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, 13 June 2011

A Prediction.

I did my rounds again tonight, nothing new to report on the breeding front although the male owl at site No 87 was out  grubbing around for food and when he found something he dashed back to his cavity, I strongly suspect to feed his young?

The male owl taking a rest from grubbing around.

I relocated myself near to the nest cavity and waited for the male owl to make a visit, I was hoping that upon his arrival I would get confirmation of chicks in the nest by the begging noise they make, I heard nothing!

The male arrives at the nest, a ringed owl from 2010.

Later on in the evening a couple more owls were seen but they were too far for any images. At one site near to Fleckney I bumped into the local landowner, he recounted seeing a Little owl a week or so ago and it was in an area I'd never seen one before!

I was soon in the vicinity of his sighting and there were a couple of very owly looking trees, they both had cavities that looked as though they could be used by Little Owls. It was now a case of sitting and waiting to see if anything showed, and it did!

This owl seemed nervous of the Landrover and wouldn't come any closer than about 30 yards, hence the distant and heavily cropped image, below.

So a very slow and uneventful evening turned out to be a good un with yet another new Little Owl site, that's 182 now!

Right at the end of the evening I bumped into another local landowner whom I'd never met before. He very kindly gave me a guided tour (in the dark!) of a few of his fields and it just oozed owls. In fact it looked so good I am going to predict that it will produce no fewer than 3 new Little Owl sites for me in the near future, and you never know maybe even a Barn Owl!

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