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!!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Guarding Dads

This evenings fabulous weather got me owl 'n' about checking over a few local sites. It would now appear that the breeding season is well and truly underway in owl world. Only single birds where seen at the 5 sites I visited and these were all presumably males as the hen birds should be well tucked away by now incubating their clutches. At his time of the year the male birds are staying out of the nest longer whilst keeping a vigil very close to the nest site, so locating them wasn't too difficult.

This first image is from the site that is just 400 metres or so from where I live. It is by far the best image I have managed so far from this site thanks to the great light levels, shame about the twig!

Site 103, Whetstone Golf Course

And again at the second site the male bird was easy to find, close to the nest hole and sitting in the sun!

Site 75, Peatling Parva - Preistlands

The third site is very exposed and what little breeze there was created this nice and unusual effect on the owls feathers.

Site 22, Blaby - Whetstone Gorse

By the time I got around to the fourth site the light was going but I still managed to locate the male owl and get my best image of this bird to date.

Site 103, Willoughby lodge Farm Site B

After a good couple of hours watching the little owls an owl of a different species was located on the drive back. Not the best quality as the conditions really were by now against me but a bit of post processing has made it passable........just?

Barn Owl, a nice late surprise!

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