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!!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Yet another Barnie site - No 14!

A phone call late yesterday afternoon from one of my "farmer friends" had me in a bit of a panic, what was I to do? It had just gone 5.00pm and I was due to pick up Daz at 6.15pm as we were off to watch the mighty Leicester City FC play Charlton Athletic, we lost 2-1 so enough said about that!
 
My farmer friend was quite excited as he had seen a Barn Owl flying around in one of his fields and it wasn't far from one of my boxes! I calculated that the 10 minute journey each way would leave me around half and hour at the site before I'd have to leave to pick up Daz, so off I went.
 
I was soon at the location and my friend was awaiting my arrival. We chatted away for a few minutes and I got the run down on recent events. The barn Owl had been sighted on several occasions during the last couple of weeks, mostly at dusk but on two occasions in the middle of the day!
 
There was a derelict building on the land and if I didn't know better surely that's where it must be day roosting? So I positioned my car in a good vantage point and waited for it to show, and it took all of five minutes before it appeared at the "pop hole". It was now 5.46pm and the light was absolutely woeful, so in order to capture a record shot I had to pump up the ISO to 1600 @ F2.8 and still I could only muster 1/100th of a second shutter speed, and if that wasn't tough enough it was hand held too!
 
  
The Barnie then moved around the building and settled on a few different perches.
 
 
 
Just as I was departing it took to the wing and I managed just the one shot of it in flight.
 
 
Absolute brilliant, yet another new Barnie site, that's 14 so far this year!!!!

23 comments:

  1. Fab shots!! In difficult circumstances..... Love your dedication to these wonderful birds.

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    1. Hi Cath, thanks for dropping by and leaving your encouraging comments. Yes the conditions were tough but now I have found the bird I'll be back in better light, hopfully it will show?

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  2. Ditto what Cath has said. I like them all, but really like the one on the metal gate...it differs to the norm, kudos. A friend sell alot of Barnie images and he reckons that buyers are hankering for barnies perched on old/antique/vintage farming equipment, weird hey?

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    1. Cheers for your comment Doug, and yes I too like the "gate image", any buyers???

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  3. I've been following your blog for a little while and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. I'm curious to know where that oak in Lubbesthorpe that got struck by lightening is. I know Lubbesthorpe well as I live in LFE and frequently photograph the area, especially in light of the proposed plans for a new town. Just the other night I was cycling along Beggars Lane near Enderby/LFE at about 7:30 when a barn owl shot over the hedge and almost collided with me. After we'd both swerved out of the way, it proceeded to fly alongside me over the opposite hedgerow, clearly illuminated by my bike lights for some way - wonderful. Even more strange, a couple of weeks ago I had a duck land in front of me, in the dark and whilst it was snowing just outside Newbold Verdon. I had to get off my bike and nudge it with my foot onto the verge!

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    1. Hi Colin, the tree I mentioned is behind Hopyard Farm/Abbey Farm (which is down towards the M1 end of Lubbesthorpe Way). There is a small dirt track that runs between the two farms, go down there for 50 yards and there is a gate on the right, look into the field and about 100 yards in is where the tree was.
      A nice experience you had with the Barnie!
      Thanks for taking the time out to leave a comment.

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  4. looks like plenty of potential for some great shots at this site Paul

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    1. Yes there is plenty of potential and some nice perches, hopefully better to come when the light is in my favour.

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  5. Great shots Paul, love that first one!

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    1. Yes my plan is to set my hide up closer to the "pop hole" and see if I can get a more detailed image, watch this space.......Thanks for dropping by Bobbster!

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  6. Just stumbled across your site via BirdingisFun. Love the work you're doing - we need more people like you It's an incredible experience when you have the chance to monitor the birds and figure out their story. At least that's what keeps me coming back for more.

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    1. Hi Birdworthy, yes monitoring the birds closely is very rewarding and I too keep going back for more, many thanks for your comments.

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  7. This looks as if it is going to be a really exciting site photographically Paul! Your dedication is reaping its just rewards. Keep up the good work!

    Only just got to reading this as I've been a bit preoccupied since returning from a holiday in Yorkshire.

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    1. This site has got my jucies flowing Richard, it has all the attributes for some nice "rustic" shots, that is if the bird plays ball?
      Cheers for your comment mate.

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  8. Absolutely love the first shot and banner image Paul! Just superb!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ben and thanks for your comment.

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