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!!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Birding Week - Tuesday

In comparison to yesterday the weather today was an improvement, it was still overcast and blustery but at least it was dry!

My first port of call today was the new Barn Owl site that I located late last night, I was there at first light hoping to catch it out hunting. And would you credit it, just as I pulled up it flew straight past me and into the lower of the two holes in the tree. It did poked its head back out for a few brief seconds to have a quick look at me and then that was that!

I waited around for an hour but it wasn't coming back out, so I moved on. My second location was to check up on how the Jay feeding station that I set up yesterday was progressing. No joy there either, the nuts hadn't been touched! Oh well, I suppose it is early days yet, I am sure it won't be long before they find them?
The rest of the morning was spent looking for SEO's, I was positive that after all the rain we had yesterday any local birds would surely be up hunting early, none were seen!
I also called in to see my new Little Owl site No 220 again. So far I have only seen the solitary bird here, and guess what the story was the same again today, and it was sitting in exactly the same spot!
Moving on down the road I went to a local reservoir, recently I have seen a lot of Kingfisher activity here so my intentions were to go and position a few landing/feeding posts. No Kingfishers were seen whilst there but the posts are now up, maybe later in the week they will pay dividends?
On my walk back to the car I did see this Cormorant perched up on a log, I got down low and crawled through the long grass to get nearer. True to form, as soon as I raised my head above the cover off it flew!

On my way home I called into see the owls at my site No 19, both of them showed well up high in the tree.
And finally I returned back to the first location of the day, the new Barn Owl site. I got there an hour before dusk hoping it would be out hunting in some reasonable light. It wasn't, it waited until the light had all but gone and only then I got a very brief glimpse of it as it headed out into the fields in the distance to hunt!
I am not going to give up on this owl, I now know it has spent the last two nights at least roosting in the same tree. If there is any justice in this world tomorrow will be my day!


  1. A really enjoyable post Paul, and more great images. Good luck for tomorrow!

  2. Great images, really like the Cormorant, so hard to get good feather detail out of a black bird. Can I suggest if you get no joy with your peanuts for the Jay, switch to actual acorns as they will be searching out for acorns whilst they're still about, then peanuts as winter kicks in for proper. Typical Barn Owls :)

    1. I thought of putting acorns out firstly Doug, I couldn't find any! Someone else has advised me to put out unshelled hazlenuts, if the Jays haven't found the peanuts by tomorrow it will be plan "B".

  3. Even with not the best weather you get some lovely shots Paul. The Little Owl's are always super.