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, 25 September 2011

Minds Eye.

I have been really busy the last few days and consequently have fallen behind with my blog postings, but not too busy to get owl 'n' about......obviously!

Following is a brief resume of the last few days.......

The four juveniles at my site No 87 are still hanging around the natal site, but I did have a scare on Saturday morning when for the first time ever no owls could be located? The wind had shifted from the west to the south and this I think moved them from their regular day time roost. However a re-visit this morning (Sunday) and all four were relocated, albeit away from their regular haunt! 

Several like minded souls who hold a common fondness for Little Owls have accompanied me to this site and one particular image was attained by John Hauge that I absolutely adore! I have tried to attain this particular image on previous visits but the owls just wouldn't co-operate and land on the right post! So lucky old John made the most of it when they duly obliged, and in good light too! Take a look at his website, The Drunkbirder, the image I refer to is the last but one with the brown background. I was so impressed with the outcome of John's image I was even more determined to attain a similar one for myself. Trouble is during the last 2 or 3 visits the sun has either been in totally the wrong direction or not out at all.....dooough! 

Anyhow, here are a couple that I did manage.......

Late in the evening and after a very long wait a bonus pair perched on just the right stump, problem was the setting sun was coming from the rear left. I don't know there is no pleasing some people!

This next image was attained this morning (Sunday), problem this time was there was just no sun at all, although still not the desired result I'd like I am still really pleased with it ;-)

Also this morning I had one of the juveniles right along side and even underneath my Landrover at times! I can only think it was offering  a certain amount of cover from the wind whilst it fed? I had to zoom out to 150mm to attain this image!

On Saturday after the "no show" with the owls at site 87 I opted to re-visit a couple of other local owl sites, at my site No 11 near to Claybrook a very obliging owl was located sheltering out of the wind in this barn window.

On Saturday I also located another owl sheltering out of the wind at my site No 195, it was in a roadside tree and by far the best image from here to date!

Just up the road near to the village of Ashby Parva this owl was captured exiting its nest cavity at site No 141. The nest site is located in a mature Pear Tree, just look at the detail in the bark, nice hey?

So it is now fingers crossed for the juveniles to hang around just long enough for me to capture that elusive image that I have in my minds eye, oh and for a bit of sun in the up and coming days, that'll help!


  1. I'd hire those models again Paul, especially the last one in tree. It's as though you've directed him and told him/her how to pose! Top-class as ever.

  2. I concur, all the images are fantastic but for me that last one has a certain "va va voom"! The first image in the post gives it a run for its money however, I love the expression of the left hand bird!

  3. Stunning shots Paul. The first two in particular are truly first class. How about a post on how you go about locating these smaller owls with a reputation for being hard to spot?

  4. The previous three comments say it all Paul!! Like 'The Hooded Birder' it's the first and last that do it for me. Thank you for a brilliant day on Thursday - my images from the session are now posted, but not a patch on yours!

  5. Love the last image mate..................

  6. Thank you all for your comments guys, Tim I have done previous posts on locating owls, but as several readers have asked the same question I will lokk at doing another one soon......