Thursday, 23 November 2017


I decided to have another trip to the Egleton Reserve for another try for the Water Rail. I took my normal route through the Little Owl Sites and at last saw a single bird at Little Owl Site No. 8, unfortunately the only bird I saw but at least I saw a bird.

On arrival at Egleton I checked in with David who said he had been on a different route that morning and gone over Lax Hill and had seen virtually nothing.

So I got on my way and headed on my normal route to see what would appear for me.  I headed for Redshank Hide and nothing out of the ordinary was evident, so onto both Grebe and Buzzard Hides, again nothing unusual about but the light was getting dire. Having had rain on the trip over I was getting concerned as to keeping the camera dry.

I then walked round to Shoveler hide where again little was showing close by so I headed for Crake hide where I manged some images of a Marsh Harrier, this bird initially just kept showing above the hedge on the embankment between the main Reservoir and Lagoon three, eventually some Corvids pounced on it and for a few seconds it showed slightly better and then departed the area.  Later as the light was going but the clouds clearing two Goosanders appeared for a few minutes swimming around the bay at great speed, most of the time with the heads submerged looking for fish. 

The water level in the Reservoir is still getting much lower, I tend to forget that even though its been very dull, we have had very little rain. Whilst in Crake Hide I saw two Water Rail hidden well in the reeds.

I am trying out a new backing page to the blog, please comment if you find it acceptable.

Little Owl Site No. 8.

Only a single bird but wonderful to see after so many weeks without seeing a single bird.


Marsh Harrier, Crake Hide.

This bird kept flying along the far side of the embankment that encloses Lagoon 3. It hardly was showing above the trees but I'm sure it was hunting. 
At this point is was approximately 300 metres away, plus I was struggling with the light.

Eventually it went slightly higher only then to be attacked by Corvids. 

 By this time the light was going and a little sun was starting to show even if the sun was very low in the sky.
This bird was in excess of 200 metres away and I was having to shoot at ISO 5000.

After this it went out over Lagoon 3 and didn't make another appearance.

Male Goosander, Crake Hide.

A pair of the birds and swam around the bay at great speed, mostly as below with the head under water looking for fish.

These are a bird I see very little of on the reserve, I think its three years since I saw them last. 

After this image I headed back to the car park and home for tea, only four weeks to go and the days start getting longer. Next thing we will have the Ospreys returning.

Teal Drake, Crake Hide.

Here standing in the shallow water having a quick preen, difficult to resist not taking an image.

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

We still have our Juvenile Male Barn Owl in the large box.

Had a visit to Rutland Water this afternoon, {23rd} my idea being to get some images of the Great Northern Diver and Red-breasted Merganser, both in the area of the dam. The wind hitting me on the dam virtually blew me away. It was impossible to keep still to use the bins and when you picked the camera up, forget it!!!!!!!!
After a walk of about 2 miles, I saw nothing worth photographing and if I had it would have been an impossible task. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


Having missed a Rutland Water visit last week,only to be told at the bird club on the Friday evening how good it had been on the Thursday, with Water Rail and even a Bittern walking along the path towards a very surprised lady.

So I decided to have another visit to Egleton and see what would appear for me. 

On arrival I booked in at the centre and after a quick word with David who gave me a few pointers as to what and where birds would be found, I set on my way down the Reserve.

I visited all the normal hides on my way in but not until Osprey Hide did I find anything new.  As I walked into the hide three people were already sitting, two with scopes and a lady with bins. I asked if anything was about and the gent on the far end of the hide said I think I can see a Red Head Smew, have a look, so up to his scope and sure enough a very long distance away with two Wigeon was a Red Head, very early for this bird to arrive but unfortunately no chance of an image, small bird , long distance.

I then visited Shoveler Hide and nothing much was showing close, so I then visited Buzzard hide, again nothing much to see so on to Crake Hide. A reasonable number of Teal were present so I sat for a while and watched some antics and then onto Lapwing Hide.  Some gents in the hide pointed out a Red Crested Pochard and the American Wigeon. Both birds were at a silly distance so I made no attempt at an image.

I then returned to Crake Hide for the rest of my visit and as the light was failing a Water Rail came out from in the reeds for a short time, a delightful little bird but even with winding up the ISO not easy to get any decent images.

I then made my way back to the car park where I saw a Red Kite sitting in the top of  a tree, being almost dark it really was a case of winding up the ISO and hope for the best, I could have done with my tripod but used the car roof  to steady the camera, not brilliant images but not perfect conditions. 

Teal Drake, Crake Hide. North Arm.

These are the first Teal I have seen this autumn, such a beautiful little duck. 

They are such a beautifully marked duck. 

Great Black-backed Gull, Buzzard Hide, Lagoon 3.

Sitting in one of the Tern rafts, a distance of 150 metres away. 

 Teal Duck, Crake Hide, North Arm.

Decided to have a quick bathe, nearly for me as good as a flight image with the water droplets.

Carrying on a little longer. 

Then a quick dip under the water. 

Then a quick dry. 

Little Egret, Crake Hide, North Arm.

Wading steadily looking for a fish, then suddenly part run part fly and eventually got a fish about 3 metres to the start point, good eyes!! 

Unfortunately when it caught the fish, it was behind some reeds. 

 And then back out to see what else it could catch.

Water Rail, Crake Hide, North Arm.

This bird suddenly appeared out from the reeds on this area of mud just over 50 metres away. I saw two birds but this was the only one that ventured out onto the mud and then not for long. 

Not sure as to what it was finding. 

Then around and back whence it came. 

A quick run. 

And that was it. 

Grey Heron, Crake Hide, North Arm.

Then one of my favourites flew in, I just could not resist a flight shot. 

Then after landing , it walked up the bund between the North Arm and Lagoon 3.

Red Kite, Egleton Reserve Car Park.

Having left the hides as the light was going fast, its a good 30 minutes walk back to the car park,and sat in the top of a tree about 60 metres away was this beauty. So I stopped wound the ISO up to 8200,walked very slowly between the couple of cars remaining and used the car roof as a tripod, I am surprised as to how they have come out.

The second it heard the camera, it was away, the rest of the images were rubbish. 

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

Thursday, 2 November 2017


Two weeks ago I decided to have another visit to Rutland Water, Egleton reserve to see if I could get any better images of the American Wigeon,  this was not to be as the bird was still on Lagoon 2, as its still is, but this time was even farther away, so I got on my way round to Sandpiper Hide, not much to see here either, so onto Shoveler Hide and unfortunately a very similar outlook, the water level had risen but very few birds at a reasonable distance. Onto Crake Hide  and a few birds not that distant but nothing to get excited about. Unfortunately it was very slow and only during this last week I see some Pintail Ducks have arrived so hopefully things can only get better. 

However I had a good walk around the Reserve and visited most of the Hides.


Juvenile Great Crested Grebes, Crake Hide.

This bird and the one below were swimming around together, and kept stopping. The bird to the front would turn around, the bird to the rear stopped, then the front bird would turn back around and carry on swimming. This process would then be repeated. 

Not got the beautiful red eye yet, still orange. 

Tufted Ducks. Crake Hide.

This pair were diving on the far side of the Lagoon.

One gone under the water boil and the other following.

Heron, Crake Hide.

As I have said before, I always find it difficult to resist taking an image of a Heron.


I arrived at Lyndon at approx 14.30 hrs having passed through the Little Owl sites and again seen nothing, its getting really depressing. After walking down to Deep Water hide and seeing nothing I then followed on down the site and arrived at Tufted Duck Hide. It was then I realised how much the reservoir had fallen in level with large areas that were water just a couple of weeks previous being dry, so very little was seen. It was a very peaceful visit being the only person on the reserve.

I then headed for my normal haunt Waderscrape Hide, the Osprey Hide, and on arriving  it really struck me as to how low the water had become in such a short period of time.

I would have normally followed on down to Shallow Water Hide but such low water any waders would have been a considerable distance away.

Osprey Nest, Manton Bay, Shallow Water Hide.

Normal water level is at the start of the long grass, the short green grass has grown this Autumn. The cameras have been taken down and sent away for a service, hopefully normal service will be resumed in the Spring. 

Great White Egret, Shallow Water Hide.

This bird is one of four I could see, it was walking along the far side of the bay at a distance of 360 metres. 

This one was to the left of the hide in the shallows some 150 metres away.

Number three is just below the embankment to Heron Bay. 500 metres away. 

Then a fourth bird flew in and pestered the first, always one trouble maker.


After leaving Rutland I headed for Eyebrook as a Marsh Harrier had been reported but never unfortunately it never appeared for me.

Unfortunately again very little was seen other than a large number of Greylag geese. Had my tea watching gulls chasing each other.

Less than a quarter of the birds, I kept think they were going to fly as they became very noisy, but unfortunately not in the end deciding to fly.

Heavily cropped version of the above image. 


I had another visit for these little beauties and again they came very close, I have peck marks in the lens hood!!.
I only had a very short visit but it was most certainly worth it. I have been advised by Noushka that she believes these birds to be Juveniles due to the colouration of the feet . 

Juvenile Female Kingfisher.
Only visited the once and then only for a very short visit and then appeared to fly towards the stream and that was it. 

Even with a mostly rear view she is still a stunning bird.

Juvenile Male Kingfisher.
This young bird eventually arrived but he appeared to come in from the stream. He as in the case of the female didn't stay around very long. 

He had just landed with a fish but by the time I took the image he had swallowed it but his beak is still open. 

Barn Owl Update.

Our young Male is still in attendance in the large box. Having contacted the experts, they feel he will probably see the Winter out in the box and then move on as the weather improves. 

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

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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