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, 9 February 2011

Window of opportunity

The lighter nights are just starting to draw out now and today I had around 30 minutes for any photographic opportunities. So after finishing work today I thought I would chance my arm and stop off at my site No 136 near to Hallaton to see if I could capture anything. No real reason to stop here, just that I was passing on the way home and it was the nearest site to where I was situated.

I'd all but given up waiting as the light had about gone when an owl showed, it popped out of the nest entrance and gave me the classic "stare". I rattled off a few shots, in hope really, I was expecting to get back home, review the images and trash the lot. But to my surprise there was a couple of "keepers" which was a real bonus considering the nearly dark conditions.

I am really pleased with the outcome of the above image, my best by a mile from this site so far, and in the worst conditions. ISO 1600, handheld and a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second. You just wouldn't believe it concidering the outcome, (well I wouldn't) the Canon 40D really is a special bit of kit!

Just before I left there was another surprise in store, a second owl emerged from the tree, previously I'd only ever seen a single bird. This is going to be a great site for photography come the breeding season, that is if they get down to it!!


  1. Superb image, Paul, and absolutely amazing, considering the shooting conditions!! For me, this is one of your best. Well done!!

  2. Agree totally, Superb image.
    Glad you are pleased with the 40D, it certainly seems to be poducing the goods after all your hard work.

  3. Thanks chaps, and to think I nearly trashed it just after taking it, glad I waited to review it until I got back!