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, 10 April 2013

Bits & Bobs...

Nothing too exciting to report from the last few days, but here's a quick round up.........

Last weekend I was down in Sussex to watch the football, whilst there I had a couple of opportunities to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The South Downs appears to be an excellent area to watch for incoming migrants, sadly the horrid northerly wind made it too cold to be out of the car for any length of time, so I saw absolutely zilch!!
On the Sunday morning I went inland and found some more sheltered locations, and guess what I found a pair of Little Owls!!!
They didn't offer the best of photo opportunities or views but nice to see never the less, they won't be added to my list of monitoring sites, too far to go! But I think I will have to start a list of all the different counties in the UK where I have seen owls, I reckon it must be 6 or 7 now???
Sad news on the local Barn Owl front, reports have been coming into me of at least 6 dead birds that have now been found recently, and all of them looking very under nourished and skinny. Definitely a result of all the bad weather of late, the poor things must have starved to death!
I have spent the last three nights out on Barn Owl watch, a few sightings have been made but nothing like the last few weeks. I do hope it is a case of them reverting back to their normal nocturnal ways and coming out just before dusk rather than being deceased? 
Last night I got permission to access a new area of land that I'd never before ventured onto, its always exciting when a new area is checked out. I was secretly hoping for views of Barn Owls but none were seen, although I did locate a new Little Owl site, No 230!!!
The "new owl" was spotted sitting in a crevice, even though the Landrover engine makes loads of noise it allowed me pretty close to capture the above image.
The only other siting I made was of this Munkjack, below. I have seen them before but their secretive nature only normally lends for a quick and distant glimpse. But this guy just wondered across right in front of me sniffing the ground??? I am annoyed with myself that I didn't get it properly in focus, doooough!
That's it for now, but the weekend is fast approaching so hopefully some better and more interesting accounts/images to come soon???


  1. Paul on our local news (Anglia) we had a report from the RSPB in Suffolk saying about dead Barn Owls and Stone Curlews too. Not good news at all.

  2. Not good news about the barnies mate,lets hope of better things to come?