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!!!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Pre boozing owling!

Its now late and I have just got back from the pub, so my apologises for any errors, slander or absolute codswallop in this post, it is now 1.37am on Saturday morning and I am totally wasted, so forgiveness is conditional!!!

Right lets get down to business, two days ago, (Weds evening to be exact) I went to watch my best mate Daz have a gliding experience flight at Sibertoft airfield, near to Market Bosworth.  Once he was airborne I went for a bit of a mooch (that's a look around in Leicestershire slang) and I chanced upon a group of mature fruit trees (apple) that looked very owly. As I was doing my investigations I found a potential nest cavity in one of the trees, it was only two feet from the ground and when I peered in I was shocked to discover an adult Little Owl and at least three chicks, (get in there new site 180!!!). I didn't have my camera with me at the time so it was pencilled in for a return visit asap.

Well this evening the opportunity arose for a return visit (before the pub of course!!) and after a bit of research and networking I secured the permission from the landowner to enter the fields. I positioned the Landrover near to the nest entrance and waited........

After what seemed an age the male owl was sighted, during the next hour or so I sat quietly and observed him move from tree to tree and nearer and nearer and eventually he came close enough for some photo opportunities........

Yep some superb views were had  but the contrasting light proved difficult to attain a real top notch image, the light was good but the dark shadows were my nemesis today, excuses excuses I know, but if only I had a Canon 500mm prime lens every image would be perfect!............anybody got one???


  1. Quality Paul, but shame about the lighting. If you can't get hold of a lens you could always hire one. But after that you would so want one!!! (I would get a 600mm or 800mm)

  2. Thanks for the advice Bobbster!