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, 3 January 2011

Man Flu Owling!

As with all males of the species when we come down with the likes of man flu we don't make a big fuss about it, we just get on with what needs to be done, hmmmmmm!!!!! So with that last thought in mind I topped myself up with all the required pills and potions and got out owling again.

I wanted to get the month off to a flyer with my Little Owl sightings and so to keep the owlometer ticking over I chose to visit a couple of very reliable sites near  to Peckleton.

First port of call was site No 6, here a solitary owl was located sitting at the nest entrance, I had to make do with a distant image taken from the Landrover, I couldn't possibly get out and walk with my terrible ailments!

The second sighting of the morning was at site No 42, again I had to be satisfied with distant viewing and images from the comfort of the Landrover (not only was I still feeling rough but bloody idle too!) As can be seen the resident owl was located sitting at the nest entrance, sadly it still hasn't been tempted to relocate to the nest box I erected, if you look closely the twig I positioned at the entrance hole is still in place, the dam things haven't even had the courtesy to have a look inside..........how rude!!  

An owl was also seen at site No 99, no image though as my arms were by now aching so much I couldn't even lift my camera, dam man flu, but I'm not complaining.......much! During the afternoon most of the sites I visited didn't yield any owls, the weather wasn't the best for good viewing though, or, maybe it was because my eyes were hurting so much I couldn't see them?

However, I was to find out later there wasn't much wrong with my eyes and they were working fine. I decided that prior to dusk I would check out a good looking roadside orchard in Ashby Parva, I'd passed it on many occasions and always thought it looked "owly". I parked up in a good vantage point where I could see most of the trees. After 30 minutes of waiting the light had all but gone and nothing was seen, then I heard the territorial call of a Little Owl,  BINGO another new site!!!! I could just make out its silhouette in a apple tree just along the lane, I drove alongside and luckily it hung around long enough for me to obtain an image, albeit withthe aid of flash, hence the red eyes. 

New site 141. 

What a smashing start, the new year is only 3 days old and I have a new site already, bring on 2011!


  1. Cheers Stevie, thanks for being a valued contributor.