Saturday, 25 March 2017


Richard and myself had a visit out on Thursday the 16th of March and being my turn to drive, Richard arrived at 11.30 hrs and we got on our way heading for our Little Owl sites, not with much expectations of seeing much as it was very dull with a very cold wind. But how birds can surprise you. We saw our first Little Owl at  Site 8 and after that we saw two birds at Site 9 whilst having our lunch. After this we travelled through the remaining sites but saw no more birds. We then headed for the Lyndon Centre at Rutland Water for a look around the Hides and a check to see if we had any Osprey arrivals, of which we had none, but they will soon be with us 30/05 left her Senegal Winter beach resort on the 11th March so is well on the way. We had a steady walk down to Waderscrape Hide calling in at both Deep Water and Tufted Duck Hides but nothing of consequence was visible. The computer and television were up and running in Waderscrape and two Volunteer ladies were on duty and told us that they had decided the first Osprey would arrive at the nest at 16.00 hrs {WRONG}. We sat for a while hoping to see some Water Vole but non showed so we headed for Shallow Water hide. It is usually at this time of the year very good for getting Shoveler Ducks reasonably close to the Hide but really nothing was that close, in fact we saw very little at all so after a short time headed back up to the centre and the car park to start our return trip.

Our Ospreys are at last returning in reasonable numbers so I am looking froward to an extra Osprey duty I have been asked to carry out on Thursday the 23rd. Lets hope our birds have returned by then.  


Little Owl Site No. 8.

Bird spotted by Richard and difficult to get a decent image without moving the car to try to get a clear shot through the branches. We both commented that it would be great to see two birds at this site. 

Only when getting home and uploading the images did I find this, yes the elusive second bird, so a quick call to Richard with the news. 

Little Owl Site No. 9.

We sat to have our lunch by this site, its a really beautiful and peaceful spot, and this bird sat and watched and was joined by its mate at one point.

16th March.

Mute Swan, Female, Shallow Water Hide.

Always a delight to see and get an image. Reasonably long distance shot.  

Manton Bay Osprey Nest. Shallow Water Hide.

It seems so sad to see the empty but already prepared  nest but hopefully it will not be long before these birds return.

Juvenile Mute Swan, Shallow Water Hide.

23rd March.  

I was asked to carry out an additional duty at Waderscrape and jumped at the chance of being on duty when our birds may return. This being 33/11, the male and the Scottish female, as you can see below the little beggars beat me to it and came back a day early, but at least I will have birds to watch during my visit. Last year Maya arrived on the 21st March and 33/11 on the 27th, so this year they split the difference and virtually arrived together.

I managed to get away from home for 12.15 hrs and headed straight for the Lyndon Centre arriving at 13.10hrs and after booking in, walked swiftly down to Waderscrape Hide to get my first glimpse of the returned Ospreys. It had become very windy by this time and with the wind coming from the reservoir, it was feeling extremely cold. On arriving at the Hide I was greeted by my fellow conspirator, Sheila who told me the female was on the nest and 33/11 was away fishing. He eventually arrived back but with no fish, the reservoir was covered with white horses which must make fishing very difficult. He remained with the female for a while and then had to see off an intruder Osprey and then after a while went away fishing again, my duty finished at 17.00 hrs and he was still absent so hopefully they both finished up with a fish after I left.

Male Osprey 33/2011 . Note he has the Blue ring.

Here having just arrived at the nest, {10.04 hrs} some serious nest building will take place in the next few days. You can see the black cable ties used to hold the nest together by the brave guys that go out in a very small boat and put a ladder up to the nest an rebuild it.

Female Osprey {Maya} left. Non Ringed.

Just arrived at 13.38 hrs so very little time or distance between them. And so the season begins.


Female Osprey on the nest.

This is the site that greeted me on arrival at the Hide. The male had left to go fishing about 10 minutes before I arrived. Please remember the bird is 320 metres away and I was shooting virtually into the sun. 

 She kept getting lower in the nest as the wind increased all afternoon.

Unknown Raptor.

I haven't got any idea as to what this bird is, one lady in the Hide said it was a Buzzard, but the bird is white under the tail and has a quiet distinct black end to the tail. Unfortunately the bird was going on for 420 metres away in the hedge.

Anybody any ideas??????

Just had a call to say this bird is a Female Rough Legged Buzzard. the male has a smaller black tip to the tale with a second thin band above it. Thanks Derek.

The Male,33/11 returns from Fishing

He had just returned and her on the nest was looking at him

Because we had an intruder Osprey approaching the nest, 33/11 responded and returned to the nest. 

They both mantled at the intruder, which could have been a bird that was bred on the nest, we had a young male land on the nest last year who was tolerated by both birds, not for long but was a bird that had fledged from the nest. 

The intruder retires gracefully.

Cormorant in Dead Tree, Adjacent to the Hide.

This tree always has Cormorants roosting, you can only just make out the green eye, the tree is 130 metres from the Hide. One of the previous Manton Bay Males 5R, would take great pleasure in flying around the bay and he would then plough through the tree and dislodge a few from perching.

Immature Great Black-backed Gull.

I was told that this was what this bird was by a visitor to the hide. Not very good with gulls.
John  Wright, the field officer tells me that numerous immature birds stay at the reservoir all year until mature, and several mature adults overwinter on site.  

Not sure as to what the bird is carrying.

Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did 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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