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, 19 April 2010

Hungover Birding!

What a fantastic weekend weather wise, but surprise surprise not for owling!!! For the first weekend in ages I was preoccupied with other activities, namely following the famous Leicester City FC's push for promotion to the promised land of the premiership on Saturday, a 4-1 win and golfing Sunday morning, played rubbish but won nearest the pin!.

But..........in between all my other leisurely pursuits I did managed  to squeeze in a couple of hours owling

Very early Saturday morning  I decided to make a return visit to Willoughby Waterleys with my mate Daz  to check out site 103, a new site which was located last week. As both of us were suffering terrible hangovers from the alcohol abuse the night before any walking was totally out of the question, so today it was owling from the Land rover!!! 

A single bird was again located at site 103 , just too distant for good images but my first image of a bird from this site in the daylight.

Site 103, Willoughby - Lodge Farm

Next we drove a few hundred yards down the lane to see if the recently re-located owls were showing at site 45. After searching the trees we managed to located a bird high up in the suspect nest tree getting a bit of sun.

Site 45, Willoughby Waterleys - Willoughby Lodge Farm

Daz searching for the owls in a typical "morning after" pose!

 The lazy so and so.

We then drove around for a while checking out more of the local owls but not too much was seen due to our refusal to get out of the land rover and walk.........oooohh our throbbing heads, we vowed never  to drink again........yeah righto!! 

Late Sunday afternoon after the golf I again  popped out for a couple of hours, whilst driving through the lanes over near Peatling Magna I spotted an owl sitting in a roadside tree. Due to the fact that site 58 was only a couple of hundred yards down the road I presumed it was from there?

Site 58, Peatling Magna - Lower Brookhill Farm???????

However, when it re-located onto a more distant fence post I started to have second thoughts. This bird had quite a distinctive large white patch on its left shoulder, I had never noticed this on either of the birds at this site before, or for that matter on any other owls .

Mystery bird - White Shoulder

Could this unusually marked bird be one I hadn't seen before and a new site? Maybe one of the juveniles from last years success at site 58? Needless to say I will be spending some time at this location to try and unravel the mystery.


  1. That looks like a bit of Drunkbirder fieldcraft being displayed by Des! I well remember watching Andy's Pechora Pipit from a similar vantage point.