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!!!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

An unexpected visitor.......

I've had some more time down by the river, on Sunday I was at the riverside at first light watching over a slightly different area, sadly it didn't result in any Kingfisher images. I did see two birds fly past but neither of them stopped and posed for me. I'm quite confident that I will get some images of the Kingfishers at this alternative spot, it has some "nicer" and more natural perches that I have seen the birds use in the past, I guess it is just going to be a case of more visits.

Anyway, all was not lost as whilst I was waiting and enjoying the dawn of a new day I did have a photo opportunity that was quite unexpected. Initially my attention was drawn to a group of Corvids (Crows, Jackdaws and Magpies) that were acting very strange in the field on the far side of the river. They had collectively assembled in a small flock and were circling around in a tight group. They were being very vocal and swooping down towards the field, because of the angle (the far bank and field being considerably higher than me) I couldn't see what all the fuss was about? 

Then all was revealed, a Fox poked its head through the hedgerow and clambered down to the waters edge, it pounced onto a rock and then onto the lower limbs of a Willow tree and onto my side of the river.......right in front of me!  

The Fox seemed to be so focused on avoiding the attention of the Corvids it didn't notice me at all. However, once it was near the Landrover the Corvids didn't come any closer, they are clever so and so's and I am sure they knew I was there!

Viewing the Fox's antics in the time that followed was amazing, it initially sat in the field looking around and sniffing the air. 

Without warning it scampered towards the hedgerow and pounced up into the air and crashed down into the tussocky grass. Yes I know the next image is blurred (but I only had 1/200th second shutter speed)  but it hopefully gives a sense of the action.

It had caught a field vole! For the next few minutes it laid right in front of me and chomped on its catch.  

A most unexpected but very welcome visitor, easily the best views I have ever had of this species.

Thanks for stopping by.

Catch up soon!


  1. It looks in such good condition too. I like encounters with foxes these are brilliant images

    1. I thought it looked in really good condition too Doug, maybe a youngster?

  2. What a fabulous sequence, Paul. All that action, too!

    1. Thanks Richard, guess I was in the right place at the right time.