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, 14 March 2011

A Waiting Game

As mentioned in my previous post, this afternoon (Sunday) I went out to erect the ninth Barn Owl box of the weekend, I had the best of intentions.....honestly, but when neither Col or Daz would answer my phone call I decided to leave it for another day!

As it was a gloriously sunny afternoon there was only one thing to do, go find some owls. I headed over to the eastern side of my Little Owl monitoring area to an take advantage of the fact that I had recently gained permission to drive my Landrover in the fields of two recently found territories, sites No 153 & 154.

At site 154 near to the village of Glooston I located an owl sitting out sunbathing on a wood pile, I got this distant shot of it before I edged a little closer. 

I got to within about 30 feet and parked up, in the meantime the owl had disappeared! After a few minutes of scanning the nearby trees and hedgerows I spotted it again, still in the woodpile. It had snuggled down behind some timber but in a vantage point where it could keep a close eye on me.

Eventually, well an hour to be exact it finally had the confidence to pop out from its hiding place. This gave me a chance to get an improved image without any other distracting branches or wood in the way.

It didn't show itself for long though, after all that bloody waiting it only sat there in full view for around 30 seconds. Would you believe it, a fellow Landrover driver came bombing along the nearby hedgerow at a good 30 mph and scared it off, what an idiot!

It didn't go far though, it soon settled down again only this time underneath an old lorry trailer. I did however have a bit of a bonus whilst doing all my waiting, my first sighting of a second Little Owl at this location, great news and another site for me to monitor for any breeding successes in a couple of months.

The next site I went to was No 153 near to Cranoe, I just knew the owls would be out in the sun, but locating them was another matter! I just wasn't going to give up and after an absolute age I eventually located them hiding in the twisted Ivy on the nest tree.

I sat and waited for two hours for some better views but all the time I was there they never budged, in the end the light faded and I gave up!


  1. must have been dialing the wrong number mate hahaha

  2. Yeh I rekkon both you and Daz must have changed your numbers!!!!;-)
    Even tried ringing the samaritans......they didn't answer either!!!