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!!!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Soldiering On!!!

Any regular readers of this blog will no doubt know that I have been up against it just lately trying to get all my Barn Owl boxes up. Nearly a whole evenings was lost one day last week when Daz very inconsiderately fell off the ladder!!!!!  So this evening it was time to make amends and hopefully catch up with some more Barn Owl box erecting. Col (hammer head) Green and I were at it tonight and we had a very aggressive target of getting another 4 boxes up.....well that was the plan!!!!!

At the first location, a derelict barn not from from the village of Foston all was going well until Col decided to hit himself right in the middle of his forehead with a hammer.......yes a HAMMER!!!!!! Can you believe he did that???? No I can't either!!!!! Anyway, he staggered down off the ladder with blood dripping off the end of his nose, before first aid could be applied I asked Col if he wouldn't mind going back up the ladder to complete the box erection, I dare not repeat what he said but in no uncertain terms he made it quite clear it was my job to finish, would you argue with a man with a hammer in his hand!!!!

For prosperity sake I got Col to pose for the camera, well I couldn't miss this opportunity.......could I!!!

I completed the erection of the first box and we then made our way back to the Landrover, by now Col was feeling giddy and could see stars!!! He said he wanted to go home, I couldn't believe it, another evening ending prematurely and completely spoilt with my assistant being injured!

On the way back Col was obviously touched by my insistence that we should have more fighting spirit and solider on, regardless of any flesh wounds or holes in the head, "you have to think of the owls Col" and to my utter amazement he AGREED!!!!!!

I needed no further encouragement and turned off down a lane to the next location, Col was then elected (be me!!) to go up the ladder and erect the box. He can be seen here doing a fine job, doesn't look too happy though!

On completion of the second box I'd had time to reflect on Col's injuries and the fact that he was still feeling pretty groggy, so it was time to call it a day and get him back home, but not before I got him to agree he would help me out again later in the week, and he agreed.........result!!!!


  1. I think you need to get some better friends Paul. Refusing to finish the box off doesn't really demonstrate the "stiff upper lip" attitude us Brits are famous for. As for Daz - I hope he's bought a new ladder to replace the one he vandalised. On a more serious note thanks to Colin for allowing his photo to be taken for the record.

  2. Well siad Simon.....I totally agree!!!!!

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  4. I tell you what Rid I almost believed that story myself you should have been a story teller on Jackonary.............we will have to take Simon out to start his apprenticeship.............see you Wednesday

  5. The Terry Butcher of Owling!

  6. What are you on about Col??? That smash in the face has obviously distorted your memory!!!!!
    A typical reported hey.....wright what you like!!!

  7. Did the hammer servive it's close encounter..lol...
    Well done Col,as they say, "When you nod, I'll hit it"

  8. Hi Paul, hope you didnt take my comment on Birdguides in any other way than I genuinely meant, it is 100% clear that your pics are genuine, if this great website was not proof enough! Other 'award winning ' recent Little Owls are sadly not, ex captive owls always give the game away when jesses prohibit correct growth of the leg feathers and exhibit an unnatural step towards the bottom of the leg, obvious to those with a trained eye. Clearly those doing it are fooling most people....but not everyone ;) On a more serious note bloody well done on the work you are doing I am in very impressed by your dedication - keep up the great work. Regards Dave.

  9. He did that alright Sparky!!!!!!

    Hi Dave, no I wasn't offended in any way, just wasn't quite sure what your comments were refering to???? I thought that you meant that other followers of birdguides were under the impression that my images were of captive birds, as I said before 100% wild, and thats the way it will stay! It would be interesting to see some of the "other images" you were refering to, maybe you could send me a link via email?? Anyway, thanks for getting in contact and many thanks for your kind words of support.....Paul.

  10. Hi Paul, nope not that I had seen, just simply nice to see some genuine ones! The Tawny Owl, I and I think you (?) commented on was obvious, broad daylight low down in some pretty flowers with moss covering the legs.
    I cant use the email links off here or birdguides so if you'd send me your mail addy I'll send you the links by return to the shockers. Cheers Dave.

  11. Dave: Yes I recall the Tawny image you are refering too, looked set up to me also!!! My email address is at the top of my blog, if you can't use the link maybe you could just copy it?

    Regards Paul.