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, 12 April 2010

More Back Enders & 102

Can you believe my luck, whilst out this evening exploring a new area the dam owl in flight syndrome struck again! I had gained permission from the local landowner to access his pastures and during my search I accidentally flushed out a beautiful barnie.  I don't know who was more shocked at the time him or me but I did managed to react quick enough (or so I thought) to grab a couple of shots. Well knowing what my track record has been like lately I wasn't at all surprised to see that both images were out of focus and.......you guessed it........more backendersl!!!!

I'm gunna surprise myself one day and get a flight shot with a face on it! 

After the flight shot farce I moved on searching the area, I then noticed in the distance (2 fields away) a very nice looking tree that just oozed little owl. I inspected it with my binoculars and there was a suspicious looking shape that needed further investigation. I got 50 yards closer and checked it out again.....RESULT......little owl!!!!.........no hang on a moment, lets get it right, little owls!!!!

Although very difficult to make out from the heavily cropped image (below) but both birds are just visible. Bird No 1 is right in the centre with a bit of black bark immediately to its right and No 2 bird is slightly above and right of bird No 1 but its almost the same colour as the bark. Hard to see???? You wanna bet they are!!

I then jumped a stream, climbed a gate, jumped another stream (wet left foot), got caught up on a barbed wire fence (ripped jeans) and finally forced my way through a hawthorn hedge to get a closer look. Dam and blast just as I was about to take an image both birds together they took off (nearly another backender!!). I followed them very cautiously along the hedgerow and finally managed just the one image before they disappeared.

Site 102, Leire - Valley View Farm Site B.


  1. Paul ..I had the time this evening to make another visit on your blog ...Wonderfull ...I have a lot of reading to do here LOL ...Congrats for all your great photos and thanks for sharing them :))

    I have been told years before that Barn Owls are very territorial and don't let other owls to live around ..Do you know if this is true? What was the distance between the two birds ?
    By the way at our summer house for over 30 years the Barn Owls never let a little owl to approach ..at least Ive never seen one close there but I spent not more than a month every year in summer ..

  2. Hi again Fani, I too have heard that barn owls will not tolerate other owls within their territory but I do know of a couple of sites where barn & little live quite close to each other and seem to get along fine, so who really knows? Thank you very much for your kind words about my blog.
    Catch up with you soon......Paul.