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

A Day With The Plumber

Whoopee a couple of days off work!!!! Today (Tuesday) will be spent doing a bit of crimbo shopping and DIY.....brilliant!!!! But yesterday was my day and I was going to do what I wanted! Owling was of course on the agenda, but where and with whom?

I have recently been exchanging emails and text messages with an old mate Ben Harrold who I first met a couple of years ago whilst out at a Short Eared Owl site in Northamptonshire. Ben, or......."Ben The Plumber" as he is better known to his birding circles friends is renowned for his excellent images he regular posts on Birdguides.  

Ben has been asking for a while now if he could accompany me during one of my days out "Owling" to see if he could improve on his own owl images. Now as I was off work yesterday it was the perfect opportunity for us to catch up and hopefully see some owls, there was only one snag......he was car less! Unperturbed I offered to go over and pick him up and then take him out.

The as we drove off from Ben's house we passed a very aptly name public house " The Barn Owl"........the omens looked good!!!

On arriving back at my patch it seemed the lucky omen of earlier seemed to be going against us, the weather was abysmal, foggy, rainy and very cold......not good for seeing owls!

However, during the day we went from site to site and eventually as the weather improved slightly as did seeing a few owls, Ben did managed a few images of the closer birds.

I only managed to photograph two owls during the day, this one at Whetstone at site No 32, a little distant but good to see as they have been keeping a real low profile just recently.

The second image of the day that I managed was at site No 88 near to Enderby, we had some really close and extended views and I am very pleased with the outcome.

All in all we saw 10 birds at 7 different sites, not a great return but not bad considering the awful conditions. Ben managed a few more images than me and hopefully these will be posted later today (Tuesday Dec 14th). You too can see how Ben's images turned out by logging onto Birdguides and then onto the photo page which is called "IRIS" or take the short cut by following this link..... BIRDGUIDES.


  1. Thank you so much for a brilliant day out mate. I had a great time going from site to site off road in your Land Rover.... I got my best ever views and images of Little Owls and enjoyed every second of the day :) I got to see first hand the great work you do for the Owls in your county and the time and dedication you put in to look after them.

  2. Urghh! Greene King - worst beers in the world barring Bud.