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!!!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Home bound bonus!

Today for the first time over the Xmas period I managed to get out for a few hours, not a good choice though as it was a cold, damp and foggy day, not very conductive for seeing owls!

Anyhow, during my rounds I visited a good 10 sites and sadly owls were only seen at two. The first sighting was of a sleepy Little Owl located hiding in a conifer bush at site No 11 near to Claybrook Magna.

All the time I was there it never moved, it just sat and stared!

The second owl located was at site No 99 near to Barwell, it obviously wasn't too keen on me and the noisy Landrover as it kept partially hidden, a good siting though as I haven't seen birds at this site since April.

Although the weather was poor it was still concerning just how few owls were seen, I am hoping that this isn't a sign that the bad weather has taken its toll on my local owl population?

During my days travels this very handsome Nuthatch was seen, too good an opportunity not to grab a few close up images.

As the light was fading fast and the fog coming down (again!)  I'd given up hope of seeing any more owls and decided to call it a day. As I headed home through a local village what greeted me in a roadside tree in a local residents front garden was just magic..........Waxwings, and loads of them!!

The Landrover was quickly positioned and a good 20 minutes viewing and photography was had. They were great to watch but a nightmare to try and get a decent image of, these are a few of the better images I managed.  

In total I counted 19 different Waxwings whilst there, the residents informed me that had been up to 50 present and they had been around for a couple of weeks. Good news that the tree in question is still laden with berry's (not sure what kind though?) so as soon as the sun is shining............I'll be back! 


  1. Hi Paul. Well done with the Waxwings. The Waxies local to me were on the same sort of berries. I asked around and it seems that it is an ornamental variety of Rowan = Mountain Ash (Sorbus). It seems, from talking to other people, that this pink-berried form is particularly attractive to Waxies. I shall probably be looking for one when I next visit a garden centre!

  2. Hi Richard, thanks for that info, didn't know you were an expert in such fields, i'm very impressed!!