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!!!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

An afternoon's owling.

I was slightly sombre this morning, I went to watch the MIGHTY Leicester City FC last night with Daz and we lost again 1-2 to Watford, we are still alive......just......but with only one game to go of a very long season we have to win away at our arch enemy (Forest). And if that wasn't hard enough we also have to hope the results at another three games go in our favour too, and that is just to reach the play offs. We have two hopes and one of those is Bob!
OK I apologise for venting my spleen, lets get back to this afternoons owling...........
Three different owl species were seen, firstly it was the Little Owls. My buddy Adey has been keeping an eye on my site No 81 since their nest tree got rather heavily pruned. We needn't have worried, they are still there and seem to be thriving even though the happy chainsaw wielding "prunist" has made their entrance hole somewhat larger!

Firstly the male owl showed, he'd just finished a meal judging by the "bloody morsel" that was still stuck to his beak!

Then the hen owl showed, I had her in view for all of 2 seconds! She gave me a quick glance before disappearing into the nest cavity.

I then made my way over to my "flavour of the week", the Tawney site. Only one bird was visible today although I did hear the second owl calling. I can't believe that these birds are still showing so well??? I know I am a bit of a novice when it comes to this species but they are normally so nocturnal, maybe it is characteristic that when in the middle of the breeding season they show better, who knows??

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Whilst with the Tawnies I had the opportunity to capture a bit of video footage. It does have a lot of distracting background noise but it was very windy. If you listen carefully the hen owl can be heard calling back to the male from her nest site.

Click on the arrow to view.
On my way home I stopped off to check out one of the Barn Owl boxes that Col and erected a few weeks ago, I wasn't expecting to see any evidence that it is being used. Whilst in the building that the box is in a Barn Owl flew from the box and up into the rafters, well I wasn't expecting that!!!
Before I got home I also stopped off at my Little Owl site No 21, the door of the nest box was carefully opened and to my delight there sat the hen owl with her new clutch of 3 freshly laid eggs. Although all the owls have been delayed somewhat with the bad weather I still have high hopes that it is going to be a breeding season to remember...... 


  1. I can't believe how could that Tawny image is, Paul. Incredible portrait. Their eyes are stunningly jet black and your image is as sharp as they come.

  2. I'm struggling to think why that tree has had such a severe "trimming"!! The Tawny is brilliant, I've heard that normally the male Tawny will show alot when it has young, protecting the nest etc but also seen them out when young are fledging and the adults are moving the birds away from the nest site either way the owling Gods are smiling down on you at the moment

    1. Yes I agree Doug, he must have chicks some where that he is protecting. As for that tree???????????????I don't know about the owling gods smiling down at me at the moment, more like patting me on the back!!

  3. A stunning picture of the Tawny owl Paul....

    1. Cheers mate, your chance will come very soon.....of that I am sure!