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, 9 June 2011

Owl Ringing - Part 1.

Monday night just gone was the first chapter of ringing at my owl sites, I have been so busy just lately (more box checking) that this is the first opportunity I have to post a few images. There was a good crowd in attendance too, Nigel and Chris from the CRG (Charnwood Ringers Group), Andy Smith, Daz Sibley, Richard Pegler, Colin Green and yours truly!

The first site of the night was near to Kilby Bridge, Andy did a bit of limbo dancing up the tree so he could get into position to open the box. Apparently inside the box it was a right old mess (I don't know I didn't go up to look, or clean it out!) I'll have to take Andy's word on that, he was disgusted with me!!! Anyway it was a good start to the evening, 3 very dirty Little Owls were rung.

The second Little Owl site was over near Peatling Magna, this was the tree/site where Daz had his bad fall a couple of weeks ago, unperturbed Andy was up there like a rat up a drain pipe! Only 2 owls in this box but they were in magnificent condition and judging by how well developed they were I think only a matter of a couple of days before they fledged.

Andy was the "man of action" again at the Little Owl site near to Broughton Astley, here he can be seen using my Landrover as a means to get level with the natural nest cavity and then it was a bit of stretching to reach and extract the owlets. As with the previous site 3 young Little Owls were rung here.

During the evening we all had a go at ringing at least one chick, and then posed with our prize!

Richard was a little nervous at first but Chris soon showed him how it was done!

And then he posed with his little prize!

What a magnificent specimen, from the Peatling Magna site.

In between the Little Owl sites were visited a single Barn Owl site, on my last inspection about a week previous they had five chicks. Daz Andy and myself went up into the brick barn to check them out, it was good news all five were still alive! 

Alll five chicks were growing well and had rather full bulging bellies, but it was decided that the two younger ones were a little on the small side and a re-visit would be required in a week or so, fingers crossed that in the meantime they don't get eaten by their older siblings!

The eldest of the Barn Owl chicks, ugly mother or what!!!

So all in all it was a successful evening with 11 Little Owls and 3 Barn Owls rung, apart from the fact that at one of the Little Owl sites two of the chicks had disappeared? Only last week there were five healthy chicks in the nest box but on the night two had vanished, mmmmm a right mystery?

Many thanks to the Charnwood ringers, good job chaps!

1 comment:

  1. Just amazing,what a great job you guys do.
    Fantastic experience.