to being at Crufts, we had to visit on Friday evening to have a practise for the Saturday competition so we didn't get home until 23.30 hrs. Then we had to be back at he N.E.C. for 09.00 hrs on the Saturday where Jody and my wife were on display to the public until when she went into the ring after lunch. During this time I could sit and have a rest but my poor wife was on her feet and answering questions all day. After being in the ring they did some time on the PAT dog stand for photo's and then some time on Discover Dogs for the Kennel Club, Jody never tired of being stroked and giving love to everyone. We eventually got away from the show for 16.30 hrs to go home. Only to be up early the following day {Sunday} as it was Gundog day and Jody was being shown in Veteran bitch being 11 years old which meant she was in the show ring for 08.30 hrs so we had to be in the show for 08.00. We were all shattered and after showing I think she slept the rest of the day in her bench, except when she had visitors  and being a Golden Retriever you have to play to the crowd.

We sadly lost Jody when she was 13, she a was a real delight  to have had in our lives and with my wife did so much good for the poorly children. We still miss her.

The header image is our Golden Retriever bitch,  Jody having her photo taken on the winners rostrum at Crufts . 

My Wife and Jody in the middle of the Ring in the spotlight. 

Having received her award from Roy Barraclough, Jody then got a really good fuss from him. Jody qualified for Crufts every year from being young until when she was four she got her stud book number that meant she qualified for Crufts for life. But she always managed to be out of coat for the show bless her.

Jody at work at the Hospice, she was such a gentle dog. She also had a full coat,so not anywhere near the time for Crufts.

Jody's daughter Maddy {left} and grandson Bruce, Maddies son. Bruce having just won 5th place in Limit dog. Crufts 2011. 

2nd March
Part 2.

Shelduck Drake, Shoveler Hide. Lagoon 3.

Beautiful colorful bird feeding reasonably close to the hide, read recently that the female nests in a disused rabbit warren.  

Shoveler Drake, Shoveler Hide, Lagoon 3.

This bird stood in the shallows having a preen then all of a sudden. 

All hell broke loose 

The bird then performed a perfect somersault splashing water all over the place. 

This turned into a double somersault. 

And then peace returned 

Only to start all over again and give me the opportunity change some settings so as to freeze the water droplets.

We then did a barrel roll, it was showing off by this time!! 

And this was the end of the Shoveler bath and the bird flew.  

Smew Drake, Plover Hide, Lagoon 4.

I decided to visit this hide for the Smew as seven had been reported and sure enough they were still in attendance. Unfortunately this is the position the bird was in for most of the time we were watching, 150 metres away and sleeping. 

Smew Duck, Red Head, Lagoon 4.

We had six Red Heads and one drake, wonderful to observe, but the Drake still slept on??

By this time the wind had drifted him somewhat closer. He made no effort to move himself, I'm sure if he had been much closer we would have heard him snoring!!

And then a female approached and he awoke. 

He then gave a bit of a chase, but soon thought better of it.

And then the sun came out. it was by this time getting very low in the sky with a red tinge but it helped show the beauty of this duck. 

Heron Near one of the Islands, Lagoon 4.

This Heron stood for a while with the Black Headed gulls in attendance. 

Little Egret, Lagoon 4.

Pair of Ringed Plover, Lagoon 4.

Just these two sat on the island to the front of us and spotted by Richard.

 Heavily cropped image of the left bird.

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

I hope you will forgive the self indulgence with my inclusion of the early images showing our dogs. Since this time my wife and I had a visit to Africa in 2010 and she  caught a Virus and has been poorly ever since, this means she can no longer carry out this work that she loved so much.


  1. Oh yes, lovely Jody, R.I.P. And what about the Shoveler, fantastic.

  2. Hi Bob, Jody was the most delightful dog and loved her life and people especially children and did a considerable amount of good in her life. The Shoveler was hilarious, I have never seen a duck do a somersault before. All the best and thanks for the comment. John

  3. I always love your posts John, the bird photographs but this time your story about Jody. Your wife sounds amazing, can't think of anything more noble than to have a service dog visit sick children. Like you I would find that very difficult but your sweet wife seems to have a true calling. Applauding here :)

  4. Hi Denise and thank you, it was a most wonderful time for my wife, she loved visiting the children with Jody and the both of them really enjoyed the visit , Jody always came home shattered and had a good sleep. Its was a really wonderful day for them both at Crufts for all the hard work they had put in with the children, Jody however was a bit tired to show very well the following day. All the best, John

  5. Oh, John, what a great post! I strongly believe in animal therapy and dogs for that matter are high on my list! Your wife has accomplished an extraordinary job indeed and have must help very seriously in the better being of these children.
    Eukanuba.... That is what we gave our dogs in South Africa... Great memories you bring back!!
    Lovely Smew drake picas again, and your shovelers are really funny, rolling over in the water, feet in the air!
    I am on the Atlantic coast and just missed the garganeys... again!
    But I had nice opportunities with other species.
    Keep well and enjoy your week :)

    1. Hi Noushka, so pleased you enjoyed the post, I wondered if people would, as I said above. I had an element of self indulgence. Jody was an outstanding dog in both the show ring and with the work she did with PAT dogs and from what the parents told my wife, she made a tremendous difference to these poor little ones. Eukanuba are the main sponsors of Crufts show. Smew are such an eye catching duck even when asleep!! and as for the Shoveler, we had a problem getting the images whilst chuckling as we watched. Hope you have a good break on the Atlantic coast. You have a good time, all the best. John

    2. :)

      Keep well and enjoy the new week, John!

    3. Hi Noushka and welcome back, I will get round to a new post soon. I am on my first Osprey duty on Thursday so I'm sure it will be soon after that, we have Ospreys arrived. Hope you had a good break and look forward to seeing some of the images. You have a good week. John

  6. Hi John!! Love all the dogs.. Good work..
    Very nice pictures and interesting birds that I have never seem in Spain..


    1. Hi Ana and glad you enjoyed the dogs, always notice your picture of your little dog. Smew are a really beautiful duck that we get in small numbers over here, and the Shoveler was amusing having its bath. Thanks for the visit, all the best, John

  7. What a wonderful blog,so interesting to know about your love of your Golden Retrievers and your times at Crufts. Your wife must be so proud of the help and comfort she and Jody gave to the children at Rainbows. It can't have been easy but so worthwhile.
    You have produced another great selection water birds. Really love the Shoveler drake having the time of it's life! Made me smile. M

    1. Hi Margaret and yes we love our Golden Retrievers, all of them and they are all different, but Jody was somewhat special and gave such help and support to these children when they were feeling sometimes very poorly. Brave of my wife as well, it would break my heart to see the little ones so poorly. So glad you enjoyed the Rutland birds including the Shoveler performance. All the best to you both and thanks for the afternoon cuppa. John

  8. Our pets leave us with such happy memories, John, and it is always sad to lose them. Such a pity that Veg is unable to continue with that remarkable work that she and Jody did together.

    I do detect a little similarity between your RW images, and mine from RW. I wonder why :D

    See you tomorrow - all things being equal.

    1. Yes Richard they get imprinted into the memory, its a great shame you never met Jody. Veg really misses the visiting to Rainbows and they miss her likewise, both her and Jody got on so well with the staff as well as the children. Yes I must admit we have a similarity in images, sheer luck, but we had a super afternoon with that magic ingredient, THE SUN. See you tomorrow, all the best, John

  9. Gosh !!!! showcased more than 200 breeds of dogs !! That is quite something!
    You've lost 13 years after Jody and I'm really oinder deeply impressed when I read what did your wife with visits to the Rainbows Children's Hospice. I have deep respect for it.
    It is nice to see in the header Jody ♥♥♥

    In addition, and great bathing ritual of the shoveler :-) The nuns are also very nice and bright on the picture put like the blue heron and the little egret. The plover is the first photo a picture puzzle lol .....

    Warm regards, Helma

    1. HI Helma, yes we had 218 breeds of dog on Discover Dogs and they mostly behaved impeccably, its the owners who sometimes let them down. Thank for the comment regarding my wife visiting Rainbows, it is a magical place for these poorly children. Jody was the first Golden Retriever to get on the Crufts rostrum for a long time, shame I got the television lights in the shot. The Shoveler was hilarious and the Smew are stunning even whilst sleeping, do you see them at home. All the best and thanks for the visit. 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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