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!!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Month off to a flyer!!!!

What a super start to the month, two more Little Owl territories located tonight that now takes my overall tally to 122! I was checking out site No 18 over at Hinckley, only 1 bird heard calling there (of unknown age), after a good half hours wait I decided that it wasn't going to show for any photo's so it was time to move on. I'd only driven for a few minutes down the lane when I chanced upon another superb looking area that just oozed owls! Open fields/paddocks, boarded by a nice thick hedgerow, loads of low fence posts and a couple of very nice looking mature Ash trees. I sat quietly giving the general area the once over when I heard an owl calling from beyond the hedgerow, I couldn't believe my luck! A 30 minute wait then produced the goods as it showed. No images were possible due to the dam branches in the way but hey ho another new site!

During my rounds I stopped off at Site No 22 near to Whetstone Gorse, although very distant both adults were out and sitting in the nest tree getting some late evening sun. Can you see them both in this image?  

I then moved over to the adjacent paddock at site No 22 where the juvs are normally located and true to form they were there again, all 3 of them! The light by now was pretty crappy but I did managed this one distant effort of one of the juvs sitting in a xmas tree.

The next new site (No 122) was located at Whetstone Gorse West, here I was driving along a real narrow lane when an owl landed on top of a telegraph pole 20 yards in front of me. It was calling out loud and making a right old racket, then to my astonishment it was joined by a second bird!, both adults. They then vanished as quick as they had appeared, I've previously checked this area time and time again and nothing, just goes to show how secretive they really can be.

Not a bad evenings owling, with birds also being seen at site  96 x 1, site 39 x 1 and site 53 x 2 making a tally of 13, hope that number doesn't prove to be unlucky!!!!!!


  1. " . . . . when I finally reach my 100th site the searching will stop and . . . "

    When you finally reach how many . . . ? ;-)

  2. Yes, good point Stevie, what a load of crap it was saying that, I must change the wording! It's in the blood now, I can't stop now. I'm even finding them when I'm not searching! Mind you its time better spent than bumming about watching TV or keeping the MRS happy doing the DIY tasks, although I must say her list is getting longer by the day!!!!!

    New target......123 sites......!???;-)))))

  3. I'm astounded! I can see you reaching the 200 mark before I reach 20! Well done!!