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, 5 December 2010

A fine pair of whoppers!

After what seems an age my Barn Owl box project gathered some significant momentum today, after all the fund raising, meetings with other projects and site surveys Colin Green and myself finally got down to work making the first two boxes, it was bitterly cold, so cold in fact that the wood preserve had frozen! So being indoors was a must, thankfully my good mate Paul Taylor kindly let us use his engineering shop for the morning.

Work got underway around 10.00am, Colin was straight into it with great eagerness, and his speed didn't let up at all for the whole morning, as long as the coffee kept coming that is!!  

Doing the marking out.   

Yes I was confused as well, but I dare not ask!!!

Man on a mission.......Cutting out.

The assembly starts.

Looking good now, Colin screwing the final pieces together.

Yours truly slapping on the wood stain.

A few hours later they were completed, a fine pair of whoppers.

It had been a good productive morning although it took a little longer than we anticipated, I'm sure the next few we make will take half the time. A couple more coats of wood preserve will be slapped on during the week and then all being well both boxes will be put up next weekend. These are just the first two boxes of many, and these wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for all the kind folk who have made donations or purchased one of my Little Owl calendars, your help is very much appreciated, a MASSIVE thank you from both Colin and myself........and of course the Owls! 

Whilst on the drive back home a suspicious looking blob was seen in a roadside tree, after a quick emergency stop and reverse we got out to investigate further. Oh yes a Little Owl and new site No 137!!!

Sadly I didn't have my zoom lens with me today so no close up image was possible, I had to do with taking this image from the car, can you see the owl?

This is the same image as above but the centre portion has been blown up, really poor quality I know but the head and shoulders of the owl can just be made out on the right hand side of the hole in the centre of the image.

I wasn't going to improve on the Little Owl image with the kit I'd got with me so it was time to go, just as I got back into the car a Barn Owl flew straight across in front of me, OMG!!!!! In an instant I jumped out and rattled off a few shots before it disappeared into a nearby wood.

Sadly all I got of the Barn Owl was this distant rear end view

What with new Little Owl & Barn Owl sites at the same location, guess where I will be going soon........?


  1. Is it worth a Riddle & Green box mate

  2. Deffo Col, we'll sus it out next week maybe?

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