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!!!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A Day Of Firsts.

A full day out owling with Daz today provided a few "firsts"

The first owl sighting of the day was at site No 136 near to Hallaton, it was located sheltering out of the bitterly cold wind just inside it's nest entrance. Only an average image but the best from this site so far.

The second owl sighting was at site No 145 near to Drayton, this Little Owl location was only found a couple of weeks ago and today was my first return visit. The owl was again located roosting up inside an old barn and this is my first ever image.

The next "first" of the day was at site No 139 near to Sutton Bassett, a single bird was located here in December and today was my first sighting since then. I was in luck too as today I made my first sighting of the second bird and whilst there I also managed my first ever images of the owls.

Owl No 1  

Owl No 2

Several other known owl sites were also visited during the day but nothing showing at these, maybe due to poor weather? Whilst out we also followed up a couple of potential leads for  Little Owl sites following the article in the Leicester Mercury. The good old folk of Leicestershire had very kindly informed me of them but sadly nothing was showing at either location, albeit I must admit they both looked very owly and I will return.

Right at the end of the day we found ourselves parked up down a country lane near to  the village of Walton and not too far away from my newest site No 148 that was located last week. It was here that we had our final owl encounter of the day. We sat quietly in the landrover with the windows wound down listening intently for any signs of activity. And then it happened, a Little Owl's call broke the silence, our first encounter at this  location and new site No 149, get in there!!!  After a while a second owl joined in and the pair of them made a right old racket from the obvious comfort of an old Ash Tree that was situated just off the road down a dirt track. We then made our first sighting when one of them landed on top of a public footpath sign right in front of the landrover, great views but sadly it was too dark for an image doohhh!!! 

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