Thursday, 13 July 2017


At last feeling much better I had my first Osprey duty on Thursday the 6th of July. I had my normal trip out to Rutland visiting our Little Owl sites but saw nothing until I got to the last site, No 12, This is a site we have not seen a bird at since last September so a very welcome site, we just must have been unlucky in our visiting times or a new bird has taken up residence.

I arrived at Rutland Water with plenty of time to spare and upon visiting the centre was told the female juvenile 2AN had fledged that morning and had flown to a T post farther along Manton Bay and had been sitting and thinking about returning ever since. The temperature was 29 degrees so I had a very leisurely walk down to Waderscrape Hide calling in at both Deepwater and Tufted Duck hides on my way down with no particular rush so I arrived in the hide reasonably cool. The gent I was on duty with {Phil} arrived wet through as he had rushed down, so we got all the birds sorted as to what was going and the previous volunteers departed.

We had several visitors throughout the first hour when we were invaded by a bus load of Brownies, they arrived with both the Education Officers for the Project and were an absolute delight. All had a pair of Binoculars and showed great interest in the birds when they eventually found the nest, we lowered both the scopes and with the extra power they were fascinated at what they saw. They were with us until 19.30 hrs and we missed a considerable amount of logging in the book, just an entry saying "Brownies visited, nothing logged". We were bombarded with questions most of the time and these were mainly regarding the birds returning to Africa, this really fascinated them and they were showed the map on the Hide wall showing the route they take and the distance they travel.

After this we had our teas, packed up all the equipment in the Hide and made our way towards the Car Park. After about 200 metres the path widens to some open pastures and we immediately saw a female Barn Owl who flew  ahead of us landing on numerous posts all the way back to the Centre.

Our Barn Owls are coming on well and the third bird has done a considerable amount of catching up and is looking like a Barnie.  

Little Owl Site No. 12.

Not the best of images but as we had not seen a bird since last September. wonderful. After taking this image from a gateway, I moved along the road to get closer but so did the bird and disappeared .



Great Crested Grebe, Deep Water Hide.

Upon entering the hide I could see this pair about 60 metres out from the hide  and could not resist this image of the young having a lift.

Southern Hawker Dragonfly, Tufted Duck Hide.

Have since been informed this is a Male Emperor Dragonfly.
Sorry for the mistake.

On arriving in the hide I could see several dragonflies but all a long distance away. This one then landed on a reed about 20 metres away so really pleased with the outcome even with its tatty wing.

Comorant, Tufted Duck Hide.

By the time you have reached this hide you only have 480 metres to go to Waderscrape Hide, so I had a rest and cool down, even the Cormorant was hot. 

Young Moorhen, Waderscrape Hide.

An adult and two young were about in the channels to the front of the hide all afternoon. 

Female Barn Owl on the way back to the Centre.

As we walked back to the Car Park, this bird flew along to the front of us and perched on numerous posts but always partially obscured with grass.


It was wonderful to be back on duty and my how things have changed, on my last visit the adults were sitting on eggs, on the morning of my duty the young female 2 AN fledged, that some growth rate, it was a wonderful afternoon with several visitors including a bus full of Brownies.

Please remember the nest is 320 metres from the hide.   

2 An {Female} on the camera post with 2 AM {Male} on the right of the nest with Mum in the middle. 

Adult female on the left , then 2 AN and 2 AM on the right. 

2 AM having a flap prior to helicoptering. He actually fledged the following day He is actually six days younger than his sister 

2 AN showing her brother how its done. 

A quick fly past the nest. 

And guess who's coming to join 33/11. 

Luckily both Dad and female got away with it and she regained her composure. Her landings have improved greatly since then.

2 AM helicoptering again. 

End of the shift and 33/11 had returned with a fish so both Juveniles got stuck into a feast.


The Owlets have had another successful week and all three are growing at a pace. I can tell at the moment we have at least on male but it just a case of watching them as they develop. They are not showing very early so the images are taken at ISO 10000 and 12800. I got up early {04.00 hrs} last Friday and all three Owlets were on the front of the box but my camera was down stairs. So since then I have got up every morning at 04.00 hrs with the camera with me in the bedroom and the little beggars have just sat in the doorway, sods law??? 

I got up at 03.30 hrs this morning as it was just starting to get light, two birds  sat on the platform and one in the entrance but even though I had the camera it would have been a hand held image and no chance with the light. 

Owlet Male {I think}.

You can see the start of the speckle on the chest to the front of his wing.

Owlet Male.

Again you can see speckling to the front of the wing. 

This appears to be the youngest of the three.
I think this is a female but still a bit early to be sure.

Second bird showing behind.

 Adult Female.

Having deliver some food, she sat just for a short time and then was away again hunting. By this time it was virtually dark, this taken at ISO 12800. 

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


  1. Fabulous Ospreys, they are having a ball, love them John.

  2. Hi Bob and it will get better as they both are flying, we will have plenty of chasing each other around the bay. If you have seen Osprey young have been introduced to Poole Harbour during the last week. All the best John

  3. Gran reportaje amigo mío, las fotos son todas fantásticas, me han gustado mucho. Todo lo mejor desde España.

    1. Hola German, gracias por la visita,era tan diferente estar de regreso de servicio con los Ospreys, la ultima vez que no habian nacido, como yoiu puede ver nuestros Barn Owls realmente han liegado y hefull pronto se iniciara. Todo lo mejor de England, John

  4. It's always enchanting to see a grebe with young on her back, John. How wonderful to be able to watch a Barn Owl on your way back from the hide!

    Im delighted to see that your own Barn Owls seem to be doing extremely well.

    See you soon - - - Richard

    1. Hi Richard and the grebe with young was a delight to see, and as for the Barn Owl, that was the second I saw, having seen one in our site near Little Owl site no.5, then to get home and see all three young and an adult, must be a record for me, a six Barnie day. See you soon, John

  5. Gorgeous pics John, always great coming here and reading what you have been doing. The owls, the ospreys, all of your birds, fantastic to read about and to see. Thank you :)

  6. Hi Denise and likewise I do the same with your blog, I'm afraid Rutland Water is not up to your visit to the White House. So glad you have enjoyed your visit, the Ospreys and Barn Owls are coming on very well so lets see what the next post brings. Thank you and all the best to you all, John

  7. Wonderful and interesting pictures, John!
    The Osprey are naturally a must, but I love those LO's!
    A pity that one flew off as you tried to get closer.
    Your dragon is a male Emperor Dragonfly.... ;-)
    The Barn owls are doing just fine, I bet you'll have that nesting box going each year now!
    Many thanks for your lovely and faithful comments on my blog while I was away again :)
    Keep well and take care!

  8. Hi Noushka and welcome back, it was a wonderful afternoon to be back with the Ospreys, they have come on so much {even without me}, the Little Owls are very sad at the moment as that was the only bird I saw. Richard also put me on the correct track with the Dragon. I have been chasing them all afternoon, I forgot how difficult it is to get an image with them flying???. The Barn Owls are a delight to watch, one came out onto the front of the box last night so I am out again in a while ready to wind up the ISO. Pleasure with your blog its always so good with such brilliant images. You look after yourself, all the best. John

  9. Really wonderful shots. Love the grebe with baby , the young moorhen and cormorant. So interesting to see the ongoing story with with Ospreys and you are so lucky to be able to observe your own Barn Owls at home and also spot two others whilst out on your travels!! The dragonfly image is great too. M

  10. Hi Margaret and yes the Grebe with the youngster on her back is cute and I,m sure like me its a shock to see how the Juvenile Ospreys have grown and fledged. We are so lucky with the Barn Owls and to see others whilst out was a real bonus. I'm just going out in the hide to see what I can see of the young. Thanks for your comment, See you tomorrow, John

  11. Hi John,
    It's always great to see the little owl :-)
    The fiddle with the little ones on her back is great just like the cloak imperialist.
    Also a cormorant and a small meerkat and not to mention the beautiful church owl.

    The series of photos of the sea eagles are of course absolutely amazing to see. They have already grown up.
    Also the church owls begin to grow to see the spikes.
    Very nice to be able to fill the life of the church owl in this way.

    Cordial greetings,

  12. Hi Helma, and yes its always great to see a Little Owl, I visited my normal route to Rutland Water yesterday and unfortunately saw not a one. The Grebe with the young on its back is an image I have been trying for for a while so lovely to see. The Barn Owls are really coming on and you will be amazed, all three have fledged and are improving with the flying skills. All the best, John

  13. It is very encouraging to hear of the interest shown by the youngsters who visited your hide, John. Anything we can do to stimulate interest on the part of children is all to the good. Kudos to you for volunteering your time to aid in this effort. Our own Osprey population is thriving. I recently heard a second hand anecdote about a pair of Ospreys predating young Double-crested Cormorants from the nest. If it turns out to be true this would be a first as far as I know. In Costa Rica I once saw an Osprey with what I thought was a water monitor in its talons but it was flying away from me and it was hard to be sure.

  14. Hi Both and it was wonderful to have all these children visit the Ospreys and show such a genuine interest, they asked some really excellent questions, far better than some we get from some of the adults??. Unfortunately they seemed to ask me most of the questions, but I think I managed to satisfy all of them. One of our previous males had a hate of Cormorants and would fly through a roost and knock the odd one from its perch. All the best to you both. 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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