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!!!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Site 108!!!

More checking for signs of Little Owl chicks last night, three more sites produced the goods.

Firstly, there was two out of the nest at site No 75 at Peatling Parva, again I located them by sitting quietly within the vicinity of the nest site and listening. After a twenty minute wait the characteristic "hissing" was heard and they were soon located in a nearby oak tree.

I did managed an image of both Juveniles but unfortunately only this one was usable.

The second location that came up trumps was site No 45 at Willoughby Waterleys. Sadly only one young bird was seen at this site....so far!! But the good news is this was the site that I dismissed at being productive this year as I saw a Weasel was seen coming out of the nest entrance a few weeks ago!

The final location that confirmed breeding success was site No 103 at Willoughby Waterleys, and this turned out to be quite a surprise! Previously I had only ever seen a single Little Owl at this site, again it was seen as I drove up the lane. It was sitting on a broken limb in a Weeping Ash (apparently this type of tree is quite rare!!) it sat motionless as I managed a few images, my best of this bird so far.

Just after I bumped into the local land owner (Dave) and we got talking "Little Owls". He had seen the local owls and he was sure there was a pair....and they had young!!!   After a refreshing beer and a tour of his nest boxes (thank you Dave) I was compelled to go back and investigate further. I drove back to the Weeping Ash tree and parked up, by now it was 10.30pm and dark, so seeing the owls was an almost impossibility. So it was a waiting and listening game, and I didn't have to wait long! Out of the silence came a hissing,  once my eyes had become adjusted to the darkness I was able to make out 3 Little Owl silhouettes up high in a tree, 2 adults and 1 juvenile, Dave was right, there was a pair and they had a youngster!!!!

During the evening search I also stopped off at few other sites where only adult birds were seen, I did managed this atmospheric image at site No 19, hopefully chicks here on my next visit? 

And finally, some more good news from last night, Little Owl site No 108 was located, a new site for me over at Gilmorton. He was located sitting in a Pear Tree but I wasn't ready and sadly no photo, that is until my next visit!!!!

As usual, double click on any image for a larger more detailed version.


  1. I have just seen a Little Owl for the first time.
    Aren't they lovely. Your pictures are really great.

  2. Thanks Bob, I recall seeing my first about 2 1/2 years ago, look where it has got me now!!!
    Becareful, the bug can bite!