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!!!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

And there off!

During the last week I have invested quite some time spread over three different evenings at my site No 115 near to the village of Brascote. I'd been waiting for the four Little Owl juveniles to show in some reasonable light so I could get some images of them, and this evening they obliged. 

I was very fortunate to have been there this evening as I don't think I'll get another opportunity to get up close and personnel, because tonight they fledged!

The nest site is located inside a brick barn, and they gain access to the outside world through a hole where a brick is missing. Around 8.30pm they one by one all emerged, but getting a "group" image proved difficult as they were all spread out. One of the adults then came swooping in and perched next to the most developed of the juveniles, at last an image was attained (below).

It was a long wait and the light had nearly gone, but a flash assisted image of three of the juveniles was finally possible, I was happy but it there was still one of them missing!

Mission accomplished finally..... all four juvs together!

At 9.30pm both of the parents came close and all of the juvs became very excitable, but this wasn't the normal feeding visit I'd previously witnessed. It was totally different, something else was occurring? There was plenty of friskiness and calling by all the owls, then it happened, one of the juveniles took the leap of faith and fluttered away into the darkness.......they were fledging the nest site!

The first juvenile to take flight landed safely on a fence rail, this was the very last image I managed on the night, it was just too dark and I couldn't focus!

A safe landing.

Oh I forgot to mention that the barn the owls call home is going to be renovated in the near future, so as not to completely evict them when the work is done I designed a new style Little Owl box and erected on Sunday morning. It didn't take them long to get use to it as the image below shows, I think they approve!!!

New home.

1 comment:

  1. Great report Paul....
    nice to see you catching them moving out & moving in on the same visit ;-)