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, 6 July 2010

Cardinal Sin!

Tonight I decided to stake out site 79 at Peatling Magna, the intention was two fold, firstly I have never managed an image of an owl from this site, and secondly it needed checking out for any breeding success.

The Landrover was positioned at 7.15pm, the light was good for images and there was plenty of attractive "owl like" posts for them to land on, all that was needed now was some owls!!

After a 2 hour wait they finally emerged from their nest hole, by now the light was pretty poor but I'm not complaining, I got my first ever image, and a pair too!

The first bird then dropped down onto one of the further away posts and posed nicely, a few more images were in the can.

Then the second bird dropped down a little nearer to me and onto a post with some old string wrapped around it, again it posed nicely whilst I took a few images. 

Not being completely satisfied with the images (too far away) I decided to chance my arm and get a little closer. The Landrover was started....the owl didn't move, I drove a lot nearer and then manoeuvred into position....the owl didn't move, I fumbled around and made more noise than I'd wanted to....the owl didn't move. Blimey my luck was in tonight, this was one confiding owl, I couldn't believe how close I was. I framed the bird, waited a few seconds for it to turn and look straight down the lens and then nothing? WHAT!!!!!! Oh my god a flat battery........what a pillock, a fantastic opportunity gone! I didn't bring my spares with me, a lesson learnt and I will never, never do that again.

Oh by the way no chicks were either seen or heard.


  1. The ones that got away...I could write a book on that!
    Frustraiting business this wildlife photography, but that's what keeps us doing it.

    You didn't do too bad though Paul...These are three really nice images, especially the first.

  2. Thanks for your kind words Anthony, Im still mad with myself though........live and learn hey!!!