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, 20 August 2012

No Luck!

This evening I went and had another look to see if I could locate any of the recently fledged Barn Owls. It was a drive of around 15 minutes from home and when I arrived the light was somewhat better than when I left, mmmm maybe its still a bit too early and bright for the owls to be out?

So to kill some time I went and checked out some other Little Owl sites......

At the first site only a single juvenile was located, he gave me a good pose in the superb light conditions.

He didn't hang around long though, fortunately I managed to nail a flight shot of him as he departed.

I got fed up then with the waiting for something else to happen at the first site so I moved on down the road. At the second site three juveniles were found messing about amongst a pile of old rubble. 

It was nice to get an owl perched on or in something a bit different.

Occasionally one is lucky enough to get some super close up views of the owls, normally it is for a few fleeting seconds and grabbing an image is not possible. This evening I had the resident adult male bird land only a few feet away from me, in fact he was so close I couldn't fit him all in the frame at 300mm! I dare not put my hand out of the window to zoom out for fear of scaring him off so I just concentrated on his eye. I did increase the depth of field from F3.0 to F5.0 so as to capture a bit more feather detail in the foreground, it wasn't quite enough and a lesson learnt.

This last image is my favourite from the session, it is of another one of the juveniles and was taken when the light was at its best.

After my stint with the Little Owls I reverted back to the original plan of trying to locate the fledged Barn Owls, sadly none were seen. I am hoping that either I was looking in the wrong location or it was still too early for them to be out.

I won't give us just yet, tomorrows another day and maybe then I'll get lucky?


  1. Loving the new header mate......................

  2. Wow stunning shots Paul. The flight image is a cracker as is the head shot. The depth of field looks ok to me. The barn owl situation is weird, I was discussing it with Ben once, that it's funny we can go to Norfolk etc and get Barnies either early in the morning or in the evening yet here in Northants we only seem to see them when it's dark.

  3. Exciting shots. On that pic, it looks like the owl is giving directions. Love it.

  4. All the best for tonight Paul.

    I remember when you were bemoaning the lack of quality in-flight shots in your portfolio. Your portfolio is now bulging with top-class flight images and you must be absolutely delighted. You have such an enviable collection! I absolutely love the one popping out of the tree to side and tonight's close-up is an absolute stunner.

    Like I say; good luck for tonight. I'd love to look at some of your Barn Owl images.

  5. Sorry Paul, I'm running out of superlatives!! All amazing, but the first and last are my favourites.