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!!!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The morning after.

No birding of any sort was conducted on Saturday because it was an out and out boozing day. We were celebrating Daz's 50th and needless to say we were going to do it properly! We "got on it" at midday and come 8.00pm we were all done for! There'd been countless pints of lager sunk and in between we sampled a few glasses of red wind and towards the end of the day we went up to the top shelf and finished off with a few tots of rum.

Ooooh my head was hurting this morning, but regardless of the suffering Daz and I ventured out into the fresh air to do a bit of birding. First up I treated Daz to his first ever Waxwing encounter, the local site that I have been keeping a vigil on produced the goods again with 10 birds showing well.

There was no excuses about the conditions, it was almost perfect and loads of images were taken but with my shaking hands most ended up being fuzzy!

Also during the morning an hour was spent checking out a local Barn Owl site, the Barn Owl didn't show but as a consolation the resident Little Owl put in an appearance. It just popped out of a hole in the roof where a slate is missing, looked around and then just as quick disappeared again! 

To round the day off we checked out a few other likely looking Barn Owl sites but none were seen. Our final destination of the day was the site where the newest Barn Owl box was put up, see previous post from Dec 3rd "another owl box".

We walked down to the box to check it out (more in hope than anything else) and there in the grass directly beneath the entrance we found a single owl pellet! We quickly moved back to a safe distance to observe. Then just as it was getting dark a pure white face appeared at the box entrance, yessssss a Barn Owl!!! It was far too dark to take any images but it didn't matter, this was just the tonic we needed to take away our hangovers, and to think that this box was only put up 13 days ago, knowing that it has been occupied already was very rewarding.


  1. wonderful waxwing - I saw a lone waxwing in my garden today - a bit of a surprise, I wasn't sure at first but it definitely was - must have been passing through - have yet to see a little owl, beautiful birds

  2. That's a right mix of booze, surprised you kept it all down, well done :) Nice images Paul.

  3. Well done on the box, Paul - great news. Beautiful waxwing image against the red berries.

  4. Thanks for your comments guys!

  5. Great images! Makes me wonder just how good you'd be without all the masochism?? Brilliant result with the BO box. Well done!

  6. Things are looking good at last mate,it won't be long before the others are found figers ccrossed