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!!!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Lucky for some....13!!!!!

With the recent poor weather the erecting of my Barn Owl boxes has fallen well behind plan and it is now a race against time to get as many up as possible prior to this years breeding season.

Today (sat 5th March) I was out again and Daz was in tow giving me some much appreciated help (I'd given Col the weekend off!). 1st site was over near to the village of Peatling Magna, a huge area of grassy pasture land that is just perfect for Barn Owls, although I am not aware of any here......yet?

Daz doing his bit.

Nice hey!

The 2nd box was erected in a very isolated derelict barn neat to Saddington, an idyllic location with an abundance of hunting areas. As with the 1st site there is no evidence that Barn Owls frequent these pastures, but that's the whole point of what I'm trying to do, maybe one day?

The box inside the barn, all that's needed now is an owl!

For the 3rd box we met up with Andy Smith (Charnwood Ringers) over at Thornton, this location is just magic! Andy knows of previous breeding successes by Barn Owls in the area, lets just hope they take a fancy to our box this year.

What a brilliant tree, it was just meant to have a box on it!

The 4th site was near to Thurlaston, I have seen Barn Owls here on previous occasions and they successfully bred in a natural nest site site back in 2009. A nearby derelict barn that was used by the owls for daytime roosting is currently being converted into a dwelling, so lets hope the box offers them a reason to hang around.

It wasn't until the box was up that I realised the bottom hadn't been treated with wood preserve, good job I had some with me, what a plonker! 

Not quite the barn that they have been use to but not a bad substitute?

The 5th and final box of the day was erected near to Broughton Astley, no previous evidence of Barn Owls here but a very nice location never the less. If any Barnies move in they will have my Little Owls at site No 35 as neighbours as they nest in the next tree.

A bit of fun as the day comes to an end! 

How could any self respecting owl refuse this site......just perfect!

So that's now 13 Barn Owl boxes up which is great news but nowhere near my set target of 40 before the breeding season starts. I'll have to pull my finger out and get some more made and painted during the evenings next week, should be a doddle......only 27 to go!!!!


  1. All look pretty good mate,available next Sat morning if you require any assistance

  2. You are doing some fantastic work for Owls in your area mate!!! Keep up the brilliant work!!!

  3. Cheers Ben, not too long I hope befor the odd Barnie image appears on my blog?

  4. Fantastic Job on the Owl Nest Boxes and great photos. We had a pair near our house that bred for at least two years on a small barn but unfortunately they do not seem to have come back for the last couple of seasons.