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, 2 November 2012

Roadside Distraction

I was driving through the quiet country lanes of Leicestershire in an area that looked just perfect for them. My slow speed allowed me to continually take me eyes off the road for a few fleeting seconds at a time, glancing left and then right. The camera was at the ready on the passenger seat, just in case! I was expecting it to happen, no that's not right, I was hoping it would happen and when it did I was still surprised!
 
Yesssss my first SEO (Short Eared Owl) of the winter.

 
Hand held and shot through the open window of the car, not the best of light for good quality (lots of noise) but considering the conditions I am well pleased with the result. It came at me head on, it was hunting the roadside grassy verge and luckily as it approached it deviated across the road and passed by on the drivers side. The whole episode from start to finish was over in a matter of seconds, but it was still time enough for me to pull up (stalled engine) grab the camera, focus and rattle off a few shots. Only two of the images were "keepers" the one above and the new blog header.
 
The owl then lifted up and over the hedgerow not to be seen again. Not sure yet if it has settled in this area or was just passing through?  I do hope it stays here for the winter, as I will be back!
 

14 comments:

  1. Great to hear they are starting to arrive now. Well done for getting the shots, very nice indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are starting to come in Susie, but not as many as last year....yet!

      Delete
  2. It'll be interesting to see if it stays, just hope it stops hunting along side the road, would rather it was in the field were it can't get hit by a car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very remote area Doug and hardly any traffic, so it should be OK. I have been back since, 3 times and nothing!

      Delete
  3. Very nice Paul, great shot in the circumstances, hoping we get good numbers this winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Mike, yes I am hoping too.

      Delete
  4. nice ones, and also love the barn owl footage as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Air photos are always special ... precisely because they are so hard to make the suppl. is more beautiful ... beautifully photographed ...
    greetings Frank

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice images, especially the header. Great to see they're starting to come back Paul. I've started keeping an eye on my local site from last winter, but nothing so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the only one I have seen so far Richard, I will keep on searching though.

      Delete