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, 14 December 2010

Barnie Boxing Day

Sunday morning was a day I had long been waiting for, to finally put into position the first two Barn Owl boxes. Yes this post is a little late being published but some gremlins have sneaked their way into my PC and caused havoc.

Anyway, back to the boxes. The selected area was a very quiet and private strip of land  near to Lubbesthorpe, just west of Leicester. An idea location for Barn Owl, there's a plentiful supply of narrow marginal strips around the field edges, loads of ditches and hedgerows and a small meandering stream, all in all making it an excellent hunting and breeding area for Barn Owls. Within the chosen location there is also a scattering of mature isolated trees that make superb nest box locations. 

Colin Green was again my chosen victim, no sorry my assistant for the day. Colin has been a real gem of late, he has supported my scheme with great enthusiasm and has helped with sourcing materials, making the boxes and putting them up, I guess he sort of does everything!!!! The only real downside is his singing, its not the best of quality (sort of x factor out in the first round standard) and he never stops.......arrrrghhhhh!!!

The first box, nearly complete with a "delightful" rendition of Meat Loaf and Bat Out Of Hell!!  

There was a bit of a delay taking the final picture though, Col had dropped a five pence piece and spent an age looking for it, he said he heard it drop!!!! 

In no time at all we were onto the second box, still in the same area just a few hundred yards away from the first. We have been expertly advised that a breeding pair will require a couple of boxes, one to breed in and one to roost in. 

Here you can see Col hard at it again, but note the second ladder. That was so I could go up and keep a watchful eye on the proceedings and to advise accordingly!!!

Yes I was there too, granted looking a bit of a tit in my woolly hat but it was bloody freezing. I can be seen here doing the final quality control check, I wasn't just there to take photos you know!

Box No 2 in its final resting place, fingers crossed now for some occupancy very very soon.

Again a massive thank you to everyone who has so far helped with the donations towards the boxes, it is hoped you can see we are putting it to good use????


  1. Looks like you've done a damned fine job there, young man!! Well done!!

    Is the 'basement flat' of the first shown box showing any sign of occupation?

  2. Humbling words Richard.....thank you!

    No other occupation in the second cavity just below the box, unless you are talking about the cavity in Col's backside, and I'm not checking that out!!!!!!!!

  3. Hi Paul,

    The boxes look great - good luck with them and hope they're occupied soon.

    All the best,

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