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, 30 August 2010

120 & 77.

My very late search for more juveniles proved fruitful today, another 5 located across 2 sites today takes the 2010 total to an incredible 77. But the good news doesn't finish there, there was also an added bonus of another two brand new Little Owl sites taking the overall tally to 120 in just 2 years..........a mere 100 more sites than my original target of 20 in 3 years!!!!!!

The first new site (No 119) was just outside the village of Kilby, a very vocal bird but I wasn't able to locate its exact location for the purpose of a photo due to the heavy foliage it was hiding in, I will return!

The second new site of the day (No 120) was just outside the village of Slawston, after a long wait the potential site produced the goods when 2 juveniles showed, unfortunately one of them was very camera shy, nevertheless its sibling made up for that and showed really well in a variety of poses and locations.

A very showy bird at what I think must be the nest entrance.

It went up high in the tree but still kept its eye on me.

After a while it's confidence grew and it came down to feed from the fence posts.

Bloody hell then it landed right in front of me, I had to zoom out otherwise I wouldn't of been able to fit it into the view finder. The light wasn't good (sun from behind the subject) but it wasn't difficult to capture the birds detail when your taking an image from about 6 feet!!

On the way home I made a detour to site No 9 at Welham, this was my first check for juveniles at this site this year, luckily I knew where to look and as it happens it wasn't too late............3 were located on a distant wall. My patience paid off when one of them came over to check me out, as you can perhaps gather from the image it was very vocal and not best pleased of my presence...... I was glad of his though! 

The 2010 tally keeps ticking over, that's now 77 juveniles across 36 sites.


  1. Good work Paul - thats a fair owld tally now.

    last week in August / First in Sept is when i often get the first roaming juvs on the rooftops in our street.

    We've had a succesful pr breed in a box thats been up 3 year - the location is the self-same place as that which produced the very first County Dham record of Little Owl back in 1918.

  2. Amazing, Paul!! How the hell are you going to monitor all these in the coming years? I'm still stuck on 14 sites, but last night I re-located the bird found at my No.14 site on 21st Aug.

  3. Stevie, "On your roof top!!!!" jesus that must be superb, if that happend here I wouldn't have to go out searching, i'd save a fortune on fuel for the landrover.
    My first breeding pair that took to a box was 2010, by my calculations it will be the year 2102 before I can equal your Durham site, and I'll be 136 years old!!!!

  4. Richard, I haven't got a clue!! I'd struggle even if I did it full time, I wonder if there is anyone out there who would like to pay me for doing it???