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!!!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Owl Magnet!

Work found me up in Manchester today, when finished I decided rather than battle my way back on the motorways with all the bumper to bumper morons doing 90mph I'd take a more scenic route through the Peak District......And what a good decision it turned out to be!!! 

I was taking my time taking in the glorious views when I reached the Staffs/Derbyshire boarder, I was busting to go to the loo so I pulled off down a country lane to find somewhere nice and secluded so I could attend the call of nature!

Just before a village called Flash (incidentally the highest village in Britain)  I pulled into a nice gateway and whilst admiring the views I got on with the job in hand!  Just below me was an old stone building, and you are not going to believe what happened next, calling from the barn was a........LITTLE OWL!!!!!!! 

Luckily I had the inclination to load the camera before I left this morning so it was out in a "flash" (did you get the pun???? dohhhh!!) and with camera in hand I started a slow walk down towards the building. Then I spotted it for the first time on top of the old chimney stack, it was difficult to get a good exposure due to the horrid white sky but a record shot was in the can!

It didn't seem to like how near I was and flew off to a nearby fence post, although a little distant I was able to capture this more atmospheric image.

I went back to the car and drove it a little further down the lane and pulled up. It wasn't long before the owl returned to the building roof, along with its mate!!

Its like I'm an owl magnet at the moment, every where I go just lately I seem to be bumping into them! However, it was amazing to see Little Owls somewhere else rather than in Leicestershire, a very unexpected and lucky encounter, albeit a brief one!!


  1. Wonderful photography!
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  2. Nice to see you can locate 'em off your patch - looks a nice bit of country there.

    for us "going" in the bushes is a very well known method for locating asio otus.

    i bet you were so busy looking for that calling bird, that you dribbled on your shoes . . . .

  3. Stevie, the countryside was glorious, so different from Leicestershire. Only ever seen 2 asio otus, still waiting for an invite to see the ones up in the north east!
    Yep the shoes were damp!

  4. Wow!.. so many "Harry Potter" birds here! ;)