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!!!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Too Late!

Saturday was spent slogging around yet more Little Owl sites in the eastern part of Leicestershire to see if any more breeding activity could be proven. The first site that Daz and I visited was hopefully going to get the day off to a flying start, I'd visited here earlier in the week and an adult owl was seen in the vicinity of the nest box.

Daz making his way to the location, I was carrying the camera!

The box was in a terrible condition, the roof was split and will need replacing very soon (another job for Colin!). It obviously hadn't put the owls off though, just look at the dirt and claw scratches around the hole.

Daz went up to have a closer look, he then relayed down to me that it was good and bad news? The good news, it had definitely been used by Little Owls, it stunk to high hell had loads of fresh pellets and downy feathers but........it was empty? We had missed the boat, the juveniles had fledged! 

So it wasn't the flying start we were after but it was still good news that another of my boxes had been used, we will have to start our sites visits earlier next year!

During the day we visited and checked a dozen sites, most of them showed signs of breeding but due to the fact they were in natural sites the nest chambers were just too deep inside the trees for us to reach. We did have positive results at two sites though, three juveniles were found at a site in Great Glen and a further two at a site near to Goadby.

Here's Daz with the two juveniles from the Goadby site.

There wasn't many photo opportunities for images of the adults during the day, but here is one that I captured, I thought I'd share it as I am very pleased with the outcome.


  1. Tremendous effort being put into your Owl breeding programme, fantastic to see it bearing fruit and great images!!

  2. Thanks for your comments Bobbster, I must admit it takes up nearly all my free time during the breeding season and it will be relief when its all over.......I love it really!!