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.


  1. Hi John, beautiful scenery with Red Kite, Little Egret, and Heron, fantastic.

    1. Hi Bob,
      Very lucky with the Red Kite, more a case of a quick set of the camera {ISO 8200}, point and shoot. My favourite has to be the Water Rail.
      Look after yourself, all the best

  2. There are a lot of hides to visit John. I do like your Teal Grey shots at Crake Hide. They certainly are real beauties. I always find the names of the gulls interesting, as in your Great Black-backed Gull. I have no idea of the different types, one of the reasons I enjoy when they are identified by you. Thank you for that and always appreciated. Marvelous splash photos. Always love the Egrets too, elegant birds, and even more so when you caught it in various poses while fishing. Very interesting markings on the Water Rail. I have never seen one of those before. The Grey Heron looks very similar to our Great Blue Heron. It would be interesting to put one side by side so that I can distinguish them. I am always learning :) With its wings outspread it is magnificent. And then there is your Red Kite, brilliant! Thank you for mentioning the ISO and photo techniques. As I said, I am always learning. Great post as always.

    1. Hi Denise,
      Teal a re one of the smallest ducks we have over here but I think they are so beautiful. Gulls are not that easy for me either, but with the Great Black-backed Gull, they are so large its difficult to get them wrong or forget the name, they have a wingspan of 65 inches and take great delight in chasing the Osprey in the summer months for dropped food. The Water Rail is a very private little thing and tends to hide away in the reeds, only the second bird I have got images from this year. Our Heron and your Greta Blue seem very similar, the likes of David Gascoigne would be the man to tell us the difference I'm sure. With the Red Kite it was such a lucky image, nearly dark and me creeping around the car park trying not to disturb it, lucky no one was watching!!!! Another setting detail, I changed the F stop from 6.3 to 10 also.
      Thanks for the chat, All the best John

  3. Hello Titus,
    Fantastic bird walking ! The Kite is marvellous and very good the Crake !!!!

  4. Hi Nathalie,
    Yes I had a really good walk around the reserve and also saw some wonderful birds, hopefully we will get more of them as the weeks go by, thanks for the interest and visit.
    All the best, John

  5. When you called Wednesday you said you had nothing to put on your blog! ! What a collection of images! Beautiful everyone!!! M

  6. Hi Margaret,
    I was telling you the truth, I got all the images on Thursday, so pleased you have enjoyed the visit. Must admit very pleased with the header of the Red Kite, the light was virtually gone, see you both tomorrow.
    All the best, John

  7. Hello John, the Red Kite is ofcourse some great bird and you managed despite the darkening some great captures. The Water Rail is also well done and I love the Little Egret.

  8. Hello Roos,
    I think I was fortunate to get the Red Kite images, probably more through the camera than me, mind I had plenty of practice with getting images late in the day with the Barn Owls, but then I also had the tripod. Water Rail are such a nervous little bird and I was lucky it fed out on the mud. Little Egrets I find it so difficult not to photo, they are such a beautiful bird.
    Thanks for the visit, All the best, John

  9. Great series on the Water Rail, John. Although as rails go, it is fairly easy to see, I always think any encounter with a rail is very special. That Great Black-backed Gull sure looks like a powerful creature doesn't it? Enjoy what's left of the weekend.

  10. Hi David,
    I had another visit to Rutland this week and saw the Water Rail again but this time they both were well hidden in the reeds. The Great Black-backed is as you say a very powerful creature, they will take on an Osprey when trying to steal a fish. You enjoy your week and trip out.
    All the best. John

  11. Hello John!
    Back into the blogosphere since this morning, what a relief!
    Wonderful and lively photos of water birds, especially the teals, the rail is also a must!
    The Red kite is superb, I see them here but I don't get them as close anymore as on my property.
    If I may comment on the new look of your blog, I have difficulties reading the text in blue over red.
    The characters have a tendency to get blurred... maybe white??
    All the best, take good care and keep away from colds!

  12. Hi Noushka
    Wonderful to have you back, you have been sorely missed.
    Glad you enjoyed the water birds, I am hoping to get some different water birds tomorrow but hopefully more of that in the next post.
    I have almost got the next post ready and have changed the blue to Yellow, White I admit would be better but when putting the blog together, all the background is white!!!!!
    Look forward to your next post.
    Look after yourself, all the best.

    1. Thank you John, you are very considerate :)))
      As I just told Richard, I will be away for week in Spain hoping to "shoot" birds of prey.
      All the best :)

    2. Hi Noushka,
      I look forward to your return and seeing the results of your escapade to Spain.Have a wonderful time.
      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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