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, 7 December 2010

Go check em out!

This lark of finding new Little Owl sites is becoming ridiculously easy, well over the last few days it has anyway! The weather conditions are as perfect as you could possibly wish for, bitter freezing cold nights and clear sunny morning. Little Owls love the morning sun, and especially so during the harsh conditions they are experiencing at present. 

So it was time to put into practised what I've been preaching! 

Today work took me out towards Coventry and I knew of a very likely looking Little Owl site en route at Sharnford. I have stopped off here dozens of times but never seen anything. The site comprises of a roadside tumbled down brick shack, lush hedgerows and a nice scattering of mature Ash trees with pasture land on all sides.  If an owl lived in the area today was the day to see it?

The brick shack.

As I approached the shack I could see the far side was drenched in the morning sun, this was obviously where I needed to look. I slowed down to around 5mph and gave it the once over........nothing!!!! I wasn't going to give up that easy, I turned around and drove back, this time I could see all the nook and crannies a resident owl would likely be......and he was!

He was sitting on the top of a wall soaking up the morning rays, oh these Little Owls are so predicable! I continued to drive past about a hundred yards or so and pulled up, out came the camera and down with the window. On the second time of passing I stopped right next to the shack, he was still there but alert of my presence.

My first image of an owl from site No 138.

He was very alert for the first few minutes I was there but he soon became comfortable with my presence and got on with his sun bathing. He did however have the odd look around at me, just to make sure I didn't get any closer.

After ten minutes of good views and plenty of images in the bag he disappeared into the shack, I didn't hang around for him to come out, there was work to be done!

Do you have a potential Little Owl site? If so now is the time to check it out!


  1. Oh my goodness...your owl photos are incredible! I've just been looking through past posts. You're an Owl Whisperer!

  2. Thank you so much for a great day out today mate. I had a brilliant time and got some good images:)