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!!!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Close to home!

Didn't get out as early as I'd wanted to this evening, consequently I ended up searching more local to home than I usually do. My site No 10 in the next door village of Cosby was the target destination. I wasn't hopeful at all, I have only ever seen a single owl here on a few occasions and the last time was over 2 years ago!!

It ended up being a superb visit, just seeing an owl would have been a bonus but it got better than that, much better in fact. In total five different owls were seen, two adults and three fledged juveniles........what a result!

Juvenile No 1 had taken up residence in the rafters of a barn.

The second juvenile was located in the old pig pen.

And believe it or not the third juvenile was located (through its "hissing") hiding underneath a stack of old slabs!

Juvenile No 3 clambering about on the combine harvester.

Due to how the juveniles were scattered about I now understand why both of the parent owls were perched up high on the steel girders of an old barn, the high elevation enabled them to keep a watchful eye on all that was going on.

The hen owl on the girder.

The male owl taking his turn to watch out.

When the hen owl muscled out the male from the girder perch, he would re-positioned himself on the wing mirror of the combine harvester.

Just goes to show that even if an owl has not been seen for an absolute age one must not give up looking for them, especially when it is a close to home as these birds are!

Oh I nearly forgot, another new Little Owl territory was also located tonight in the village of Leire, site No 188! It was very late and I was having a slow drive around the country lanes following a tip off from one of the local residents (thanks Kate) when this pair were located on some field posts. It was far too dark for images but I'll be back, very soon!!! 

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