Tuesday, 8 August 2017


Time flies by and I am on another Osprey duty with my new partner in crime, Phil  for another duty, but this time with the depleted Manton Bay Ospreys. The Female Juvenile 2 AN has gone missing, she in fact went missing on Saturday the 29th of July and was last seen on the nest at 05.18 hrs and has not been since. Has she had a disaster or has she gone on an early migration. She had been seen a couple of days earlier flying and spiraling higher  above the nest site which is very often a sign of a pending migration but this time she returned to the nest. So I think we have to wait for at least two years to see if she ever returns. 

We had a fruitful but reasonably peaceful afternoon and evening with very little going on at the nest, the adult female spent most of her time on the T post and the Juvenile Male mostly on the nest with very little seen of 33 who appeared to spend the bulk of his time in the Poplars close to the nest and was very difficult to see even with the scopes.  We had only one intruder that appeared to be a non-ringed bird and only put up the gulls, the Ospreys had no interest in the bird at all.

Female Osprey. Waderscrape Hide.

This is where she sat for most of the time we were on duty, she just had one small fly around the bay. 

Juvenile Male Osprey.

He spent all the afternoon sitting on the nest, with no sister to chase about he appeared to be very quiet. 

Intruder Osprey.

This bird appeared early evening and flew through the bay. I can see no ring so is this another Juvenile from elsewhere getting underway on migration. We had an E Mail this week saying that several of the non breeding birds and first time returners have already headed South.

Common Tern, Shallow Water Hide.

Several of these birds were flying around the Hide and landing on the fence.

Juvenile Little Egret.

This bird spent most of the time we were on duty in the water to the front of the hide. 

Doing the little dance. 

Little Egret Adult.

Then this adult would appear and the Juvenile would leave but return again after a short time.

Water Rail.

These birds have been around the hide for several weeks but the first time I have managed to get an image. They are so very nervous and kept hiding in the reeds only to appear for a few seconds and when appearing they were always on the move and my can they move when they want to. 

Water Rail, Juvenile.

We had two juveniles but only managed to get an image of one, they were even more adept at hiding than the adult and when appearing it was usually at speed. 


This bird landed in a tree outside the hide and I could not resist getting an image.


They all appear to be coming on very well and are still not appearing that early in the evening much to my disgust having to work at such high ISO numbers and with the f stop at 6.3 , I am always fighting to get light but I am going out early this evening hoping for a change in behaviour.

I am making the best of them at the moment as I have the feeling they won't be with us that much longer.

Male Juvenile Barn Owl.

First bird to appear at about 21.15 hrs and flew straight away.

Female Juvenile Barn Owl.

Second bird to appear at about 21.17 hrs and also flew immediately away.

Female Juvenile Barn Owl
This is the second female and she was also quick away, time about 21 35 hrs. 

The Three all Together.

I was having difficulty in actually seeing the birds in the view finder as it was 21.50 hrs and this is at ISO 12800. 

One then flew down to the right of the box and landed on a gate post. ISO 28200. 

Another evening, one of the females having a wing stretch prior to flying.

Juvenile Male.

Having a quick shake prior to flying away.


An attempt at a flight image, at such high ISO numbers its impossible, its also very difficult to actually see the birds in the view finder hence the near loss of the Owl, lets hope they come out earlier one evening. It is not that easy getting decent images of Barn Owls even when they are in your garden. 

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


  1. May I say it, but, I loved the best Little Egret, fantastic and the Barn Owl, beautiful.

    1. Hi Bob, the Little Egret was with us most of the afternoon but kept getting moved on by an adult. The Barnies have been an absolute delight to have but I think it won't be long before the youngsters move away, hopefully the adults will stay with us, they seem to be happy enough with the area. All the best, John

  2. Always in awe of your photography John, amazing wildlife and absolutely brilliant shots.

    1. Hi Denise, thank you so much for the comment but I am still learning this art, it does help when you have subjects that are within about 50 metres of you mind. Glad you enjoyed the images, with the weather we have at the moment its certainly difficult to get any at all. We are at the moment on our second solid day of rain and cool temps, and it has not been that much better for the previous month. All the best, John

  3. Hahaha!!!
    Do I know the difficulty of taking photos with such low light!
    quite frustrating but your results are very good, considering...
    I guess the Osprey female must have left joining others for the migration, at least this is what I hope! The species seems to be doing well in your area; that is a bird I very seldom see.
    All the best John, and enjoy your outings :)

    1. Hi Noushka, why can't our Barn Owls change habits and come out early so I can really get some decent images, with our previous adults I was hand holding the camera and a much lower ISO. As you say it can be very frustrating but the enjoyment they have given me is immersurable. We are hoping the young female Osprey has migrated very early but it will be at least two years before we any possibility seeing her again. I would think your only chance of seeing any is birds flying through on migration, but you have some nests in Spain, All the best and thanks for the comment. John

    2. Hi John,
      Thanks for your lengthy reply :)
      I am still in Spain, having a ball!!
      As I said to Richard, I got nice photos of my LO friend I see each time I go back to my usual hotel. So naturally, I though of you and him a lot! LOL!
      I hope you are doing well, I guess your Barn owls must have left the nestbox by now...
      Warm regards and take care :)

    3. Hi Noushka
      Have a wonderful time in Spain with your LO friend, I was on duty on Thursday and managed to see two but got no images, one was buried in a tree between leaves and it was dark with the second.
      I am still spending a considerable amount of time in the evening watching our Barn Owls who are still in attendance, I'm afraid its cutting into my blogging time considerably and I've been working on my next post for a while, it will get posted but not sure as to when??

      You have a wonderful time and look forward to seeing the results from Spain.
      All the best, John

  4. Great images of the Little Egret, especially the flight shot, John. Your Barn Owl images are amazing, and it's good to see them doing so well.

    Weather forecast for tomorrow is looking quite reasonable at the moment. I just hope I can manage to uncross everything in time to get round to your place tomorrow - fingers and everything else have been crossed for so long now that I'm worried they might have stuck in that position!

    See you soon - - - Richard

    1. Hi Richard, lets hope we can get out tomorrow and as you say the forecast looks better but at the moment it is persisting it down with rain!!!. The Juvenile Little Egret was wonderful { I think its the first Juvenile I have seen }. The Barnies are really doing well but only ventures as far as the doorway last night, all that rain the boxes are hopefully above flood level?? . Hopefully see you tomorrow with everything uncrossed. John

  5. Great images. Specially like the Little Egret and Water Rail and the Goldfinch is so pretty. Always pleased to follow your Barn Owl family's development. Such beauties!! M

  6. Hi Margaret, hope you all had a good break but you could have picked better weather. It was a real treat for me to get some images of the Water Rail and the juvenile and always love the Goldfinch. The Barn Owl family are a pleasure to follow but still the little beggars are not coming out any earlier. See you both soon and look forward to seeing some photo's. All the best, John

  7. Hi John,
    That's exciting to miss the Female Juvenile 2 AN. Now you have to wait 2 years to see if they return here. Very nice to be able to follow these beautiful birds.

    The picture of the little egret I really think is amazing !!! As beautiful as you have graphed. Beautiful to see the nice "network" of feathers. The waterral and the beautiful putter also make you very beautiful and free to photograph. Really class work!

    The young church owls are already quite big. So great to be able to follow these via your site :-) The high iso is unfortunately necessary to show these owls in the schenker darker. I really like your pictures. And yes, oops ..... a run-away owl is just too fast for your camera hello ......

    I enjoyed it again.

    Best regards, Helma

    1. Hi Helma and thank you for such wonderful comments, from you this a real boost to my confidence. Lets hope that 2AN has migrated, her brother is still about but this can happen. The Juvenile Little Egret was so good to come and land in the pool to the front of the hide, my favourite for the post is the Water Rail, my first decent images of this bird. The Barn Owls are such a delight and I will be out with them in the next 15 minutes, lets hope for an early show and a lower ISO number. I have had many OOPS with these birds. Thank you for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the visit. All the best. John

  8. I am sure it is not lost on you, John, that you are a lucky man to be able to spend so much time with Barn Owls and Ospreys. There are people who would give their eye teeth for a glimpse of either species. The shots of the Water Rail are terrific. Any encounter with a rail is special.

  9. Hi David, it is not lost at all, to spend the time this year with both the Barn Owls and Ospreys has been an absolute joy, I have had some wonderful duties with the Ospreys, and several excellent visits to Eyebrook to see these birds, but just to be able to go into the garden and get in the hide and just sit and watch Barn Owls, I cannot think of anything better. The Water Rail had been about for several weeks but this was the first time i managed any images, they are so nervous and quick. 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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