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, 1 April 2011

No April Fool.....Honest!!!

For the last 3 years or so I have been a regular visitor/user of Birdguides, a superb and very informative website. It has daily updates/reports of all the latest UK bird sightings and even logs them on a map, a huge database on birds and birding sites and a brilliant photo gallery. The gallery is updated by the hour with contributors images that they want to share with like minded souls.

I have been a regular contributor on the images page with a whopping 410 uploads, mostly of my Little Owls (surprise surprise!!) and if other readers/viewers like your image they give it a "thumbs up" or they can even leave a comment. Some of the other contributors uploads are simply stunning, and one can't help but be in awe of them. Each week there is approx 1,000 uploads and the Birdguides team then have the unenviable and difficult task to single out one image to be awarded POTW (picture of the week). They then give a brief explanation as to why they awarded that particular image the accolade.

And yes, believe it or not one of my Little Owl images was this week selected as POTW!!!!!!!!!!

Below is the image and the comments from the Birdguides team.

Birdguides Photo of the Week

"It's not unusual for birders to set themselves targets related to the number of birds they want to see and/or photograph, but it's not often those targets relate to a single species. Since August 2008, Leicestershire-based Paul Riddle has been trying to locate as many Little Owl territories as possible within his local area and is now up to a staggering tally of 163 territories! In addition to recording sites and getting involved in related conservation work, Paul has been taking photos of the owls at the majority of the sites and has shared many of his excellent images on BirdGuides as well as on his own blog. As you'd expect, Paul's focus on a single species has resulted in a great variety of Little Owl images, several of which have featured in our weekly Notables. This week, though, it's our pleasure to be able to award Paul his first Photo of the Week for his stunning portrait of a calling bird in a sumptuously natural setting. Dappled sunlight picks out the owl and its dead tree perch, outlining them against the darker and more diffuse tree trunk backdrop. The outlines of the owl and perch form perfect shapes within the vertical frame, leading up to the centrally placed head facing directly at the viewer. It's easy to imagine an artist choosing exactly this composition as the basis for a painting. As icing on the cake, Paul perfectly timed the shot to capture the brilliant yellow eyes and wide open bill. We now look forward to seeing Paul achieve his aim of bagging the perfect Little Owl flight shot".


A gallery of past photos of the week can be viewed here and the rest of our pictures are freely available at:


It is a great website and if you haven't visited it you should take a look!


  1. Congratulations a very well deserved award, the image is absolutly stunning.

  2. Congratulations Paul! Wonderful image! I'm looking forward to the flight shot...:)

  3. Great work... it sure is an awesome shot! I always look forward to seeing the images you post.

  4. Well done Paul a stunning image, and a long overdue award in my opinion....no not in my opinion ...A LONG OVER DUE AWARD...period!!!!

  5. Well done Paul. The only surprise is that it hasn't happened before now!! Congratulations on a much deserved accolade!!!

  6. Thank you all, flight shot next?!!!!????