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!!!

Friday, 3 August 2012

More catching up........part 1.

Yesterday I continued with the "new me" and resisted the temptation to visit my owl sites of preference where the resident owls are very showy and attaining a few images isn't that difficult. Instead,  I grasped the nettle and opted to visit a couple of relatively local sites that I have neglected of late and where so far an image has eluded me.

For starters I visited my site No 53 not too far from Countesthorpe, this site was first located in July 2009 and I'd be telling lies if I said I didn't have an image from here, I have but they we all taken from distance and are rubbish!

Again I was using the trusted Landrover as my mobile hide, it was parked up near to an old barn where previously I'd seen the owls hanging around. It was a terribly long wait here, occasionally I would see an owl fluttering along the hedgerow but they were too far away for an image with my 300mm. I think it was too early in the day and too bright for much activity but the four hour wait finally paid dividends when one of the adult owls came and landed in the scrub right in front of me.

The adult was closely followed by one of the two juveniles that are at this site, it wasn't until afterwards that I realised that they obviously sensed the bad weather that was almost upon us and they were seeking cover.......all will be revealed? 

The next few minutes were certainly frustrating, I'd waited all this time for them to come close and now they were being obscured by branches and rubble! Eventually the juvenile hopped out from the cover and posed beautifully for me, below.

It didn't show for long though as a sudden boom of thunder in the greying skies soon had it bolting for cover! Then the heavens opened, and boy did it come down! In came the camera gear and I was now resigned for an even longer wait, I could hardly see out of the windows it was lashing down so hard. After a few minutes it eased off slightly, I could now see the rubble pile and would you credit it the juvenile owl was out bathing in it!

My gear was soon poking out of the window capturing the action, the owl stood motionless with its wings outstretched having a wash.

It continued to hold this posture until the rain ceased, another good five minutes. It then had a good shake to dry itself out. 

The next part of "catching up" will have more images from the day and will feature in my next post.

Thanks for visiting.


  1. Douglas McFarlane3 August 2012 at 17:03

    Great images Paul, really do like the one shaking the rain droplets off of itself. Great work

  2. Superb images, all of them Paul. I love the shaking water shot - beautifully still head and lots of movement in the rest of the image.

  3. Hi!!! it is a pleasure to watch these beautiful creatures .. Congrat..