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!!!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Wind in the Willows

Got my daily owl fix this morning before work had even started, I was making my way cross country (to avoid all the traffic) out towards Rutland. I decided to make a slight detour to hopefully get a glimpse of any resident owls that may be showing at the first little owl site I ever found. Although a little distant for good images a single bird was out on one of its usual perches catching some early morning sun.

Site 1, Carlton Curlieu - Marks Plantation.

On my return journey I decided to catch up with a relatively new site over at Burrough Hill that I located a few weeks ago. Now I wasn't very hopeful of any sightings as this morning’s glorious sunshine had been replace with drizzle and driving winds (and we all now know little owls don't like the wind!). Anyhow, shows how much I know because almost as soon as I had arrived I located a single bird in a willow tree, albeit it was sheltering out of the elements. It then flew over to the nearby ash tree where it settled down tight up against the main trunk  Hang on a minute.............that single bird has company!!! This was only my third visit to this site and already confirmation of a pair.....result!!

Another pair for the records.

Site 95, Borrough Hill - Court Farm

Just as I was about to pull off one of the owls came over for a closer look, a nosey little so and so (must be the hen bird!!!) although it was nearly dark, windy and still raining I was able to managed this image, the best from this site so far. It was a shame but she didn't hang around long though, this was due to the farmer spooking her as he drove by in his tractor, but the good news was I gained permission from him to set up my hide in the field near the potential nest tree so fingers crossed some much better images to come?

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