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!!!

Friday, 25 February 2011

GOT HIM......again!

This evening I made a return visit to see if I could eclipse last nights brilliant encounter with the LEO (Long Eared Owl). I was on location just a bit earlier than last night so I needed to make the most of what available light there was if I was to get an improved image.

So tracking down the bird in its daytime roost was going to be one hell of a job, just where do you start? The site is massive, trees, hedgerow and scrub everywhere! Well, having gained some invaluable advise from "Stevie LEO Evans" on locating methods he suggested to start my search near to where I last saw it.

Therefore I started looking in the dense undergrowth near to where I was parked last night, I'd gone no further than 30 yards when I found what I was looking for, loads of white wash (bird poo) on the ground and on the above branches and twigs. Surely this was it? Viewing into the hedgerow proved very difficult and after 10 minutes of careful scanning it produced nothing! I moved on, and after another few yards I came across another load of white wash that also offered no LEO. Another few yards on and another load, this was starting to become a bit tedious and at this rate I could be here for hours.

Then I got really lucky, I was drawn to a slight movement deep in the Hawthorne, there was a blob, a big blob! I moved around cautiously whilst trying penetrate my vision deep into the bush, was it? wasn't it, I wasn't sure, then our eyes met, what a fantastic experience........LEO!!!!!

I managed the daytime image I was after, a bit obscured by all the twigs but the most important thing was I got those piercing blood orange eyes.

So as not to disturb the bird too much I made a quick retreat once the image was in the can. I continued the search for another 20 minutes to see if there were anymore in the area but nothing else was found. An absolutely brilliant experience and one I will never ever forget.

Thanks for the help Stevie. 


  1. Brilliant, you must be well pleased what a great find.

  2. you do realise you've put a blog post out without mentioning LITTLE OWL !

    Great stuff Rid, im over the moon for ya.

  3. Great
    I would love to see one of these, but never succeeded
    Well done

  4. Nice shot mate,thanks for Sat evening really enjoyed it