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, 7 June 2010

Rocky road to sucess!

Today is my first day of a weeks holiday, so in preparation for Andy Rouse's visit later on this week I opted  to give a local quarry a go today to see if the Little Owls would be active in the daytime. Well they were.......but only after a five hour wait!!!!

A single bird showed very well on two separate occasions for around 10 minutes each time, with hindsight I wish I had positioned my hide closer to the rock face as I think I could have gained a little more detail on my images, anyway a lesson learnt for my next visit!

Below are some of the captures from the day, double click on any image for more detail.
please enjoy.................


The image below was my favourite from the day, he landed about half way between me and the rock face, I obviously didn't put him off!

What a change it made to get some Little Owl images in different surroundings, makes a change from the normal fence posts and cavity entrances............hope you agree????


  1. I just love that last image, Paul!! I agree, that the images make a refreshing change from the normal environment - well done!!. I tried to get access to a local quarry about three weeks ago. The guy was very pleasant about it, but it was a firm "no", due to those wonderful Health & Safety people! It was a working quarry, however - perhaps I need to go to a dead one!

  2. Agree with Richard, Paul...Very unusual to see these birds in this environment and it makes for some brilliant images!

    I arrived at my local Little Owl site last week, just in time to see one bird being chased out of a barn by the farmer after he caught the Owl making off with the last of the young from a Swallows nest!

    This particular farmer, I'm affraid really has a dislike of Little Owls and just recently I've come across a few local birders who seem to resent the Little Owl because of it's introduced category C status in the UK...I really can't understand why people can't accept a species which has bred in the wild in this country for 200 years or so!

    I think they're cracking little birds and they deserve the same respect as other species of Owls.

    Keep up the great work mate...

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. Richard I haven't gain permission yet for the quarry i was in, although it is disused with only one small rock face about 50 mts long and 7 or 8 mts high. Anthony, in Leicestershire we too have lovers and haters of little Owls, thats life I suppose. I guess they are the birding equivelent to marmite, you either hate them or love them. And you can guess which camp i am in!

    Cheers both.....

  4. More great shots Rid & not a tree in sight !
    It'll be interesting to see how many images you can rustle up on your week off.

    Richard, maybe a better chance of getting access on evenings / weekends - go see the security guard, they are very often bored to tears & enjoy the craic.

    Anthony, interesting to hear about the Swallows - have had this on consecutive years at one farm, although i have yet to come across anyone who doesnt share our admiration of Littles !