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!!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

No head for heights!

Little Owl boxes 31-34 went up on Saturday, all around the parish of Lubbesthorpe, this parkland and pasture area is only a mile or so west of  a major retail park and industrial area. It has the M1 motorway bordering the eastern side and the north and south areas are dissected by another motorway, the M69. Believe it or not this is actually a superb area for owls, Little, Barn and Tawny are all regularly seen here.

Today I had yet another assistant in tow, "Big Phil" but unlike on previous occasions where "the guest" would always go up the ladders and secure the box Phil decided this time it would be ME who would be going up the ladders............WHAT!!!!!!!!!

Phil wasn't listening to my pathetic pleas of having vertigo and just generally being an idle sod, so reluctantly here I am "up the ladder" having just secured the 1st box of the day! 

2nd box of the day, a really nice position in a Oak Tree.

The 3rd location of the day was again in an Oak Tree, but unlike the 2 previous boxes which weren't put up too high this one was ridiculous,  when up there and looking down it felt as though I was at least a 100 feet up, although the perspective of the photo doesn't show it!

Holding on for dear life whilst doing my posing bit!

In contrast to the previous "high" box the 4th location was the lowest of the day, although still just as dangerous!!!

When possible the box will have a branch below the entrance hole, this assists the juveniles when leaving and returning to the box, this wasn't possible on the 4th box so one was created and attached to the side of the box, as can be seen in this final image. 

Another productive day with four more boxes erected, tally now at 34 so far this year, cheers for your help Phil. As can be seen all the boxes today were green in colouration, I'm still not sure what colour the next batch will be so please don't forget to vote in my poll, you can do this at the top right hand side of my blog............thanks!

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