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, 17 October 2011

Bring on the owls!

After two weeks without a computer I was very pleased to take delivery of a brand new unit today, trouble is it has a different operating system to what I'm use (XP to windows 7) and I've about pulled out all my hair out trying to figure out how the dam thing works, where's my 10 year old son when you need him!
"Plug and play" the computer bloke said........yeah but not for an old duffer like me it ain't! I've managed to install some of my processing softwear but there are conflicts all over the place. Oh how close I have come to smashing it to smithereens with a sizable lump hammer! And for Blogger & my Google account, well they just don't want to co-operate, looks like I've gotta delve deep into all my previous setting before I will be able to read other folks blogs and comment properly. Anyway, with a bit of help (yes you guessed right, from my 10 year old son) I have been able to create a post, of sorts....
Recently the weather has been bad for seeing owls, so rather than sitting around watching the TV I've been busy making another four Barn Owl boxes. Now they are completed all that is required is a good home, so I've also been  out searching high and low for some suitable sites in the south of the county. And after much groundwork & networking with the local landowners four suitable and very private sites were finally detected, and all four of them were isolated and disused barns.........just perfect!  
So last Saturday Big Col and I set about getting the boxes up, our first location looked very owly indeed.

I've never seen any owls here but judging by the amount of poo we saw inside it is obviously used by them.

Col doing a grand job of securing the box, he's a right grafter you know!

On entering the barn at the second site we were shocked to find a Barn Owl roosting up in the rafters, we knew it was the perfect location and all that was missing was a box, so we soon fixed that!

At the third site we couldn't get access to the barn because of the close attention of a massive and very angry Bull, neither of us were prepared to risk life and limb so we opted to erect the box in this adjacent lean to, still pretty good though! Oh and for good measures a Little Owl was seen here too.

The fourth and final location, yet again another good site that just oozes Barn Owl, well it ought to now we have put up a box!

So after a fine mornings work (thanks Col) the running tally of Barn Owl boxes we have made and erected has now risen to 37, adding these to the Little Owl boxes already in situ making a whopping total of 79 boxes! Surely if there is any justice in this world next year will be very productive indeed...........COME ON OWLS!!!!!!


  1. good stuff Paul
    your mate looks like hes doing a grand job while you mess about with the camera ;-)
    Only jesting m8, an excellent, encouraging & inspirational blog post !

  2. No probs mate we'll have Barn Owls ouzing from the boxes .................fingers crossed

    p.s don't forget me hammer

  3. Oh yes Stevie, Col does a fine job, but of course holding the camera is obviously the most important task of all!

    Col, I'll get it tomorrow......if I remember?

  4. I hope that you get the results that your hard work deserves Paul.