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!!!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Late additions!

Whilst out working today I knew my travels would take me past a site No 40 over at Thornton, as I hadn't had time to check this location so far this breeding season, I decided to take my camera with me just in case!

Around midday I pulled up in the gateway and viewed the nest tree from the car, this location is a perfect example of what  Little Owl's seem to prefer, open countryside, plenty of hedgerows in the area, a mature nesting tree with plenty of cavities that stands in total isolation (not a wooded area).

The perfect tree.

I gave the tree a once over with the binoculars but nothing could be seen, I must note that this tree is a good 100 yards from the road so seeing them from that kind of distance can be difficult. Not to be perturbed I walked across the field camera in hand to get a closer look. From about 50 yards I picked up a movement on the right hand side of the main trunk, could that be an owl??? I sat down and waited, and it wasn't long before my suspicions were confirmed, a pair of juveniles!!!!

View from 50 yards, can you see them?

Although they both seemed inquisitive of my appearance they were holding their ground. I then chanced my arm and tried to get a little closer, unfortunately at about 25 yards the first one decided enough was enough and flew off, the second held fast.

The braver of the two from around 25 yards.

Superb result and another 2 juveniles recorded for this year, this late addition takes the 2010 tally to 61 juveniles across 28 sites.

My appitite had been whetted by the juveniles earlier in the day so a very late run out in the landrover was in order at last light tonight. I was only out for around 30 mins but that was long enough for me to see 1 Tawny Owl and 3 Little Owls, the first 2 Little Owls were known birds at established territories but the third bird which flew across the road in front of me was a new one in an area I had never made a sighting before...........come on in site No 112!!!!

1 comment:

  1. That last image is super, Paul. Pity you couldn't get even closer, but these juvs do seem to be a tad nervous compared to the adults.