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, 4 August 2011

A walk around.

I still haven't had any luck with finding an owl, or relocating the elusive Bluebird, but during a walk around the gardens of where we are staying (7 acres of them!) a few more north American birds were tracked down for an image.

Brown-Headed Cowbird, possible juvenile. From a distance these birds look very much like the European Starling. They group together in small flocks and as their name suggests can be found feeding around cattle. This individual was searching around for food on the ground under some horses, lucky for me it flew nearby and landing in a tree top!! Once you get a closer look it is quite obvious they are not Starlings at all, especially when the beak in noticed.

Further along the track I chanced upon this Chipping Sparrow, with a beak full of grub!

In the pasture immediately to the front of the property can be found a very unusual "back yard" bird. In fact there are dozens of them and they breed here too. Now getting near enough for a decent image has eluded me all week. This image (below) is the best I have managed so far, it has been very heavily cropped and consequently the quality has reduced, however it's identify can still be made!

Now I know what it is, do you??????

And finally a few more Ruby Throated Hummingbird images. My patience and endurance of the midday heat is finally starting to pay off with some "better" images of these delightful characters. To try and understand how small their body is, look at your thumb, (from the nail to the first joint),.........tiny hey!!!!

My first "usable" in flight image.

My favourite USA image so far, their colours are just awesome......


  1. Some more great images, Paul!

    Got your mystery bird - won't say what, to give other people the chance of sorting it out, but saw a solitary one of these near a pond in Colorado in 2008 - I hope that Bambi is not around!


  2. I know I keep saying it mate,cracking images again.sorry but not as diplomatic as Richard,is you mystery bird a Kildeer