Friday, 26 May 2017


Richard and myself were on Osprey duty on Thursday the 11th of May and it was Richards turn to drive so he arrived at our house for 14.30 hrs and we immediately got under way initially heading for our Little Owl sites. On our outbound journey we saw two birds at Little Owl Site No. 8 and one at Site 9. We arrived at the Lyndon Centre at 16.15 hrs and signed in for our duty and had a steady walk down to Waderscrape hide calling in at the hides on the way down.

On arrival the couple on duty got us up to date with the goings on, the male Osprey was on the 'T' post with a fish, the female was sitting on the nest and they had seen several Water Voles and a pair of Water rail. So they got underway back to the car park and we took over and to be truthful very little happened with the Ospreys, but plenty elsewhere. We had numerous Sedge Warblers, Water Voles and eventually saw a single Water rail, but I managed no image other than a mostly covered by reeds mess. Again the male dropped the fish and whilst we were on duty just spent his time between the T post and the fallen tree with the odd visit onto the nest.

On completion of our duty at 20.00 hrs we had a steady walk back to the car park and headed on our way home. We called past some of out Little Owl sites and not until site 5 did we see a bird, by this time is was nearly dark so I eventually managed to get an image even if its not that good. 

Upon getting home I started to shiver whilst getting my things out of Richards car and only when getting in home and my wife insisting on taking my temperature, I realised things were not correct, I had a temperature of 103 F {39.45 C} so no wonder I had started to feel rough.

Since this time its been several visits to the Doctors and at last I'm starting to feel a little better. sorry for all the misses in leaving comments on my friends blogs and hopefully I will soon be able to get out and get some images.

Lots have happened with the Ospreys since my last post, all four of the chicks have hatched but unfortunately two have since died, the feeling is the female stood on them, it's so sad after all that time and effort, but we still have two so lets be positive.

Sedge Warbler, Waderscrape Hide.

Delightful little bird of which we had numerous active most of our shift.

Water Vole, Waderscrape Hide.

We have never previously seen as many voles swimming to the front of the hide. we in the end totally lost count of the numbers.

This one making a dash back towards the reeds from the area to the front of the hide. 

Greylag Goose, Waderscrape Hide.

This bird flew by and you just have to try for an image.

Male Osprey 33/11

On the 'T' post with his fish just prior to dropping it again

Female Osprey leaving the eggs for a minute.

Decided to have a quick preen but only for a short time then back on duty.

Little Owl Site No.5.

This is the only Little Owl I managed to get an image of, it was virtually dark hence the rubbish quality but I was asked to put a Little Owl in my next post.


Even though I have not been well, it has given me more time to keep an eye on the Barn Owls and have had a really wonderful time. The previous time we had the camera on the female was sitting on six eggs. This week we have had the cameras on and we have at the last count three Owlets and two eggs hopefully still to hatch. We have again as last year had some problems with the Kestrels which was starting to concern us greatly, they were landing on the front of the box the Barn Owls were in and creating a considerable noise. This all came to a head on Sunday the 21st of May when I walked across to the boxes only to find a dead Kestrel under the box, so very sad. The only worry then was as to the health of the male Barn Owl. In the end all is well and he is supplying a regular supply of food for his youngsters.

I am just about to go out with the camera and see what time the male comes out, things will really hot up in a couple of weeks when the Owlets get larger and he has to supply considerably more food and then hopefully he will, if he follows the previous birds be out much earlier.

Follow on from last night the male came out and was only away just over two minutes when he arrived back with a mouse, quick hunting!!


Box that is in use by the Barn Owls.

Awful image taken from the television, female sitting at this time on six eggs. The lens on the cameras could do with a good clean. This will take place whilst they young are ringed.

So very sad, the dead Kestrel under the box. But if it comes to a choice better the it being the Barn Owl.

Again an awful image, the male is on the right and the female to the left. the white blobs to the front of her are the three Owlets.

This was about 20.30 hrs and the male can be seen hiding just inside the entrance, probably catching some of the cooler air.

Eventually stuck his head out at 21.50 hrs, this taken at ISO 10,000 and at 1/6 sec so lucky to get any image at all.

All taken at high ISO so not good images, lets hope he soon starts coming out earlier.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I did in the getting of the images. Sorry for the gap in posts but this awful kidney bug has not been good.


  1. Beautiful images John. The poor Kestrel, how did it die? The Barn Owl is wonderful. And the Sedge Warbler, fantastic view.

  2. Hi Bob, we are sure because the Kestrel was making itself a nuisance around the Barn Owl nest box, the Barn Owl actually killed the Kestrel. Thanks for the visit, all the best. John

  3. Gran reportaje John, me ha gustado todo, en especial el Ratón de agua nadando y la caja nido de las lechuzas. Todo lo mejor desde España amigo mío.

    1. Hola German Y gracias por la visita. Fue maravilliso ver muchos Water Voles mientras en Rutland. Los Barn Owls estan muy bien y epsero ver muchos de ellos como los maduros. Tod lo mejor ne Englaterra. John

  4. So sorry to hear about that kidney bug John, they can be such nasty things to get rid of. Good to hear you are feeling much better now. No worries on visiting blogs, your health obviously comes first and these things tend to sap the strength out of one. You and Richard are wonderful to volunteer for Osprey duty but I know it is a love of these beautiful birds, and birds in general I’m sure. Sad about the two chicks and the kestrel but nature’s way I suppose. I am always very interested reading your posts as I feel I learn so much from them, and I am in absolute awe of your photos, the vole was very interesting too. Thank you for sharing them and wishing you good health from now on.

    1. Hi Denise and still watching your travels with great interest, still think I should put the kettle on just in case. Thanks for the sympathy, as you say it was a nasty bug and has laid me low but I am on the way back up. We have a wonderful time with the Ospreys, they are such wonderful birds. We are looking forward to the Barn Owls maturing. Thank you for your kind comments on my images. Keep on enjoying your holiday. All the best to you both, John

  5. Oh gee how lucky John!
    But first of all, my best wishes for your health.
    You have been trying hard to get the Barn owls to nest is that box, congratulations!
    I'm sure you will be in the front seat to watch the youngsters come out and be fed by the parents!
    Let's hope the predator keep clear from the area...
    Warm regards and take good care of yourself!

  6. Hi Noushka and we are so lucky, I find I'm out with the camera every night, lost one infection but gained another with the Barn Owls. Feeling considerably better so hopefully all gone. We see nothing of the remaining Kestrel so hopefully it will stay away, we don't want a repeat of the last episode. Thank you for the concern. All the best to you, John

  7. Hi John!!!... Beautiful and varied pictures.. Love The little bird and congrats for the work with the barn owl.... Cheers

  8. Hi Ana, pleased you enjoyed the images, we are so pleased with the Barn Owls, it appears we have 4 young to date and the last egg is still to hatch, hopefully today. Loved your Cuckoo images. All the best, John

  9. Worth waiting for, glad you are feeling better. The image of the water vole wonderful and sedge warbler so pretty. Like the goose shot too.
    Fingers crossed with you barn owls. The male is going to be so busy feeding them. Shame about the Kestrel but that's nature.
    Thanks for Little Owl. Just seen (I think) Red kite . M

    1. Hi Margaret, and thanks I'm feeling much better and looking forward to getting out with the camera. The Water Voles were part of an introduction scheme some years ago and this year seem to have really expanded in numbers in the water channels to the front of the Hide. Glad you liked the Little Owl, and the Barn Owl young are really growing, Dad is obviously supplying plenty of food. We are getting Red Kites coming this way so its very likely. All the best and see you soon. John

  10. Hi John. I'm absolutely delighted that your Barn Owls seem to be doing so well this year after the disappointment of the last couple of years. Fingers crossed that there is no more disturbance by 'intruders'.

    Amazing photographic results for ISO 10,000!

    Hopefully we'll get together soon, but it's not looking too good for the moment!

    Take good care. Best wishes - - Richard

    1. Hi Richard, had the camera on again this morning and all appear to be doing well and growing at a pace. I was pleasantly surprised with the results at ISO 10000, was going to have another go this evening but rain stopped play?. Hopefully all will go smoothly for these birds, we don't want any more trouble with Kestrels but the male seems to be looking after everything alright. We will get together soon, just not sure as to when. All the best. John

  11. Hi John,
    You'll see some great nice pictures again :-)
    The reed singer was able to photograph you beautifully and the beverrat is also very beautiful close and sharp-footed. Your goose in flight is a topper! The eagles also have a beautiful stone owl at the hte nest and then last of the day.
    It's really nice that you could keep an eye on the church owls but a dead turf is sad to see. You had to photograph the high school islons but it's great to see the church owls.

    Best regards, Helma

    1. Hi Helma, we were very pleased to see the Water Voles and in such numbers. The Barn Owls are such a delight and we are so lucky having them in our garden. It was sad to have the dead Kestrel but it seems it was getting to close to the Barn Owl young. Thanks for the visit, all the best. John

  12. Hi John!!!... Beautiful and varied pictures.. Love The little bird and congrats for the work with the barn owl.... Cheers

  13. Hi Ana, we are so pleased to have the Barn Owls in our garden, I'm just going out with the camera to try for some late images as the male brings food for the Owlets. All the best. John

  14. Hi John: I think you have captured the Sedge Warbler just about perfectly. It is not always easy to convey the habitat and the interesting life of some of these small, inconspicuous birds and I think you have really done it well. Congratulations on a fine job.

  15. Hi Both, we had a wonderful duty and the Sedge Warbler was a bonus, they are such delightful little birds and always darting around and being so busy. 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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