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!!!

Friday, 9 April 2010

TON UP!!!!!!!!!!!

At last, after 617 days since my quest began late yesterday I located my 100th little owl territory, it was purely by accident as well! I decided to have an hour or so up at the Huncote Embankment to see if any of the local raptors and ravens where showing. I stopped to survey the fields way down below me and as I casually panned from left to right a suspiciously looking tree stump caught my eye. With it looking particular owly I gave it the usual once over and to my amazement sitting on top was a little owl taking in the late sun. And even more amazing was the distance involved, a good 250 mts away, I even surprised myself!!!!.

This is the only image I managed and i've had to blow it up some what but if you look right in the centre on top of the nearest small tree stump the owl can be seen. Needless to say with it being such a landmark bird I will be returning very soon to attempt to get closer and get some more creditable images.

Site 100, Huncote - Huncote Bridge

After the elation of my 100th site I made a quick trip down the road to check out one of my nest box sites at South Wigston. After a 10 minute wait I picked out both of the resident owls and boy o boy what a comotion they were making. Oh my word.......they were mating, altough I have seen little owls mating on numerous occasions I had never managed an image because it was always too dark or the birds were just too far away (like the 100th site). But this time the light was ok and although the birds were still a little distant I could deffo grab some of the action.

Site 96, South Wigston - Port Hill

When the action had died down they both flew over to the nest tree to sit quietly near the nest chamber.....ONE OF MY BOXES.....yeah yeah yeah!!!!

All in all not a bad couple of hours, my 100th site, my first mating image and new residents in one of my boxes..........bring on the weekend!


  1. Hooray! Really well done. What a wonderful achievement!

  2. Well done Paul, Now can you find me a White tailed Eagle in the county! ;-]

  3. Well done, what an amazing achievement! Look forward to seeing pics of all the young ones soon!

  4. Cheers Paul but don't get complacent I'm only 98 behind you!!!

  5. Just seen the great news!! Congratulations, Paul, absolutely brilliant!!

  6. Legendary work. We don't get little owls up here so you have no idea how envious I am that you have notched up 100 sites!

    Well done. Keep going.

  7. Well Done reaching your target Paul.
    Hope a few more folks are inspired by your work.

    We have 3 central 10KM squares up here with 50+ LO pairs in each - yet 90% of birders "twitch" the species at one or two "sites" - i hope they take a leaf out of you Blog !

    Looking forward to reading what the Summer brings you !

  8. Thank you all for your kind support.
    Steve (owler) It appears you have more little owl sites up there than we do down here in leicestershire. Athough within the 10km square where I live I have located exactly 50 sites!!!