Sunday, 9 April 2017


I had my first official Osprey duty with Richard on Thursday the 30th of March , Richard arrived at our house for 14.30 hrs and we were soon on our way heading for our Little Owl sites with Richard driving. we saw owls at Little Owl Sites Nos 8 and 9, these just being single birds but only managed an image at Site 9, the bird at Site 8 was so buried within the branches the chances of an image were nil. We passed Site 5 where the tree had come down in the storm and saw no Owls but also didn't see the farmers, they will be out and about late on whilst lambing and always report to us on either seeing or hearing the Little Owls.  

We eventually arrived at the Lyndon Centre for 16.10 hrs and after checking in and having a chat with Tim Mackrill as it was his last day at Rutland Water on the Friday. We got on our way and had a steady walk down the site calling in at both Deepwater and Tufted Hides but seeing very little. We eventually arrived at Waderscrape Hide for about 16.45 hrs and took over from the couple on duty. They told us the Male 33/11 had gone fishing they thought and the female sat on the nest. So from 17.00 hrs we were in charge and had several visitors but with such a late start it was very difficult getting decent images. What with the sun going down and being to the front of us never is ideal, but given a few weeks thing will get much better as the nights get lighter. This time with the Ospreys can be boring with very little going on, a bit of nest building, mating, a bit more nest building and then he will go and catch a fish but it still all needs monitoring and is of great interest to the people who have made the effort to visit.
We eventually finished our shift at about 19.45 hrs as it was nearly dark, so after switching off the computer and the television  we headed for the centre and car park. On our return journey we came upon a Little Owl sat on a fence in an area of our old Site No. 3, we have not seen a bird at this site for two and a half years, this we must keep an eye on and try to find it again.

4h April, 
Manton Bay Female Osprey had laid first egg. 

7th April,
Second egg laid.

10th April
Third egg laid. 

Little Owls Site No. 9.

Single bird sat in the front of the nest hole, hopefully the female is thinking about laying eggs. 

Female Osprey.

She just sat on the nest watching the world go by and waiting for 33 to come back with a fish for supper.

Male Osprey 33/11 with fish on dead tree on opposite side of Manton Bay .

He eventually arrived back with a nice trout, you can see the tail below the branch he is sitting on. 

As is normal he had his fill before taking the fish to the female, this changes when they have young. A foolish Corvid decides it may be an idea to have a go at stealing. 

Female on the nest food begging.

She was being extremely noisy at this time, we could hear her very clearly in the hide.  

She then transferred to the camera post and had a really good shout at him. 

He then brought the fish and she transferred to the T post and had her supper, it was about this time we had our tea. This is the quiet time of the season, all we really have to do is monitor if the birds mate and any food brought to the nest, also any nest building. Things will get considerably livelier once we have eggs and then young.   

Male Osprey 33/11.

Having given the fish to the female, he had a quick fly around and washed his feet. 

Awful image, awful light??? 

Both Osprey.

Female to the left on the T post and Male on the camera post. 

Greylag Goose on the channel to the front of  Waderscrape Hide.

6th April.

As I was not on duty this week and Richard had decided to go out early, I opted to have a visit through the Little Owl sites and then go onto Eyebrook Reservoir and see if any Ospreys were about. I got away at about 14.00 hrs  and on my trip out I saw only a single Little Owl at Site 9. I eventually arrived at Eyebrook and was surprised by the number of people in my normal area but not put off by this I parked up the road and walked back and was greeted by an Osprey fishing not far out in the Reservoir. After I had been on site for about half an hour who should turn up other than Richard who had been on an exploratory visit to Ketton Quarry. He staid with me for about and hour and then headed for home, I settled down and had my tea at the Reservoir and left at about 18.30 hrs to run back through the Little Owl sites seeing no birds on my return but managing a quick chat with the farmers at Site 5 who reported they had both heard and seen the Little Owls in the fallen tree which is great news.   


Osprey  prior to Richards arrival.

This bird flew around to the front of us and then headed down the Reservoir towards the dam.


This was a single bird that arrived whilst Richard was on site.

Same bird as above.

Richard left to head for home and these three birds arrived at the same time.


I sat eating my tea and I thought another Osprey had arrived on the far side of the Reservoir, as the bird got closer I could see it was in fact  a Buzzard, I was hoping it would come closer but they never do, so I took a few quick images and then finished my tea as the bird flew away.

Cock Pheasant, Eyebrook Reservoir.

Having finished my tea, this bird appeared in the long grass towards the water, so being fond of these colourful birds I could not resist an image.

Little Owl Site No. 9.

This was the only bird I saw on my trip out, but still great to see.

4th April.

Having seen nothing of the Kestrels for about three week and also having been finding Barn Owl Pellets under the large box, we hoped we had some Barn Owls back in residence in our garden. So I decided to sit out with the camera and see if I could find out what was going on. I make no apologies for the following image. It was taken going on towards 20.45 hrs and was virtually dark and was taken at ISO 20,000 so I was fighting a loosing battle for quality. I have taken more since, at an even later time but they are just for my records. The good news is we have got a pair so we will be watching for eggs. Luckily we have already been sent a licence by Christine Flint.


As you can see they did the dirty on me and came out from the smaller box, I must admit to having struggled to see them how dark it was. With these large lenses, I find with taking images later on, I set up the camera on a tripod with a remote button. I then focus with auto focus onto the area I wish to take the image from and then switch off the auto focus, so it didn't help having to swing the camera left and shorten the distance to the subject, but after all that you can see they are Barn Owls so we are over the moon. 

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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