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!!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

In dusk we trust!

Two more new Little Owl sites were located tonight, the first in the village of Bitterswell the second in Broughton Astley. The light levels were shocking at both sites so flash fill was required in order to get anything like a useable image.

At the first site a pair was located loitering around what I suspect to be their nest tree, it could be that they have a chicks and this was the reasoning for both birds to have been out. I only managed an image of one of the birds (below) a very close encounter, pity I had to use a high ISO of 1600 and flash!

My first owl image from new site No 177

At the second new site of the night a single bird was spotted sitting on a farmhouse TV ariel as I drove past. I quickly turned around and as I re approached it flew to a nearby telegraph pole. Here is sat whilst I stood underneath it trying to get an image. It was too dark for the auto focus to work, so I switch to manual override and attained this image (below).

My first image from new site No 178

A really slow evening with hardly any sightings of note then it all exploded in the last hour as the light started to fade, as Stevie Evens the excellent owler from up in the north east says........"In dusk we trust"........very true tonight!!!!


  1. Paul
    Now you have a Speedlite it may be worth investing in a Flash extender (better beamer) to increase you flash distance & negate the need to use so high an ISO. Also check to see if your speedlite has infra red focus assist. If so make sure its switched on , on the 589EXII its C.Fn-08: AF-assist beam firing.

  2. just been catching up Paul, you have been busy.

    thanks for the mention m8 - Dont ever think about leaving Planet Dusk.

  3. Thanks for the advice on the "beamer" I may have a look at one.

    Oh I'm becoming more of a convert on the owling hour Stevie, should of listened to your advice months ago!