Thursday 23 September 2021


The scene at Eyebrook reservoir has gone very quiete but will shortly change as other birds arrive to over Winter. With the Summer viusitors departing up to a month early it has meant a lack of subjects.This however has meant I have very little to do a post so this will be shorter than normal. I have finished going out in my hide as the Barn Owl on last last few visits out is not appearing until well after dark so very little chance of any images. It has been a dissapointing year with the Owls, not helped by my hospital visit and the following few weeks getting over my Sepsis, only then did I do any serious  monitoring of the bird as my Schedule 1 licence asks me to carry out  and to build up a report on the activity in and around the boxes. Hopefully we will have a better season next year with a pair and Owlets. I have included my last images of the Barn Owl taken over several evenings but I have also included some images from last year that shows the quality of image I can achieve even with a high ISO I was using ,more last year to stop any blur from the bird moving through increasing the speed the, so what follows indicates the difficulty I have experienced in trying to get decent shots, so here we go.

One positive note I was recalled to hospital for an operation on the 8th of September and the stone that was the cause of my Sepsis was removed  and is no more, hence the late post.

These first two images and header are from last year, just to prove I can get reasonable images of the birds, I am using the same camera and lens  but they cannot beat darkness

My Latest efforts indicate the problems I have experienced, both the images above and below were taken at ISO 125600 but above when it was not so dark.

A trip to Eyebrook Resrvoir, I always think just wait a while and invariably something happens! 

The Cormorants are still perching on the Tern Raft and will until next Spring and the return of the Common Terns.

I then changed sides of the Resrvoir as a Great White Egret arrived and landed amongst a flock of Lapwings, not a common visitor at Eyebrook but I'm sure it had flown over the hill from Rutland Water

A cormorant having a wing drying session

Then a Red Kite arrived.

And after a quick swoop and low pass ove the Lapwings.

They all took flight  and set off to the other end of the Reservoir.

I then returned to my original spot, Opposite Stoke Dry Village as the GWE had also moved after the Red Kite visit.

The GWE with some Golden Plovers flying past.

Goldfinch [Male] feeding on the seed of a thistle.

Adult male has a paler beak than the female.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I have in getting the images and putting the post together[ even if its smaller than the norm.


  1. The first image of a Barn Owl is stunning, John, but I think that the others taken after dark are also terrific. In many respects they convey some of the mystery associated with these nocturnal hunters. One can see how myth and legend developed around them. As you say, soon your winter visitors will arrive. Much to look forward to. Best wishes from Miriam and me.

    1. HelloBoth,
      I'm afraid watching the Barn Owls is something I get extreme pleasure from apart from the fact my licence says i'm required to monitor the birds or bird in this case. As you say these birds certainly have mystery surrounding them .
      I am still finding pellets under the box and hope to do so all Winter.
      Much to look forward to over the next month as the Winter birds arrive.
      Our best wishes,
      John and Veg.

  2. Hello John.
    Indeed photos are difficult at night, I know very well your photos from the past years. Well done, John.
    I hope that the next step will be better for your health.
    My best regards my friend

  3. Hello Nathalioe.
    This year has been very difficult with the Barn Owls fighting for light or lack of it, I had to put some previous im,ages in for my own confidence.
    My health is improoving and am awaiting my knee operation them I will be able to get around much better.
    My best wishes to you,

  4. Hi John
    Absolutely stunning of the Barn Owl, the header is beautiful. And I love the Red Kite, fantastic.

    1. HelloBob,
      It has been a disapointing yeay=r with the Barn Owls, I just hope we get Owlets next year, always enjoy seeing the Red Kites, the way they twist the tail feathers in changing direction.
      Best wishes.

  5. hello John
    you don't need to apologize for the darkness, each of us is powerless who takes photos and has little light, but the other pictures show very well that you know exactly what you are doing .. i am impressed .. would it be possible to use a wildlife camera with infrared to install .. the good game cameras make very good pictures that might be an option ..?
    Greetings Frank

  6. Hello Frank,
    I hsve found it to br as diapoining year eith the bird showing so late, I certainly will look into thr infared cameras, thanks for the sdvice.
    Best wishes ,

  7. Fabulous images John, a great pleasure to visit here. I hope this finds you in good health. Best wishes always.

  8. Hello Denise,
    Pleasing to read you rnjoyed the visit,ghealth is good, hope likewise with you and yours,
    My best wishes,

    1. Hello John, just popping by to wish you well and hope that you are having a good start to the Autumn months. Fun to look through your photos again :) All the best and Happy November!

  9. What an adorable Barn owl!!! ... Here in Spain we are also waiting for the wintering birds ... Good weekend John

  10. Hello Ana,
    Pleasing to read you like our Barn Owl, lets hope we get two next year and some Owlets, its always a waiting game at this time of the Year but in The Uk we at the moment are suffering a fuel shortage so I am not going out in the car, saving my fuel. You also have a good weekend Ana,
    best wishes,

  11. Hi John,
    I am glad to read that your stone has been removed and that you are no longer bothered by it!
    Too bad there weren't more pictures of the owls to be made, but hopefully next year a lot again ;-) Last year's pictures of the owls are really very beautiful!!!!!! The other pictures are indeed of poor quality but..... there are also pictures of the red kite and other birds :-)

    Be careful.
    Kind regards, Helma


    It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that this evening I had a call from John's wife, Veg, to tell me that John died of a stroke on the night of Sunday 10th October, 2021. Veg asked me if I had a way of putting a post up on John's blog to advise, but I am not aware of any way of doing this - if you know of a way, please let me know. In the meantime, maybe you'd like to leave a message via a 'comment' here.

    I shall miss John greatly. We had some wonderful times together and he had a delightful sense of humour. He was someone who would always be there to help if anyone had a problem. John has me to blame for his 'handle', 'Titus John White' due to his devotion to his Barn Owls (Tito alba). John did not want to divulge his true name on his blog in order to protect the Barn Owls that nest in his garden, and that was the alias that I suggested.

    My thoughts are with Veg, and the rest of the family at this difficult time.

    God bless you John - may you fly peacefully on silent wings!

    1. I am greatly saddened by this but thank you Richard for letting us know. I always loved to look at John's photos and to get his warm messages on my blog posts. His photography is amazing and quite a legacy. My heart goes out to his dear wife and family. There are not enough words at times like this but they truly have my thoughts and prayers and hugs.

  13. Hi John! Beautiful pictures and species! I love owls.

  14. I am shocked and very sad by what I just read ... God bless our friend John wherever he is ... I am sure that his birds will fly with him ... especially his beloved owls ... A big hug to the family and friends...

  15. Dear dear John,
    what a shock and what a sadness to have to read this.
    You were one of my best friends. Although virtually, but your heel where you could. I will never forget your warm and wise words.
    I am very sad and will never forget you nhimmer.

    My condolences to his wife and all family and friends.

    Kind regards, Helma


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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