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!!!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Burrowing Owls

It was a bit of a marathon session yesterday, weather was good, the owls were obliging, well four of them were. My short term target of capturing all 5 owls together in the same image didn't happen, but I enjoyed myself.

On another note I have been a bit confused of late? When I process and then re-sized an image on my PC it looks OK. But once I upload them to my blogger page the quality reduces somewhat, especially with landscape images! I can't understand why as I have always done it the same way? So I have tried saving them in a different way in this post, they are larger in size, still not as good as when viewed on my PC but an improvement never the less.

I have seen this behaviour before, when it is nice and hot (when.....oh what a laugh!) sometimes an owl can be observed laying down flat and opening their wings, sort of sun bathing I suppose?

Ah lovely a juicy worm, he didn't share it with the kids, that one was for dad!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the juveniles at one of my "star sites" have taken up residence in an old Rabbit warren. Here the first owl checks that the coast is clear before popping out.

One by one they all came out of their dark sanctuary and then posed nicely for me.

I was hoping for a pellet expulsion image, the male owl sat motionless apart from the odd wretch of his beak, below. I knew the pellet was on its way but he flew to a further post to "do the job" and I missed it!

This last image of one of the juveniles is without doubt my favourite from the day, in fact my favourite from the last few weeks. The owl came so close it allowed for a frame filling image taken at  a focal length of 176mm! It was clambering about on the fence and then it peered around the post and looked straight down the lens. Taken in the afternoon when the sun was high in the sky, actually it was too bright as some of the whites have burnt out but the closeness allowed for a lot more feather detail than usual. 

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Douglas Mcfarlane22 July 2012 at 15:49

    Hi Paul,
    I've encountered the same problem with image quality when uploading to the blog. What I discovered is the best option, is after cropping and other adjustments it's best not resize the image. Then when placing the image on the blog it comes with options such as "small,large,original size,x-large" etc, I've noticed "original size" option is the better option

    1. Cheers for that Doug, I'll give it a go.

  2. Hola Rid,imagenes extraordinarias y muy bonitas de estos jovenes de Mochuelos.Un saludo

  3. Hi Paul. Great images, but I see what you mean about landscape images on your blog. I always crop mine so that the longest edge is 1000 pixels, letting the shorter edge follow at whatever size. I then post them at extra large (going to 'right justified' for the landscape images). I don't get any difference between quality of image on landscape and portrait - although some might say they're all rubbish!!

    However, I'm going to look at Doug's suggestion next time I post.