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!!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Team Work!

An hour or so before dusk this evening I was out again in search of more hunting Barn Owls. Tonight I was in the company of my mate Adie, well sort of? What I mean by that is we were searching in totally different areas but in constant contact via out mobile phones. 
Neither of us were confident of making any sightings as the wind was so fierce and cold my head had turned to an ice ball! The sun had set and it was getting dark fast, as I knew exactly where Adie was located I suggested to him just to give it one last go and drive down a particular lane that I knew of. I'd never seen an owl there but I recalled it definitely had some potential.
As I was guiding him in via directions over the phone he suddenly yelled "BARN OWL"!!!! I was around 5 miles from him so the next 10 minutes were a complete panic as I drove as fast as I dare down the country back lanes.  As I rounded the last corner just before where Adie was located I was met by his car in the middle of the road, engine still running, lights on and the doors wide open! Adie was standing on the grass verge with camera in hand, he seemed quite excitable. "Did you get him" I asked, with trembling hand he pointed to the owl which was perched up in the adjacent field.
We both rattled off a few shots but capturing a decent image wasn't easy. The owl was very patient with us and just sat there whilst we kept changing our settings until we attained the best we could considering the conditions. 
It was 7.57pm and I had to manually expose and shot at an ISO of 2500, F2.8 which gave me a shutter speed of 1/80 sec, not too bad a result considering it was hand held and with no image stabilisation!
These 3 images below were my best of a bad bunch and only record shots, but never the less it is another site taking the local tally to a mighty 18!!!

Well done to Adie, he did a top job and kept his composure reasonably well, even if he was shaking like a dog in a wet sack! I do hope he managed some "keeper" images himself?

Tomorrow evening I'm not going to the pub, I'll give you a guess as to where I'll be?


  1. These are superb results under those conditions, Paul. Well done on yet another location.

  2. Can't believe you got these with so little light, well done. So I can do smiley face= :), I can do sad face= :( and even jovial face= :-o but how do you do green with envy face=?

  3. Truly amazing to get these images under those conditions, Paul. Good luck for tonight (I'm writing this on Friday afternoon). The wind's dropped a bit, I'm pleased to say.

  4. Great images and a great tally too :-)

  5. My god, it's always exciting, isn't it? The images have an eerie stillness to them - a perfect setting for a barn owl.