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, 26 March 2012

Sneaking in?

After not getting out owling for the whole weekend I was just chomping at the bit to get out this evening, and lucky me the weather was just glorious. The sun was still pretty strong and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, ooh just perfect! As time was getting on I didn't want to waste too much time driving around, so I opted to visit my site No 10 in the adjacent village of Cosby.



Upon arrival I surveyed the area from distance, it wasn't a surprise to locate the resident owls out on top of the barns sunning themselves. Trouble was how was I going to get close without spooking them? As I was pondering over what tactics I should employ to get close to them the local farmer came up trundling up the track in his tractor. Now the owls here are use to the coming and going of the local farm traffic so as he passed me I tagged along behind him.  We went up the track in convoy and as soon as I was parallel with where the owls were I peeled off and parked. This worked perfectly, they didn't even give me a second glance!

The male owl was the nearest of the two, so I grabbed a few shots of him first. Shame I could only see his head and shoulders. 


I then turned my attentions to the hen owl, she was a little further away and sat motionless on the barn roof. It took a whole five minutes before she turned and faced me for this image. 


Whilst with the owls they seemed very relaxed and appeared to be totally oblivious of my presence. I think the combination of sneaking in behind the farmer, being ultra quiet and having the camo netting up at my window worked perfectly to stay undetected.

During this time the male owl did move about occasionally, as the light levels were just brilliant for higher shutter speeds I had a go at capturing some "action shots", something you don't often get with Little Owls!

Take off!  


Fly past!


As any long time followers (sufferers) of this blog will know, I have been attempting to get some "decent" action/flight shots of Little Owls for a few years now. I am very pleased with this evenings results, definitely up there with my best.........I think?



10 comments:

  1. Definitely some great action shots! Glad you were able to sneak in.

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    1. Yep those tactics deffo paid off, thanks for your comment Tammy.

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  2. Sounds like a good ploy. Well done there!!

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  3. Nice. Have I missed something - is the Landy back in action?

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    1. No you have missed nothing mate, I was in the family car. Still waiting for the Landrover to be repaired, not looking forward to the bill though!

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  4. Fantastic stuff: your blog, the quality of your photography and the text in your article!
    I am very impressed and enthusiastic about your monitoring and nesting job!
    Congratulations, You contribution will be much appreciated by the Little Owls, I bet!!
    Cheers Paul!

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    1. Very kinds words Noushka, thank you!

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  5. Cracking stealth tactics to achieve brilliant action shots Paul. High shutter speeds eh? Not had those for a while!

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    1. Hey I know you boys have it grim up north, but we aint much better off here in the midlands!

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