Monday, 5 November 2018


I decided for my Thursday visit to head for Rutland and the Egleton Centre, on the trip over, the weather was mostly cloudy and bright, but when getting in the Oakham area the heavens opened and we had heavy rain.

I arrived at the centre and decided to head to the Lyndon reserve thinking I could get into Teal Hide {where Whooper Swans had been seen} without getting very wet as the hide is close to the centre.

So I arrived , put my waterproofs on and headed for the hide only to find on arrival, workers were putting in concrete bases for a new hide and demolishing the existing hide, so much for my plans. 

I then decided to cut my losses as it was still raining and have a quick visit to Eyebrook, the weather forecast was for the rain to go away late morning and it was already heading towards 13.30 hrs so really nothing to lose.

Osprey Chain Saw sculpture, The Lyndon Centre.

I have walked past this sculpture so many times and only took this image as the light was so poor as a test.


At least at Eyebrook you can stay in the car for a look about without getting wet through, so I had a look about, didn't see much but a Red Kite attracted my attention.

Red Kite, Near Horninghold Village.

I drove around the reservoir as the rain had decided to get lighter, I saw a Red Kite sitting in a tree, as I drove nearer it flew away but I noticed a road kill by the side of the road. After about 80 metres I found a gateway into a stables so I reversed into this and sat and waited to see what the bird would do. After a short time it landed in the tree but had got me spotted so I sat patiently and the bird seemed to settle down.


After a few minutes and some images sitting and waiting. 

It then decided {as I had hoped} to fly down to the road and inspect the carcass. It looked to me as I drove past like a Moorhen.

I had only set the ISO at 1000, should have made it 5000.

It had a couple of flights during the time I watched it as cars went by.

In the short time I watched the bird, it had a real feast. 

This is the first time I have ever managed to get any images of a Red Kite on the ground, they are normally so very nervous, but probably with the distance I was away it felt a more secure.

2nd November.

As the weather had been so poor yesterday, I decided to have a quick visit to Calke Abbey for the Rut .

I arrived at about 14.30 hrs not wanting to be over late in leaving as it was a bird club evening so I went immediately to the area where the deer are usually about.

All I could see were Fallow deer but I could hear a Red Stag bellowing down in the valley but upon having a walk round I could still hear him but could find no sign of the beast.

The Fallow deer were showing very little signs of rutting so it was a case of take a few images and get home for tea and return another day or try elsewhere.

Fallow Deer Stag.

Showing very little, if any sign of the rut, he seemed perfectly happy just to lay on the ground and snooze.

These three stags are perfectly at peace with each other, not what I was expecting.

Younger Stag not showing any interest in any of the Hinds.

Young Fallow Deer Hind.

Young Stag.

Another young Stag.

Another young Hind.

This much older Stag was giving the air a good sniff behind this Hind.

Same couple.

Older female Red Deer with a younger Hind but no sign of a Stag other than the one in the valley bellowing away still, and still was when I went home.

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


  1. Hi John
    Fantastic Red Kite, you must've been so lucky. Beauty. And I love your Red Deers, absolutely stunning photographs.

    1. Hi Bob,
      Firstly sorry for the late reply.
      Yes is was pure luck with the Red Kite, to see the bird in a tree and also see that it was having a look at some road kill.
      So after parking in a gateway up the road I managed the images.
      Very fond of the deer, must try again for some images of the rut.
      All the best and thank you, John

  2. I loved the look of the statue of the Osprey. Its creator has an amazing talent. Your photos of the Red Kite are breathtaking, so sharp and clear. I was interested in the shape of the tail. The one showing its wingspan also showed its motion, beautiful! How I wish I could see those stags for myself, but these are the next best thing. When I have heard elk bugling in the early morning (on our holiday some time ago now), the sound has been surreal. I would imagine it is the same for these magnificent animals. Another impressive series of photos, thank you so much!

    1. Hi Denise,
      Some people are blessed with such a talent, I have walked passed this statue so many times and only took the image asa test with the weather being so bad and it was only as I looked at it after, need I say more.
      The Red Kite is such a beautiful bird and fascinating to watch in flight, its tail is all the while moving side to side, the are a really graceful bird.
      The deer are such wonderful creatures but we seem to be having a late rut, as you say to listen when they a bellowing especially as it gets dark is surreal but also beautiful.
      I will try for some more rut images soon.
      Glad you enjoyed your visit.
      All the best, John

  3. Good morning John: All of the pictures of the Red Kite are fabulous, but the first one, on the branch with wings raised, is just stunning. It looks almost heraldic in a way. And the images of those deer are not too shabby either!

    1. Hi David,
      A case of being in the right place at the right time with the Red Kite plus patience, they are such a graceful bird in flight but this is the first time I have ever managed some images of one on the ground, might use the first image in our coat of arms!!!!
      I was at Calke for the rut but as you read it had not started, but must return for some action shots.
      Some wonderful images in your Australian posts.
      All the best to you both, John

  4. Hi John .. Beautiful series of pics. Yesterday I was birdwatching Red kite and others raptors like Vultures, Buzzards etc... I really enjoyed it!!! Happy weekend

    1. Hi Ana,
      Hope you managed some good images of your birds, I am very fond of Red Kite especially in flight, they are so graceful and the way they move the tail is fascinating to watch.
      Enjoyed your latest video.Have a good week ahead, all the best.

  5. Hello John,
    Ok you will have a new bird hide for the winter, it's fantastic ! ;-)
    You had a very nice meeting with this Red Kite !
    I like black Kite but Red kite is even more beautiful ! I like your pictures on the ground, they're very beautiful.
    These deer are beautiful, wow.
    Happy birding

    1. Hi Nathalie,
      Yes we will have a new hide very soon, in fact we will have two new hides at Lyndon, Shallow Water hide is being replaced with a two storey monster, not sure about being upstairs trying for photo's.
      I was so lucky with the Red Kite, as you say the Red Kite is such a beauty and I was so lucky to find the gateway so I could wait for the bird to come along.
      I hoping to have another visit with the deer soon.
      All the best and happy birding John

  6. Hi John,
    first of all my compliments for your nice header :-)
    Your pictures of the Red Kite are really great! A bird that I will probably never see. Wonderful just. And what did you say you could make beautiful pictures of !! I'm a bit jealous of hahahaha .....

    Your pictures of the fallow deer are also so sharp. You were in a cabin or you could get so close to it. I really enjoyed these beautiful plates.

    Hearty growth,

  7. Hi Helma,
    Thank you for the compliment regarding my header, from you I am flattered,
    I should have bettered them this afternoon as I was driving near the reservoir I saw another Red Kite on the road, this time with a grey squirrel that had been killed, it again flew away so I turned round very quickly and the bird was back. So I drove farther down the road and turned round again and drove back and parked in a gateway this time only about 30 metres away from the squirrel but no Kite returned.
    The deer were photographed from about 100 metres away and I was in the open.
    Thank you for the positive comments.
    All the best, John

  8. Fantastic shots of Red Kite and so interesting to see ground ones. Specially like the images of ‘sniffing ‘ stag too. M

  9. Hi Margaret,
    So pleased you liked the Red Kite on the ground, Nearly bettered them yesterday.
    I must try to return and get some more images of the Fallow deer.
    All the best and see you soon, John

  10. Hi Evi,
    Thank you for the visit and comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the images.
    All the best, John

  11. Extraordinarias fotos del milano posado en el suelo, la que está con las alas levantadas es maravillosa, enhorabuena John!!!

  12. Hola German,
    Otra visita maravillosa con el Red Kite,tan afortunado al verla alimentandose de un pajaro muerto al costado de la carretera.
    La primera vez que he visto una cometa en el suelo.
    Todo lo mejor de Inglaterra, John

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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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