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!!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Life is good!

What a hectic and industrious time I have been having since my lost post, here is a quick catch up of the last few days!

Saturday Col was on my doorstep knocking me up at 8.00am with yet another delivery of timber for us to make another 10 Barn Owl boxes. It was a very slow start to the day for me as I was still feeling the effects of the gallon of beer from the night before! But by 9.00am I was starting to come round and the production was at full speed, I think the two of cups of tea and a brace of bacon rolls helped bring me back to life. The marking out and cutting up of the timber went without a hitch, and by 1.00pm the 10 sheets of 8ft x 2ft timber had been reduced to a huge pile of ready to assemble boxes.

Just as Col was departing Daz turned up ready for the afternoons task of erecting a couple of  Little Owl boxes, en route we passed this roadside Little Owl sitting on top of a traffic sign, can you see him?

The owl then dropped down onto a roadside post offering a better photo opportunity.

We continued on our way but Daz was soon asking me to pull over again, he wanted to check out an old farm building to see if there was any evidence of owls, oh and to also attend the call of nature, talk about killing 2 birds with 1 stone!!

Daz after his deed was done, and no owls!

The 2 Little Owl boxes were put up without any problems, apart from that is I forgot to take any images!

Later in the day we visited my newest Little Owl territory near to Fleckney (site 161) that I located one evening last week, the intention was to try and locate the nest tree and get some images of the owls......we failed on both counts!! But during our drive around this as yet unsearched area a new Little Owl territory was located.......GET IN THERE SITE No 162, we also located the nest tree and I got an image of the owl!!!! It flew across us as we were driving around the edge of a field and landed in a pond side bush, not a great image but an image never the less.

A distant Little Owl at site No 162.

Sunday found me gardening and making visits to and from the local tip for most of the day, eventually though when all the work was done I did finally manage to get a "pass out" for a couple of hours. I decided to go "owl n abouting" in the Enderby area and looking back at some of the images I managed it was a worthy visit.

Little Owl site No 142, my closest view yet!

Nice light and nice pose at site No 88. 

I am still after that dam elusive "owl in flight image" and this I think is one of my better attempts and not too far away from what I desire. It would have been much better if the owl had been closer as the image had to be cropped too much for my liking losing that extra bit of quality and sharpness.

After dozens of visits to site No 88, I finally located the nest hole!

This evening (Monday) it was great to finish work knowing there was still at least a couple of hours of good light left to exploit. And tonight I had plans, I had been invited over to the village of Great Glen to meet Becky who had Little Owls living in her back garden, how cool is that!!!

En route I made a quick stop off at my site No 11 and one of the resident owls was soon located in one of its favourite perching spots.

Peek a boo!

I finally arrived at Beckie's and once the formal intro's were out of the way we soon found ourselves standing underneath the nest tree deep in "owl conversation. We'd only been standing there a few minutes when one of the owls flew out of the nest hole and into a nearby tree........ GET IN THERE SITE No 163!!!!!

Becky has very kindly agreed to me returning and setting up my hide near the nest tree in an attempt to get some better images of the adults and hopefully some juveniles in a couple of months.

My first image of an owl at site No 163. 

It has been a super few days owling wise, more Barn Owl boxes are on the way, 2 more Little Owl boxes are up, 2 new owl territories found,  improved light, longer days, some great images attained, and I've met some really nice people along the way........................life is good!


  1. Absolutely superb,Paul!!! I particularly like the image of the pair at Site No. 88. Well done!

  2. Hi Paul. Sorry I missed you last night, I am the other(human)resident at site 163. Such an amazing picture, thank you so much for coming. Some very possitive comments on our blog about your photo.


  3. Looks like you have had a great few days Paul. Your photography is getting better by the week!!!!

  4. Richard & Ben, cheers for your comments guys, the better light makes life a lot easier.

    ZH, And i'm sorry that I missed you too! I'm sure it won't be long before we meet though, just try and keep me away from your Little Owls!