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!!!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Hung over owling.....AGAIN!!!!

Same old story, Saturday morning and completely hung over from the alcohol abuse the night before! Not to worry, I had other plans today, making more Little Owl boxes. Come 4.0pm I'd put together 7 boxes and painted 3 of them, its was real slog and very slow going but the hangover was abating and I was starting to liven up, the sun was out, albeit spasmodically so it was time to get out there! 

This evenings expedition took me over to Willoughby to check on a few of the local sites, nothing to be seen or heard at sites 31, 22,21, 20, 60 or 45. Whats going on? To visit so many sites in succession and see nothing is quite unusual, was it something to do with my blurry vision and that I had still got my beer goggles on!!!

Anyway site No 103 came to the rescue, 2 juveniles were easy to locate as they were making a right racket with their continuous alarm calls from within the depths of an Ash tree, I never did see the birds but I did see the local moggy sneaking around underneath, obviously the reason for the owls distress.

From site 103 I decided to make my way home in the opposite direction to normal, this took me down a very narrow, muddy farm lane that only ever sees the occasional bit of farm traffic. It was very quiet, spooky quiet really, and then it happened, I was passing a farm gate that lead into an open pasture area when I spotted two Little Owls sitting on a fence post....what luck!!!!

Another new site (No 124) and again without even trying! I sat and watched them for 5 minutes or so when one of them took flight and came towards me.

The flighty owl came and landed on a fence post not 10 metres from where I was parked up. As I had my camo screen up at the Landrover window he couldn't see me......but he could hear me!  The deafening sound of the camera shutter completely killed the tranquil silence and scared him off, but not before I took advantage of the situation and rattled off some images.


  1. Well done again, Paul!! I'm starting to get jealous, as I've been out of action (so to speak) for a few days now, planning a replacement roof at the front of the house, and starting the work. Reckon I've got up to another week's worth of work to do, before I get some free time to get out owling again. I guess a roofer would do it all in a couple of days, but I wasn't going to spend the £1000 labour charges that I was quoted - it'd go a long way towards a new lens! Keep up the good work!!

  2. The level of your commitment to Little Owls is outstanding, keep up the good work mate.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys....