Sunday, 9 April 2017


I had my first official Osprey duty with Richard on Thursday the 30th of March , Richard arrived at our house for 14.30 hrs and we were soon on our way heading for our Little Owl sites with Richard driving. we saw owls at Little Owl Sites Nos 8 and 9, these just being single birds but only managed an image at Site 9, the bird at Site 8 was so buried within the branches the chances of an image were nil. We passed Site 5 where the tree had come down in the storm and saw no Owls but also didn't see the farmers, they will be out and about late on whilst lambing and always report to us on either seeing or hearing the Little Owls.  

We eventually arrived at the Lyndon Centre for 16.10 hrs and after checking in and having a chat with Tim Mackrill as it was his last day at Rutland Water on the Friday. We got on our way and had a steady walk down the site calling in at both Deepwater and Tufted Hides but seeing very little. We eventually arrived at Waderscrape Hide for about 16.45 hrs and took over from the couple on duty. They told us the Male 33/11 had gone fishing they thought and the female sat on the nest. So from 17.00 hrs we were in charge and had several visitors but with such a late start it was very difficult getting decent images. What with the sun going down and being to the front of us never is ideal, but given a few weeks thing will get much better as the nights get lighter. This time with the Ospreys can be boring with very little going on, a bit of nest building, mating, a bit more nest building and then he will go and catch a fish but it still all needs monitoring and is of great interest to the people who have made the effort to visit.
We eventually finished our shift at about 19.45 hrs as it was nearly dark, so after switching off the computer and the television  we headed for the centre and car park. On our return journey we came upon a Little Owl sat on a fence in an area of our old Site No. 3, we have not seen a bird at this site for two and a half years, this we must keep an eye on and try to find it again.

4h April, 
Manton Bay Female Osprey had laid first egg. 

7th April,
Second egg laid.

10th April
Third egg laid. 

Little Owls Site No. 9.

Single bird sat in the front of the nest hole, hopefully the female is thinking about laying eggs. 

Female Osprey.

She just sat on the nest watching the world go by and waiting for 33 to come back with a fish for supper.

Male Osprey 33/11 with fish on dead tree on opposite side of Manton Bay .

He eventually arrived back with a nice trout, you can see the tail below the branch he is sitting on. 

As is normal he had his fill before taking the fish to the female, this changes when they have young. A foolish Corvid decides it may be an idea to have a go at stealing. 

Female on the nest food begging.

She was being extremely noisy at this time, we could hear her very clearly in the hide.  

She then transferred to the camera post and had a really good shout at him. 

He then brought the fish and she transferred to the T post and had her supper, it was about this time we had our tea. This is the quiet time of the season, all we really have to do is monitor if the birds mate and any food brought to the nest, also any nest building. Things will get considerably livelier once we have eggs and then young.   

Male Osprey 33/11.

Having given the fish to the female, he had a quick fly around and washed his feet. 

Awful image, awful light??? 

Both Osprey.

Female to the left on the T post and Male on the camera post. 

Greylag Goose on the channel to the front of  Waderscrape Hide.

6th April.

As I was not on duty this week and Richard had decided to go out early, I opted to have a visit through the Little Owl sites and then go onto Eyebrook Reservoir and see if any Ospreys were about. I got away at about 14.00 hrs  and on my trip out I saw only a single Little Owl at Site 9. I eventually arrived at Eyebrook and was surprised by the number of people in my normal area but not put off by this I parked up the road and walked back and was greeted by an Osprey fishing not far out in the Reservoir. After I had been on site for about half an hour who should turn up other than Richard who had been on an exploratory visit to Ketton Quarry. He staid with me for about and hour and then headed for home, I settled down and had my tea at the Reservoir and left at about 18.30 hrs to run back through the Little Owl sites seeing no birds on my return but managing a quick chat with the farmers at Site 5 who reported they had both heard and seen the Little Owls in the fallen tree which is great news.   


Osprey  prior to Richards arrival.

This bird flew around to the front of us and then headed down the Reservoir towards the dam.


This was a single bird that arrived whilst Richard was on site.

Same bird as above.

Richard left to head for home and these three birds arrived at the same time.


I sat eating my tea and I thought another Osprey had arrived on the far side of the Reservoir, as the bird got closer I could see it was in fact  a Buzzard, I was hoping it would come closer but they never do, so I took a few quick images and then finished my tea as the bird flew away.

Cock Pheasant, Eyebrook Reservoir.

Having finished my tea, this bird appeared in the long grass towards the water, so being fond of these colourful birds I could not resist an image.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This was the only bird I saw on my trip out, but still great to see.

4th April.

Having seen nothing of the Kestrels for about three week and also having been finding Barn Owl Pellets under the large box, we hoped we had some Barn Owls back in residence in our garden. So I decided to sit out with the camera and see if I could find out what was going on. I make no apologies for the following image. It was taken going on towards 20.45 hrs and was virtually dark and was taken at ISO 20,000 so I was fighting a loosing battle for quality. I have taken more since, at an even later time but they are just for my records. The good news is we have got a pair so we will be watching for eggs. Luckily we have already been sent a licence by Christine Flint.


As you can see they did the dirty on me and came out from the smaller box, I must admit to having struggled to see them how dark it was. With these large lenses, I find with taking images later on, I set up the camera on a tripod with a remote button. I then focus with auto focus onto the area I wish to take the image from and then switch off the auto focus, so it didn't help having to swing the camera left and shorten the distance to the subject, but after all that you can see they are Barn Owls so we are over the moon. 

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


  1. Fantástico reportaje amigo mío, las fotos de la águila pescadora en vuelo son magníficas, también me ha gustado mucho las lechuzas en la caja nido. Un abrazo desde España.

    1. Hola German y gracias por la visita, los Ospreys estan viniendo bien y como se puede ver tenemos tres huevos. Me alegro de que te gustaron los Barn Owls, tenemos tanta suerte de tenerlos en nuestro jardin. Todo lo mejor de Inglaterra. John

  2. Some really great shots there, John, but I'm particularly impressed by your Buzzard images. I wish
    I'd hung around longer! ;D

    1. Hi Richard and didn't we have a great time with the Ospreys, you definitely see more at Eyebrook than at Rutland. The Buzzard arrived whilst I had tea and was at a good height. See you soon. John

  3. Great shots John, and the ones of the Osprey, glorious.

  4. Hi Bob and thanks for the visit, I told you Eyebrook was a good place to visit for the Ospreys. Hopefully we may see you on site, I can still mentally taste Callums pie!!! All the best John

  5. Hi John,
    Great to see you're back in business with the Ospreys!
    Lovely flight photos!
    It must be soooo thrilling to follow the species the way you do!
    Fantastic shots of the pheasant too and I can't wait to see your future photos of the Barn owls!
    Keep well, and enjoy yourself!!
    PS: I am off again this we to Spain !

    1. Hi Noushka and yes we have plenty of action with the Ospreys, I really enjoy seeing and getting images of them, they are such a spectacular bird. I find I can get better images at Eyebrook Reservoir as it is a much smaller area and you can get closer to the birds. I have only just come back in home as I have yet again been out on Barn Owl watch, all we want is some youngsters and then the chances of decent images will get considerably better. You have a good trip into Spain, all the best John

  6. Hi friend.. Wonderful series of pics.. Love the little owl and the colors of Pheasant. Osprey shots.. wow!! Fantastics.. Very well-done.. Happy spring and week ahead.. Cheers..

    1. Hi Ana and thank you for your visit, the Little Owls we monitor on a regular basis but are most certainly down on numbers this year. I am very fond of Pheasants as they so colourful and of course the Ospreys are a favourite, I am on duty with them again on Thursday. Yes it looks as if at last spring has arrived in England so I can start to look forward to some butterflies. All the best, John Really enjoyed your Corvid post.

  7. Super sequence of Osprey shots. Particularly like the Osprey in flight looking down followed by Buzzard looking up. Always pleasing to see Little Owls, nicely camouflaged in tree trunk. Lovely shot of pheasant and goose too, such pretty birds. GLAD your Barn Owls have returned! M

  8. Hi Margaret and thank you for the visit, the Osprey in flight shots were considerably closer to me than the birds on the nest, will have to see what they do this afternoon. Yes we are delighted with the Barn Owls taking up residence. All the best to you both, John

  9. Outstanding photos John, and life of these wonderful birds told beautifully. Thank you so much and all the best, Denise :)

    1. Hi Denise, and thank you for your visit, your trip appears to be very interesting with some great images. Glad you have enjoyed the visit, the Ospreys are wonderful birds that normally lay up to three eggs, the female I watch laid her fourth on Thursday??, lets hope they raise all four young. All the best, John

  10. Hello John

    The little owl remains great to see :-).
    His place in this tree is also really beautiful.
    Goodbye that you can also photograph a female Osprey on a nest and the male Osprey on one branch across the tree in a tree. The camera is pretty close.
    I am also impressed with the flying images of this beautiful sea eagle. So beautiful in his flight.
    The church owls are happy too. I look forward to your next post.

    I wish you all the best Easter days.

    Best regards, Helma

    1. Hi Helma and hope your back is improving. The Ospreys are sitting on eggs, four at the moment which is apparently unusual. The Barn Owls are in our garden, we are so lucky to have them, The Little Owls are at the moment difficult to find, I saw two yesterday but it was nearly dark. You have a good Easter, all the best, John

    2. Hello John
      4 eggs for a sea eagle is definitely very unusual. I hope that all four of them will be brewed, but I doubt that. Great that the church owls are sitting in the garden !!! How lucky you are then, ohhh ..... I'm jealous! I have not seen the little owls here, but I know they had 2 boys. These ran into the roof of the house. I have not even looked through my back pain.
      My back is slowly improving, but luckily it's going to be the right way.

      Greetings, Helma

  11. Hi Helma, the powers that be at Rutland appear confident that all should be well, apparently a pair at Keilder Water raised four young last year. Its wonderful having the Barn Owls in the Garden, they are such beautiful birds, keep looking when your well enough and you will find the Little Owls I'm sure. All the best and hope your back keeps improving. John

  12. Great flight shots of the Buzzard, John. Those are the difficult photographs to get and you have captured lots of detail. I give a presentation to high school kids on the principles of avian flight and they are the kind of images I could use to illustrate my talk. Well done!

  13. Hi David, glad you liked the Buzzard images, help yourself if you want to use them. A quick up date on the Barn Owls, we had the cameras on this afternoon and we have at least two Owlets hatched, wonderful to see. 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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