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, 27 June 2012

Personal Attack!

Following a couple of received emails I would just like to put the record straight!
EVERY owl image on my blog is of a wild owl, living their lives out in the countryside and free to come and go as they please. They are not tame and not my pets, (as suggested) and nor are the images taken of captive birds. I am not trying to "pull the wool" over people's eyes and conning them with phoney information.
This accusation is hurtful, disrespectful and dam right outrageous. I don't know the people involved and their reasoning for such claims, is it jealousy, spite or something else? I am committed to my subjects and after all the hard work and countless "out in the field" hours I put into my owls it is pretty damming that folk out there think I am a fake.
How many more think the same way as these two who contacted me?..............None I hope!


  1. You are joking? Probably some 15yr old kid sending you stupid emails!

  2. Probably jealous of your photos and the dedication that you put into the hobby.

  3. Absolutely outrageous Paul!!! Don't let it get to you mate. I for one am happy to vouch for your dedication and commitment to photographing these wild birds. Ignore the stupid comments from, as Mark says, people who are just jealous that they haven't got the wit, intelligence, or dedication to get the cracking images that you get. Care to let us know who these people are so we can all keep an eye open for them?

  4. Hi Paul
    Anybody who takes the time to read your Blog can see your dedication to bird welfare, your photography and personal actions reflects a deep affection for all wildlife. Unfortunately the web is full of these moronic people who's aim in life it seems is to upset and cause hurt to decent people, so please treat them with the contempt they deserve.
    I have your blog bookmarked and always look forward to your updates together with some great photographs, keep up the good work.

  5. Take no notice Mate its just some twats that don't know the front end from the back end of a camera its just pure jealousy from small minded nob heads,keep them pics coming Paul like I said your not getting to bad at this photography lark hehe chin up mate and onward

  6. I always keep an eye on your blog although I don't comment very often and have always been in awe of your wonderful photos and sheer dedication to the owls. I think it is wonderful that you give so much back, with your nest box project, in return for the pleasure you receive in studying, observing and photographing these beautiful birds. It would never, ever have occurred to me that your photos were anything other than what they appear to be....wonderful photos taken in the wild by a dedicated photographer who knows and loves his subject! I am sure that anyone who thinks otherwise is very much in the minority!

  7. Douglas Mcfarlane27 June 2012 at 22:52

    Absolutely pathetic, Paul it seems to be a trend in birding sadly. I had such emails when I reported Quails luckily a county recorder went where I said and found one. It's jealousy mixed with spite to ruin someone reputation.
    For the record I can swear under oath the owls are wild, I know many who have joined Paul on his venture in his land rover, and if those owls were pets they would've told me straight away. I have also met Paul, when he first started out with a camera, I can tell you he's passionate about his owls and presents his "work" with 100% honesty.
    Ignore the idiots Paul, after all if they had an ounce of common sense they could easily book some time with you and the owls. Keep up the great work and ignore the snipers mate.

  8. They are just jealous, all your images are fantastic and a reward for the huge effort you put in which is commendable. Don't give the jealous idiots the time off day just hit the delete button.

    This blog is full off genuine wild images, keep up the good work.

  9. Goodness, I didn't expect such a response. Many thanks to you all for putting your faith in me. I must admit I was beginning to think that there were more doubting folk out there? And yes Bobster that is just what I did, hit the delete button.

  10. Sorry to hear to are being troubled by such ignorant folks:( Your blog is always a real treat to visit as your photos and writings are excellent. Your dedication is very apparent in your work; keep up the superb job. Cheers:)

  11. Like Richard, I can vouch for Paul and the effort he puts in to getting his photographs. Of course when the images are so good it does lead us to question how its done and the answer is by getting off your backside and working at it, as Paul reminded me only a couple of days ago in a subtle way.

    Keep up the good work mate and take no notice of those out to have a dig.

  12. What a load of bollocks! As someone who has recently been out with Paul in a field out in the WILD in the Land Rover I can vouch for the Little Owls being completely 100% WILD!

    There are obviously going to be some birds that are tamer than others and habituate to the presence of humans more, just go to Wales and see the Redstarts and Pied Flys, Regents Park for the Herons, that new hide in Yorkshire for Kestrels or any of the usual woodland feeding stations in winter....some birds can be tamed or relax in your presence, this doesnt make them pets!

    Also you just need to look at some of the other photographers Little Owl images this year (Dale Sutton, Austin Thomas, Paul Bunyard)....Little Owls clearly have a tame side to them, not all of them but some, if you are in a vehicle or well concealed and they get used to it then some will go about their business without caring about you!

    Paul, keep doing what you are doing. You have found Little Owls in every corner of Leicestershire, some are tamer than others and some are more photographable but none of them are pets, they are all wild and its what you have done to get them used to you and finding them in the first place that is a real testament to hard work, fieldcraft and dedication!

  13. I have had even more re-assurance via emails, phone calls and blog comments that I should continue doing what I am doing with the owls and ignore the accusations that have been made. Oh there is no fear of that guys, there never was to be fair, the attempted slur on my character was a complete failure, just a shame they haven't got the balls to do it openly rather than anonymously behind an email address.

    Cheers to you all........Rid.

  14. Fake Ha that's the best joke Iv'e herd in ages I for one have spent many hours with Mr Riddle siting in that Rolls Royce of a land rover with arse ake falling almost to my death off that you go up Daz your better than me on that ladder

    Along with too the right a bit Daz that's perfect fix the box their

    Fake Mr Riddle that one thing he's not Lazy and frit shit of heights may be

    Keep up the good work Mr Riddle

    Your old friend and Qwling partner Daz

  15. Let's be honest Paul, they must have a few personal issues to write an email questioning your work and passion like that?!
    I've followed your blog for some time now and it's pretty damn obvious you put in a lot of hard work to find these Owls and monitor them. They obviously have no patience or field craft to be able to do what you do and felt the need to become a spineless idiot sat in front of a keyboard writing crap like that to you!
    I know you won't, but don't change what you do mate. You're doing a fine job and producing some superb photographs for all your hard work!


  16. Hey Paul, name and shame the numpties so we can all have a good laugh at them!
    Keep up with the good work with your not bad photos of Little Owls!!


  17. Jealous losers mate. Simples.