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!!!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Better late then never......?

I do apologise for the lack of posts just recently, there are loads of reasons why I haven't been keeping things up to date but I'm not going into all that now. So I will now make an attempt to catch up on what has been going on in the last couple of weeks.

My last post finished off with the visit of husband and wife team, Mick and Denise from the Stamford Ringing group. We had just finished off ringing the Barn Owls chicks, well on that same evening we also did some Little Owl ringing. 

During the previous weeks and months I'd been keeping a close check on my nest boxes around the Willoughby Waterleys area. I'd got six boxes that had owls in close attendance and breeding looked very likely in them all.

In turn Mick allowed Jon, Col and myself a chance to ring the chicks. It was fiddly business at first but we all got the hang of it and none of the chicks seemed any the worse for their ordeal. Jon has many different birding achievements under his belt, but he had never done any ringing, well he has now!

Jon - First time ringer
Jon - Happy with his achievement.
It may not be apparent from these images but it was absolutely throwing it down most of the evening. The rain obviously didn't effect the cameraman (me!) as I took shelter inside the Landrover as often as I could! From that location I was able to photograph Mick & Col as they performed the ringing as they stood at the back door.

The ring on this owl hadn't closed properly and needed a bit of intervention from Denise to "square" it up. Don't worry, the owl is not screaming in pain, it just looks that way........

This next image shows the same owl as the one above, as can be seen it soon quietened down, all say arrghhh! 


I had a go too and ringed three different Little Owls, this little fellow below was my last victim owl.

During the evening we were also fortunate enough to ring a couple of the adult birds. They were both found inside the boxes brooding the young owls.

It was an excellent evening and massive thanks must go to Mick & Denise for braving the elements whilst ringing my owls.

Cheers guys....!



  1. The juveniles look so small in the hand, it's great to see some of your Little Owls being rung, I'm looking forward to seeing where some of the juveniles end up after they leave the nest, should be some fascinating info, I hope.

    1. Yes it will be interesting to see how far they disperse Doug, that is if they survive and I can re-locate them?

  2. Wow! Those are really tiny chicks. Not managed to find any yet this year, but after a tip-off from the farmer at one of my sites, it might not be too long!

    Well done to you and 'the team'!!

    1. I have every confidence that you will locate some fledged juveniles very soon Richard.

  3. Great night mate...............