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!!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

On a mission!

I have a week off work starting today, (lucky me!) and a few birding/owling trips are planned, so before all the activity commences I thought I'd ease myself in gradually this morning and visit a local owl site......no surprise there then!!

Rather than attempt the normal run of the mill portrait images today I was on a mission, I wanted some action/flight shots, this could prove difficult as owls are notorious for sitting for hours without moving, however I was going to give it a go! Normally for the portrait images the tactics I employ is to try and get as close as possible to the owls (without disturbing them of course) and then try to position myself so as to have an interesting perch or pose with a background as uncluttered as possible. I then edge my bets and try for a flight shot should the situation present itself. I have found this just doesn't work, well not for me anyway! 

What I was going to do today was have the camera set up for high shutter speeds and to keep my distance, this will hopefully allow me to track the owl in flight.......that is if I am quick enough?

During my stake out I did have a few flight opportunities, totally messed most of them up but I did manage to capture a couple of near keepers.They are of reasonable quality but still not what I am after. The light wasn't as good as I'd like and due to me being a little too far away the cropping reduces the quality some what!


Whilst there I also mangaed a few portrait shots (below), I just couldn't resists.......yes I know, I am weak!


  1. Even though you're not perfectly happy with the flight shots Paul, they are absolutely stunning. I think there's something special about a good LO flight shot, and these are certainly that. I saw one fly ONCE and it was RAPID!

  2. Fabulous set of imsges Paul! I think that most people would be over the moon if they got flight shots of LO half as good as these. As for the portraits, the last one is just beautiful. Those eyes in the second portrait image are the most intense yellow I've seen on a LO!

  3. Incredible owl pictures as ever Paul! Superb quality. You have a stunning blog going! I have set up a birding blog today. I'm from the Peak District. Here is my link - I've already added your blog in my blogroll. http://lazybirder-pd.blogspot.com/

  4. Brilliant Rid................