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!!!

Monday, 8 March 2010

99 Not out!!!!!

This evening the sun stayed out albeit being bitterly cold.......again! Not sure if it would be a good time for owl watching or not? I decided that I hadn't been over to the western side of my patch for a while as I had a tip to follow up from my mate Tony about a likely site at Barwell.
On route I went via Peckleton, here both the local owls were out getting a bit of evening sun. It is not easy to get near to the birds at this site so I had to be content with these distant images.

Site 6, Peckleton Hall, owl No 1.

Site 6, Peckleton Hall, owl No 2.

Next stop was Brockey Farm near to Kirkby Mallory, I wanted to check out the nest box that I'd put up here recently and see if it had any new residents. As I pulled up both birds were spotted at distance sitting together on some low posts, image below.  

Site 42, Brockey Farm site A

Whilst I watched and waited for them to come closer one bird dived from the post and onto the ground with wings spread. Then to my surprise it flew in my direction and landed in a tree no more than 15 mts away, I then realised it had caught a mouse/shrew or some kind of small rodent and was now perched up readily devouring its meal, image below.

If you look closely you can just about make out his dinner in his tallon

Before my destination of Barwell was reached I wanted to make one more slight detour to a site where I haven’t seen an owl for absolutely ages..........Brockey Farm site B. Due to the location of the nest tree here I can't use the Landover as a hide, this maybe the reason why it proves difficult to see the owls here because they see you coming first! Anyway today my luck change because as I approached the nest tree I spotted the owl just before he spotted me and the below image was possible.

Site 50, Stapleton - Brockey Farm site B
Finally I arrived at Brookhill Farm, Barwell, I went to see the land owner and gained permission to drive around the estate in the Landover, that was a result because idle so and so's like me don't want to be walking too far now do we!!!!

Going on the info that Tony had given me I started searching the area, after a while I came upon a group of willows that looked very very owley. As I drove up slowly I spotted an owl sitting among the sprouting foliage, yes yes yes Tony was right.......COME ON IN LITTLE OWL No 99!!!!!!

This bird stayed dead still relying heavily on his camoflage to keep him safe from detection.

I was at an awkward angle for good views so I drove off and turned back round giving a better perspective of the whole tree, it was a good decision as I then spotted a second bird...............RESULT!!!!! Once I'd made eye contact he wasn't hanging around and off he flew to the next tree, I followed slowly and managed this image below.

Site 99, Barwell -  Brookhill Farm Site B


  1. Nice one Paul!!! I can't see you stopping at 100 - it'd leave too much of a gap in your life!!

  2. That's a super shot with the mouse but they are all good. 100 not out is a great score.