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!!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Stupid Owl.

Yesterday evening I re-visited my newest Barn Owl site that I first located a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping it was still hanging around and if so would show whilst the light levels were still OK? I haven't yet managed an image of it that I'd say was "a keeper" so I keep turning up night after night hoping that eventually it will be captured. 
It did eventually grace me with its presence but sadly it was too dark for any quality images. There was however enough light left to admire its grace as it quartered the rough pasture seeking out its prey. But after tonight this individual is really concerning me, on a couple of occasions it floated up and over the boarding hedgerow and then drifted across the adjacent busy road just missing the passing cars!
The proximity of the road to its preferred hunting area is just too close, as can be seen in the image below, the owl is flying only feet from the passing cars which are zipping by at 50mph!      

It is only going to take a slight glance from a car travelling at that speed and the consequences for the owl are going to be terminal, I feel totally hopeless and fear a carcass is going to be found very soon.
Just what can I do?


  1. It is sadly a fate suffered by many Barn Owls. I'm lost as to what to suggest, I would've hoped those bushes/hedges in the image would be tall enough to make the owl take a high flight path thus avoiding the cars, but then you have to think of lorries. A sign might draw the wrong "type" of attention if you know what I mean. Plus the Highway Agency will take it down VERY quickly.

  2. That's a tricky one. You are like me. We had a similar situation but with teenagers. Some of them are evil creatures with a true mean streak in them. A Great Horned Owl nested in a spot. Had two owlets. A kid threw a golf ball at the bird. We called a refuge and those birds were "rescued". I don't know if you have a program out there that can help in this situation?

  3. I don't know of anything you can do, Paul. Let's just keep our fingers crossed for the little thing.

    This is a word that I don't use very often: Splendid! To describe your new header. Love the colours from the mossy tree.

  4. Thanks for all your comments guys, I didn't think there was anything I could do but it was worth a try, I'll have to see what happen?

  5. Great new header Paul. The Barnie situation is a real dilemma, but I can't think of anything that you can do except hope that the bird perhaps has a near miss, and learns by it. As Doug says, the last thing that you want to do is anything that will attract the attention of the public to the bird's presence.