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, 25 August 2011

A walk down the lane....

After indulging myself somewhat over the top on my recent trip to the USA, the waistline has now grown to near obese proportions! It didn't matter how much I tried to suck the massive overhang in, the full length mirror didn't lie, the message was loud and clear, diet and exercise!!!!

So as to turn over a new leaf I needed a life style change........no beer and plenty of walking! Therefore, I decided to have a gentle walk this evening, I know that doesn't seem too arduous but for someone who just drives everywhere it was a "BIG DEAL"! Now not wanting to waste an opportunity, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone, I'll take my camera with me and do some owling. 

I ended up down a very quiet back lane near to Willoughby, it felt kind of surreal parking the car up and walking away from it! Anyway, as I "power-walked" my way down the lane I came to my Little Owl site No 103, I was beginning to tire (must have walked a good half a mile) so it was time to take a breather.

I lent on a field gate and surveyed the area, there was a flutter in a nearby tree, it was one of the resident Little Owls, my first sighting here since October 2010! It didn't hang around long, I think the massive blob leaning on the gate scared it off, but not before I managed an image!

Little Owl site No 103.

Nothing much more was seen whilst I puffed and panted my way along the lane, nothing that is until I heard a Little Owl alarm call, and it was in an area that I hadn't seen one before! By now I was completely knackered so I sat down on the grass verge and had a rest. I wasn't sure exactly where the call came from so I sat quietly an waited for it to call again. Then I saw it, it was up high in a nearby tree watching me! I managed a quick shot (below) before it moved out of sight. 

At the time it was too early to say if this was a new site or not, it could well of been a juvenile moving away from its natal site? After later studying the image I am now quite confident that the owl in question is an adult and not a juvenile.....get in there new site 193!

Little Owl at new site No 193.  

So I suppose this new regime does have it's good points, a new Little Owl site and after one good walk I'm at least 10 pounds lighter, not sure how the "no beer" will go though!!

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