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, 18 November 2010

Lucky Seven!

Another new Little Owl territory was located tonight, taking my overall tally to 133 sites. It was located in pitch darkness down a muddy farm track in the middle of nowhere. Due to not being able to see my hand in front of my face the method I employed tonight was "playback". A laborious method of location that requires a lot of patience and very good hearing.

I selected an area that I hadn't visited before and therefore no previous owl records, it was as isolated as you can get near to where I live and far away from any light and noise pollution. I drove the Landrover right to the end of the track and turned around. The slow drive back found me stopping every 2/300 yards, I then played my Little Owl recording at the predetermined duration and within the protocol advised. It was then a matter of waiting to see if there was any response and on the seventh stop I got one!!!! The single owl called back on several occasions and at one point came very close but unfortunately I never saw it.

I will return again soon, only this time it will be in the daylight so I can have a good look around the area and maybe locate the nest tree and then maybe........some images?????


  1. Great to hear! I hope you will see the Little Owl soon and that you get the opportunity to make a picture of it!