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, 15 March 2013

Two more!

It has been a very busy week work wise, consequently I have fallen behind a bit with keeping my blog up to date. Anyway, I have now had a chance to get back in front of my PC and go through the images from my most recent venture out.  I was at my site No 160, and I just adore this location because it offers something different that none of my other sites do, dry stone walls. I don't know why but the combo of owls and walls.......I just love em!!!  Anyway that is enough about my unusual fetish, lets get back on track.
I was at this site late in the day and it was bitterly cold, although the light was OK on arrival it soon changed to grey cloud and either, rain, hail or snow!!!  And to make matters worse the position I have to park the car in meant that the cutting wind was blowing straight into the open window, it was bloody freezing! Luckily upon arrival a single owl was already showing, it was bobbing about on posts and walls (oooh yeees). I knew I wasn't going to be staying for long (because of the conditions) so I made the most of the time there and grabbed some distant "environment" shots (see new header). 
Little Owl - Site No 160
 It only came reasonably close just the once (image above) this was just before the wind picked up and the heavens opened. It too was obviously suffering from the conditions as it soon dropped down behind a sheltering wall not to be seen again!
On my way back I stopped off at a derelict barn by the roadside, I'd previously pulled up here before because it just looked so owly, but nothing had ever been seen. My luck was in this time though, I couldn't believe it as half way up the wall perched up on a stone plinth were a pair of Little Owls.........GET IN THERE SITE No 226!!!  

Little Owls - New site No 226.
The heavily cropped image above was the best of a bad bunch, low light and shaking camera didn't help, but I will be back when the weather improves.
I continued home along the same country lane and I'd only travelled a mile or show when another new site was located!!! The light had all but gone but I was still able to spot a Little Owl perched on top of a telegraph pole, oh yes get in there site No 227. So as not to spook it I didn't stop, instead I drove past and pulled up at the earliest convenient spot. The camera was soon out of the bag again and the flash unit activated. I knew that it was far too dark for the auto focus to work so I had to switch over to manual mode, I then reversed very very slowly..........
I pulled up right next to the post and switched off the car engine, because of the angle I couldn't see if the owl was still there? I waited a few seconds and then pointed the camera at the base of the post. I then slowly followed the post upwards, once at the top I was in for a surprise as there was now two of them!! I manually tweaked the focus and took the shot.
Little Owls- site No 227.
Not the best of evenings for photography, but definitely good for new owl sites and memories.


  1. Sounds as if you had a great evening Paul. There's nothing shabby about those images either. That new header is absolutely brilliant!