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!!!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Heading South!

Work took me south today, and rather than take the "rat racing, featureless"  main roads I decided to opt for an alternative route out of Leicestershire along the more picturesque rural lanes, and what a good decision it turned out to be!

Not too far past the village of Walcote a Little Owl was spotted sitting in a roadside tree, get in there new site No 143!! I'd learnt from previous times when I'd seen owls on my travels and didn't have my camera with me so luckily today it was on board, thank goodness!

I soon turned the car around and positioned it in a way that I could attain a picture, a very obliging owl too. Once I'd got a couple of record shots in the bag I inched the car nearer and nearer until I was right under its nose (or beak if you want to be technical or bill if you want to be really technical!!). 

Owl No 1

Feeling elated that I'd knocked off another new site (and my most southern one to date) it was time to get on with the days work, just as I was pulling away a movement higher in the tree caught my eye, yahooo a second owl! 

Owl No 2

From where the owls were positioned in the tree (above and below a cavity facing the road) I suspect this to be the nest entrance, if so I am hopeful of some really good juvenile images come the breeding season.

Considering what a good start I have had to the new year, 3 new Little Owl sites already I have decided to increase my Leicestershire target to 200 sites in 5 years, hmmmmm a bit over ambitious maybe, is it possible???


  1. Fantastic images Paul. You can clearly see a difference in both colour & markings.

  2. What an amazing blog! Brilliant pictures of an amazing animal.

  3. Oh wow! What a gorgeous pic that first one is. I am an owl fan whatever the species but there is definitely something special about the little owl. Thank you for following my blog. I like to use owls as an inspiration for my crafting as well as watching them in the wild. I volunteer at my local falconry centre and am lucky to come into close contact with several owls and am always amazed at their beauty.

  4. Thank you to you all for your kind comments....Paul.

  5. Upea ja komea pöllö kuvassa.
    Aivan mielenkiintoinen blogi.

  6. Brilliant photography,lots to love.

  7. Just love your mission - and your pics too!

  8. Cheers and thanks for your supportive comments Seijastina, JR & Sue and Errol....

  9. Ithink 200 plus mate the way your finding them

  10. Wow! Very cool blog. I love birds but have seen only a few Owls since I have been birding... very cool group of birds. Wonderful pictures!