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!!!

Friday, 11 July 2014

An hour with an owl......

I am currently very fortunate that a number of my monitored Little Owl sites now have fledged juveniles. At the majority of these sites I have to be satisfied with distant views, but still good to see. However, one particular site (No 42) not far from the village of Kirkby Mallory has offered some very close views indeed! 

The parent owls here have successfully bred in one of my boxes for the last four consecutive years, but due to where the nest tree is located (in the middle of a field) getting near for juvenile images has proved to be almost impossible. This year the fledged juveniles (I have seen 2 so far) have taken up temporary residence in a Rabbit burrow! This burrow is situated under a Gorse bush alongside the track leading up to the farm, they obviously feel safe here whilst they wait for the parents to come in and feed them.  Although owls have an inbred fear of humans in their DNA the same can't be said for a whacking great car parked up no further than 20 feet from them! 

This first image below was taken from out of the car window at a focal length of 120mm, hopefully it gives a feel for the general location and the owls bolt hole?

Normally on my blog I attempt to keeps thing varied by not reproducing similar looking images, it is difficult to keep offering something different but I do find loads of similar images repetitive and boring, however in this instance I am going to make an acceptance to my own rule.

During the hour I spent parked up adjacent to the "owl burrow" not a lot happened and it was quite boring really, or at least whilst there that is what I thought. But now I have had time to assess the images I now think they are a little different. Yes the owl spent nearly all the time sat on its little perch, but there was various expressions and poses so I have decided to share.

An alert owl watching the world go by.
A bit of wing stretching.
A bit more wing stretching and one legged balancing.

Having a scratch!
A quick snooze.

A bit of company
Going for a wander
Getting vocal
Hopefully a bit more variety in my next post, thanks for stopping by.

Catch up again soon.............


  1. Not repetitive at all. I think the images show brilliantly the characteristics of Little Owl's perfectly. I like vocal and sleepy, made me chuckle

  2. That's a wonderful set, Paul, and no repetition there to my eyes. As Doug says, you've captured the nature of these wonderful birds beautifully. I hope you did even better today!

  3. Nice set of images mate!!!!