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!!!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bombing Owl!

Made a return visit this evening to new site 106 that was located last night when I was out with Tony, it took a good half an hour chatting with the landowner before permission was granted for a quick venture into the potential nest tree field. I settled down a good 40 yards or so away and started a systematic scan of the tree. It didn't take long before the little owl was located and a couple of quick images were taken. It wasn't until I viewed the images that I realised there was actually a pair.......what a result!!!!

Site 106 - Church Spinney - Kirkby Mallory

The views weren't great as they remained quite high up in the tree and often behind the branches and twigs but I did managed this unusual image of one of the birds dropping to a lower limb.

Dive bomber!

Once my allotted time at this site had expired it was time to move on............but where to??? As I hadn't seen the owls over at site 88 and it was local it was an easy choice. The owls at this site are tough to see as the nest tree is "an island" and very difficult to approach without being spotted. I decided that once I got to the site a tactic of keeping my distance was to be employed......and it paid off!!! After a bit of patience the little blighter was located crouching down behind a broken off limb. He obviously thought I couldn't see him but the picture below tells a different story! 

It wasn't long before the sun started to set, now this could be an opportunity to get that image that I have been so desperate to capture, little owl in the late evening golden glow (yeah the one that I failed at so successfully a couple of nights ago!) Although the shadows didn't help and I didn't actually nail the golden glow I was after, never the less I was well pleased with my final result of a near miss!

 Site 88 - The Park - Enderby. Golden glow..........nearly!

Time was now pressing on so it was a quick drive over to Countesthorpe to pick up my mate John, we had arranged a late visit to "owl avenue". We were well rewarded with out wait into the near dark hours with some excellent views of a superb pair of barn owls..............oh and a single  little owl hunting.

Tomorrow fox cubs are on the agenda, watch this space............ 

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