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!!!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Slow Start!

Its that time of year again for me to be out checking my owl sites for signs of breeding activity, so far it has been a very disappointing return with the Little Owls. I have dragged myself around dozens of sites over the last few days and so far only 4 sites have been found with eggs. There are 2 pairs in natural cavities, both with 3 eggs a piece and 2 pairs have taken up residence in my nest boxes, again each site has 3 eggs.

On the Barn Owl front it is slightly better news, thanks to Nigel Judson I now have my agents licence for this schedule 1 species that means I am able to approach the nest sites and closely monitor any breeding activity. Considering it is my first year working with Barn Owls it has got off to pretty steady start with 2 pairs occupying nest boxes, one has 5 eggs and the other 2 eggs. 

Whilst out today I was luckily enough to see a distant Barn Owl hunting and of course I bumped into a few Little Owls!

Not sure if the Little Owls are late starting this year, have deserted last years nest locations for some reason or some other unknown influence has effected their breeding patterns???? I will however not be deterred and shall continue to get around as many sites as possible over the next few weeks, fingers crossed for some improved returns.......

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