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!!!

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Since the purchase of my new Canon 7D camera body I've had a few evening opportunities to get out and have a play. I'm finding the operations a bit fiddly and loads of mistakes are still being made! But in time I hope to show an overall quality improvement, especially with my low light owl images as the 7D has a much higher ISO range than I have previously been use to. 

This Little Owl image (from my site No 87) was from the first session I had with the new camera, although the golden colours are totally natural (due to low level setting sun) I felt they were too intense, therefore have toned them down somewhat to make it more appeasing to the eye. 

Terrible back light nearly rendered this owl image from my site No 154 to the trash bin, that is until I processed it in a monochrome style, I think I did the right thing in salvaging it?

Same bird as above but better light this time!

Male Little Owl at my site No 176, due to the distance and low light this image would never have been possible with my old camera. But more pixels and higher ISO with the 7D gave me a "keeper"!

Whilst at my site No 176 I noticed a heron hunting in a distant pond. A quick manoeuvre of the car gave me a good vantage point to watch as it stalked its prey. I was far enough away as not to disturb it and I got a couple of images at the moment it striked.

On both occasions it emerged with a tiny fish.

Although I was captivated by the hunting Heron I couldn't help but be distracted by a group of Mistle Thrushes further along the lane. They were making a right commotion as if they were mocking a bird of prey? Hmmmmm maybe a Tawny Owl, this needed further investigation.

I slowly drove up to what all the fuss was about and low and behold........a Little Owl!!! The Thrushes were giving it a right hard time, they were continually mobbing it. Eventually it flew to the sanctuary of a nearby oak tree, that was my chance to attain a "record shot". Although this was my only sighting another 2 owls could be heard calling, I suspect a family party?

New Little Owl site No 192.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like your getting used to the new bit of kit,great shots mate,will have to have another lesson in photography soon please mate