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, 2 September 2010

On a roll!

A late trip out tonight again proved very successful, on my quick tour around the Peatling Magna area Little Owls were seen at site No 16, 1 bird and site No 28, 1 bird heard, not bad I thought considering I was having a lazy night and doing all this from my car! As the light was drawing in I decided to call in at "owl avenue" on my way home to see which species.....if any were owl n about. 

About a mile before I got there I noticed a "typical Little Owl blob" in a roadside Ash tree, and in an area I hadn't seen one before. I pulled up and locked the bino's straight onto the blob before it disappeared, and yes yes yes.......it was an owl and a new site 123.

A characteristic blob that stands out against the "light" evening sky, similar sights like this have resulted in at least 50 of my new sites being located,  below left of the bird is the nest entrance.

Due to the time taken at the new Little Owl site I arrived later than planned at owl avenue and Little Owl site No 68. Anyhow not to be perturbed I pulled up, opened the windows and listened. First to show was a male Tawny Owl calling from the tree to my right, next was a Barn Owl that crossed in front of me hawking along the high dry grass. I'd about given up on the Little Owls showing when one appeared right in front of me on a road side fence post, sadly it was far to dark for any images........or was it??????

I turned on the car headlights to get a better view, it wasn't bothered an iota, in fact it continued to drop down onto the road, pick up a beetle or bug and return to its post. Whilst it did this I thought what the hell lets try and get an image, and this was the result. Through the (dirty) car windscreen, illuminated by the headlights, manual focusing and a shutter speed of 1 second, by no means a great image but something a little different!!!!

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