Wednesday, 5 July 2017


At last Richard and myself have managed an afternoon out, it was similar to being released from prison {not that I have ever encountered this}. Don't get me wrong I have been getting out in my hide in the garden and monitoring the Barn Owls and keeping an eye on the Owlets  to see how they were advancing, must admit the growth has been tremendous. I was out last night {3rd of July} and the last images are from this outing and have they grown, we are only seeing two in the entrance to the box but we are seeing the third Owlet that is still white and fluffy on the cameras in the box but time wise this bird could be twelve days behind the first to hatch.

Richard phoned and asked if I wanted to go out on the Thursday but the forecast was not good for either Thursday or Friday so we opted for Saturday. He then asked had I seen the reports of  Bee-Eaters at East Leeke {a village not that far from us and over the County border in Nottinghamshire}. So Richard arrived and we set on our way in our car to find these birds, we arrived after about half an hours driving and found the site had been very well organised by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, with a car parking area in a field to keep cars away from the main road, so we parked up, paid our money and got under way for a bit of a walk down the site. We arrived at the viewing area and being a Saturday we had a reasonable number of people around us. The birds were showing very well but were a considerable distance away. We however managed some mixed images, these are not like getting images of the Ospreys over long distances, they are not very big birds so I apologise  for the quality, even using a 600 mm lens I just could not manage any decent images, but it was wonderful to see these very rare {for us} birds locally. I should have taken my tripod.

After this we made our way through our Little Owl Sites and Richard managed to see on bird at Site 8 but other than this bird we saw no more. We then headed for Eyebrook Reservoir and stopped at Launde Abbey on our way through where we saw some Dragonflies but I had my large lens on the camera so it made it somewhat difficult due to the weight of the lens. We arrived at Eyebrook in time for tea, saw no Ospreys but managed an image of a Banded Demoiselle at the entrance bridge.

I am going to take a break and finish the post tomorrow as I am going out in the hide.

European Bee-Eater {Merops apiaster}, East Leeke.

Again sorry for the quality, only really record images but such delightful birds.

They were reasonably active and one appeared to return with a Dragonfly.

Juvenile Red Legged Partridge. Nr one of our lost Little Owls Sites.

Sat by the side of the track we drove down and seemed sure we could not see it!! 

Pied Wagtail, Launde Abbey.

We were watching Dragonflies at the time and this Wagtail decided to have a bath. 

Banded Demoiselle, Entrance Bridge, Eyebrook Reservoir.

Reasonably pleased with this image as taken hand held with a 600 mm lens.  had to move back as the lens would not focus due to me being close.


Male Barn Owl, quick shake.

He is such a stunning bird, this image was taken after 22.00 hrs so very lucky to get anything. 

Owlet in box Entrance.

This was the first time of seeing one of the owlets showing in the entrance waiting to be fed by the adults. {29th of June}  

Owlet in Entrance

In a short time they have become Barn Owls, you can still see the downy feathers. {4th of July}

Two showing, and in those few days they have really come on. 

Female Barn Owl taken just after 22.30 hrs at ISO 12800, she had just given a mouse to one of the young , they are feeding themselves so its a quick turn round and she is away.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I have in getting them. I am feeling much better and thank you to you all that have been concerned.


  1. You're getting some amazing shots of your Barn Owls, John!

    At least we saw the Bee Eaters, even if they were distant - my reckoning is roughly 100 metres.

    Not sure about the ID on the partridge - I shall be interested to hear Rhys's verdict.

    See you soon. Best wishes - - - Richard

  2. Hi Richard and thank you, these birds are an absolute pleasure to be out in the garden with, hopefully as they get a little older they will appear earlier. Thanks also for the trip out on Saturday, it was a real pick me up and yes it was good to see the Bee- eaters but the company was better, thanks again,
    I will send the image to Rhys and see what he comes up with. See you soon John

  3. John, those are Bee-eaters beautiful, excellent. And the the header is the best.

    1. Hi Bob, the Bee-eaters were wonderful to see but a long distance away from us, the Barn Owls are still giving considerable entertainment. Thanks for the visit, all the best, John

  4. La primera foto de la Tyto alba es absolutamente extraordinaria, me ha gustado mucho. Gran reportaje amigo mío, haces un gran trabajo. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

    1. Hola German y gracias por un comentario con respecto a nuestro Barn Owls, estoy pasanda la mayoria de las noches en mi piel verios, desafortunadamente estan apareciendo mas tarde que mas temprano, oero voy a seguir tratando de algunas imagenes mas, todo lo mejor de England. John

  5. WOW, what a success!!
    Congratulations, John, you must feel like a proud godfather!!
    I hope the third will catch up!
    Fantastic you managed some pics of the bee-eaters, I didn't even think one could see them in the UK!
    Enjoy your outings and take good care :)

    1. Hi Noushka, yes walking around very proud of our little family, they all appear to be doing very well and growing at an astounding rate. I think with the bee-eaters were are very fortunate to have some visiting so close to us, I get the impression they are not regular visitors but who can tell in the future. All the best, John

  6. Another great post John! Adore those gorgeous owls, fabulous photos! Happy to hear you were able to get out with Richard and your other photos were thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you for sharing them.

    1. Hi Denise, they are such stunning birds especially the Male with all his speckles. Yes it was super to get out with Richard, we have both missed the trips out, I did my first Osprey duty yesterday for 8 weeks and had a wonderful time with a bus load of Brownies who had so many questions regarding the Ospreys, got home exhausted, all the best, John

  7. The bee-eaters can I find wonderful to see.
    In Netherlands they come sporadically and I hope they ever once to see with my own eyes:-) Partridge, mourning yellow-headed Wagtail and the Meadow Brook Jagannathan are beautiful items to photograph.
    The photos of the barn owls are really great.
    Wonderful as these owls are photographed,. Your header is also very nicely made;-)

    Cordial greetings, Helma

    1. Hi Helma and thank you for the visit, this is the first time I have ever seen bee-eaters in England, I have seen plenty in Africa so this was a real bonus. So glad you enjoyed the Barn Owls, they are such beautiful birds and such a pleasure to watch, I will be out again tonight, in fact I got up at 04.15 hrs this morning hoping to see the young out of the box but they had returned so will try earlier tomorrow. All the best, John

  8. Lovely blog. What a handsome guy the male barn owl is. The image shows off his beautiful feathers and speckles so well. Young ones looking more pretty now too. Thought you would track down the bee-eater birds! So glad you are out and about with you camera and back on Osprey duty. M

  9. Hi Margaret and yes he really is a handsome chap, I have never seen such a speckled male. It was Richards idea to go for the Bee-eaters but they were so far away. I am out and about again and did my first Osprey duty and were we busy, but more about that in my next post. See you both soon, John

  10. A bee-eater in Britain must be about as exotic as it gets, and I am glad that you got to see them, albeit not as close as you might like. They are wonderful, gorgeous, colourful and interesting, but for me they would still take second place to your family of Barn Owls were I there to make the choice. Your dedication to these owls is truly commendable. I salute you Titus John The Owl Man!

  11. Hi Both, Richard spotted that we had the bee-eaters local so we had to have a visit, not my idea of birding with so many people, I love my friends but find people can be so objectionable! This is probably another sign of global warming {that is of course not happening so Trump says} , we have several little colonies spotted over the country which is wonderful, as you say I only wish they had been a little closer. What can I say about the Barnies, we are so lucky to have them, they are such wonderful parents and thank you for your comment, Its a delight to look after them and I have been up at 03.00 hrs to be sure all is well. 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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