Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2007 my quest began to locate as many local Little Owl territories as possible. The driving force was a reported decline in the uk numbers so I thought I would do my bit and conduct a study in my area. After 7 years and countless hours out in the field I have detected over 200 different sites. With a thirst for a greater understanding of the owls a more comprehensive monitoring and nest box programme then commenced. This also now includes monitoring the local and very sparse population of Barn Owls, please pop back occasionally and catch up with the life and times of my owls and any other wildlife that I come across. I hope you enjoy your visit!!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

By Royal Appointment.

Over the last two days we have been very honoured that the "Little Owl Queen" has been residing in Leicestershire (better known to her loyal subjects as Emily Joachim star of the BBC's The One Show!!!!!!).

Emily who is doing a PHD  on the demise of the little owl was up in Leicestershire for the weekend to meet with myself and Ken Goodrich from LROS. We were planning to discuss my little owl project and to see if Emily could offer any help or advise on its progression. On Saturday morning it was over to Ken's house for a very relaxed chat and a light lunch, I have to say that the banquet that Mrs Goodrich put on would have been fitting for a King let alone a Queen!!! (thank you Mrs Goodrich).

One of the main outcomes of the meeting was an agreement that a nest box scheme is required that will hopefully enable me to provide the BTO with some vital and factual information about the owls here in Leicestershire. Ken has organised some funding through LROS for the purchase of the required materials for 20 boxes and I will then be burning the midnight oil assembling them in the evenings, little bit of a rush though as time is against us if we want to try and position them in time for the oncoming breeding season.

On Sunday the three of us were joined by Ken's good friend Dave Robins for a field trip out to investigate some likely looking areas for the nest box locations. Whilst out I was hoping to show the guys some owls, luckily the weather wasn't too bad and things looked promising? We met up at 9.30am at the Navigation Public House near to Kilby Bridge and returned some 4 or so hours later after driving round in a loop with-in the SP59 area. The result at the end of the day was some really promising locations for the nest boxes and a very respectable 16 different little owl sightings, I was especially pleased with these numbers as I had concerns over possible fatalities during the recent cold snap.

 Ken Goodrich, Emily Joachim and Dave Robins


  1. Paul couldn't agree more as Jean always does a good spread for visiting guests!

  2. Oh I wasn't aware Jean had a bit of a reputation for her GIGANTIC finger buffets, if I get invited again I'll be fasting for 2 days prior!