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, 21 November 2010

Good things come in 3's!

Yesterday was horrid damp and overcast and really good for nothing apart from maybe sitting in the pub and watching the footie.! However, during the day I had three good pieces of fortune. The first "good thing" came after fruitless visits to several sites and seeing nothing I then stumbled across a tiny oasis deep in the south of Leicestershire where the cloud broke for a while and the sun managed to break through. 

I was at site No 34 near to Gilmorton and the resident pair of owls were out sitting in the nest tree.

Owl No 1, the female.

The female again.

The male bird.

All was going well, both owls were relaxed with my presence as I leaned out of the car window snapping away, we all seemed to be making the most of this little pocket of sunshine. Then all of a sudden the male bird squawked out his alarm call and they both flashed out of sight and into the nest hole!!! How bizarre, I couldn't work out why they had done that? I'd made no sudden movements and the area was deathly silent!!

Then I understood, in the adjacent field we had a visitor, a buzzard had moved in and landed on a nearby fence post. Even though it was a good 50 yards away the Little Owls were having none of it and scarpered!!!

An unwelcome visitor! 

The untimely arrival of the Buzzard put paid to seeing the owls for a while so it was time to move on back into the gloom. I finally arrived at a farm in Lubbesthorpe, I was greeted by the landowner and the second "good thing" happened. He was aware of my up and coming Barn Owl box project and wanted to support it, to the tune of £100.00, what a result and what an absolutely fantastic gesture!!!

The third and final piece of "good luck" occurred whilst myself and the land owner walked across one of his fields to check out a Little Owl box I put up a few weeks ago in a solitary Oak Tree. As we stood under the tree looking up at the box a Little Owl popped out and flew off! Fantastic, another new site (No 134) and it was using my box, sadly no images as I had left the camera in the car!

The box in question (taken at time of erection).

What a superb day, my luck eventually ran out though, the lottery tickets I purchased on the way home proved to be a waste of money!!!!!

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