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, 31 March 2013

Jo's Owls.

In my previous but one post I mentioned that I'd located my Little Owl site No 229, this finding came on the same day and only an hour or so after finding my site No 228.

I was checking out a new area for me when I chanced upon an isolated barn down a very narrow back lane. It looked very owly indeed so without further ado I pulled up adjacent to it and got the camo scrim up at the window. I was totally engrossed with checking it out when I almost jumped out of my skin after a tap at the window. It was the owner of the barn, Jo and she was investigating what this strange bloke (me!) in a strange car was doing? Once I'd explained she was totally OK with it, in fact she endorse it. We chatted for a few minutes and it turned out that there were Little Owls in residence, and a pair too! They had bred last year and raise the one juvenile, with that positive tit bit of info she left me to it.

The building was of brick construction on three sides with an open fronted aspect, it was facing the open frontage that I re-positioned the car and the wait started. It took a while for the first owl to show, I can only assume that it had dropped down from within the building eves, it landed on to a wooden pallet that was propped up at the barn opening. I wasn't expecting it to show where it did and a quick alteration of my camera settings allowed me my first image. The dark interior of the barn offered a nice black backdrop to the image.

Click images for larger view.

My first sighting and image from my new site 229.

Then a second bird flashed before me, it flew out of the barn and landed on a pile of rubble that was piled up next to the building. This bird was back lit from the sun which meant another quick change of the camera settings, but it stayed there long enough for me to capture this image below.

The second owl, site No 229.

My attention was then drawn back to the first owl, it had flew out of the barn and up onto the roof.

I was struggling with the direction of the light so I chanced spooking them and moved the car. This wasn't detrimental for too long as the first bird soon re-appeared on the pile of rubble. 

This site is located a bit further a field than my normal monitoring area, therefore it won't be visited as often as I'd like, but come the breeding season it should be brilliant site when the juveniles are out.
Many thanks must go to Jo who allowed me access, I'll see you again soon!


  1. Great post Paul. A really good variety of super images from one site!

  2. Yes it is a very good site for variety Richard, shame it is not closer!