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, 5 June 2014

A hunting master class......

It has been absolutely ages since I had the pleasure of having a good session watching a Barn Owl, in fact I think the last one was in Norfolk at the end of 2012. So to have witnessed one this evening out hunting in Leicestershire and in good light too was a real bonus!

Most of the time it stayed distant, circa a 100 yards or so but on the odd occasion it did fly a little nearer and on two occasions it actually landed on a post that was quite close by.


Myself and the local landowner watched from a crouched position next to my car as it hunted his field for a good 30 minutes. In this time we saw it make five dives into the long grass and on three occasions it came up successfully with a vole, not a bad ratio at all!


In between each successful catch it would disappear out of sight, no doubt to take its bounty back to the brood of chicks that were waiting in its nearby nest box.


At times the setting sun broke through the clouds which then threw a beautiful golden hue onto the owl and surrounding area.


Who needs to go all the way to Norfolk to witness such a marvelous display of hunting agility, all this and only a 5 minute drive from home!!

Catch up soon, thanks for stopping by!!!


9 comments:

  1. Really magnificent pictures. Beautiful owls.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment Russ.

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  2. That was a really magical encounter, Paul. Superbly captured!!

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  3. You're right who needs to go to Norfolk when you have this beauty on your doorstep. I love the shape of it's wings as it lands on the post plus the colours a stunning looking bird. Though my favourite is it carrying it's prey. Great images Paul.

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    1. Have been after an owl carrying a prey item for nearly 8 years Doug, I was pleased with that particular image although a very crop!

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  4. You're right who needs to go to Norfolk when you have this beauty on your doorstep. I love the shape of it's wings as it lands on the post plus the colours a stunning looking bird. Though my favourite is it carrying it's prey. Great images Paul.

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  5. These are really special pics Paul, great work.

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