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, 6 May 2011

A Serious Contender???

Up until very recently I was under the impression that Leicestershire was a serious contender for the Little Owl capital of the UK, but now I'm beginning to think it may be lagging behind the Staffordshire/Derbyshire area of the Peak District.

I have made 3 half hearted attempts at locating owls in this area whilst driving my way back home and so far I have a 100% hit rate with a new site on each "limited" pass through!

Its no different to locating owls else where really, I just look out for suitable habitat and hey presto the owls do the rest! I have to admit though, as much as I love the rolling green fields of Leicestershire there is something really special about the Peak District. Considering it is only 50 miles or so away the habitat is so different, masses and masses of lush thick heather, proper hills and gorges that are then segmented by the mile after mile of dry stone walls that disappear into the distance. And then there is the creme de la creme, dozens of old stone barns...........the homes of the owls!!!

Below are a few images all shot from my car of my latest find from this amazing area, my site No 175. 

The only image I managed with the sun coming from behind me, a blossoming owl!

The architecture on the next three images makes the shot a bit more interesting, shame the sun was in totally the wrong direction!!! 

I'm just going to have to spend a whole day in this area, mmmmmm wonder if the family fancy a mystery tour this weekend?????

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