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!!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Found em!

The distinct lack of posts recently is not because I've haven't been getting out, quite the opposite in fact. It's just that I haven't had anything to post, image wise that is! I have been out most evenings searching high and low for those elusive SEO's (Short Eared Owls).

Sadly the SEO don't actually breed here in the Leicestershire area but during the autumn they move down from their northern breeding grounds and over winter where ever they can find suitable habitats that are rich in voles and shrews. I would love to get some images of these very majestic birds and have visited many areas recently where other folk have sighted them.........but up until tonight I have seen zero birds!!!

So a change of tactics was required, rather than chase up other people's sightings I opted to get out there and find my own birds. The area I was at tonight is absolutely perfect for SEO's, trouble was after several visits I'd seen nothing, until tonight that is and boy o boy did they show.....at least SEVEN of them! 

It wasn't good for images though as the light had all but gone, although distant and an ISO of 6000 the results are OK I suppose considering the conditions? Putting all the excuses aside the viewing was superb, a real owl fest!

I will be making regular evening visits over the next few weeks to hopefully get them in good light, and then maybe I will be happy with the results? 


  1. Hi Paul

    I'm pleased that your hard work in finding the SEOs has paid of and it's more satisfying to find 'your own' than chase other's leads, so I can imagine that you were delighted.

    In terms of the images - I think for ISO 6000 they are pretty good indeed, especially the piercing stare in number 2. Looking forward to seeing more!

  2. Great stuff Paul! I hope that these are 'settled' birds, rather than just passing through, so that we can look forward to the inevitable stunning images that you will come up with!!!

  3. They look GREAT to me !!! Nice job Paul.

  4. Thanks for your comments guys, but if the owls come out earlier in the day much better to come!