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, 2 January 2015

Barn Owl - Shooting Update.

Hi all,

Following on from the appalling news last week when one of our Barn Owls had been discovered dead after being maliciously shot. After further investigations by the landowner(s) it transpires that the "shooting parties & individuals" who do have permission to be on the land have all been cleared of any association with this crime. 

After the discovery of the owl it's carcass was taken to a local veterinarian practice for x-rays, it was at this point that it was officially confirmed to have been shot. I have just received a copy of one of the x-rays (below), not brilliant quality as it was taken with an I-phone but some of the pellets can be made out. Apparently there was one pellet in its leg, one in its neck and a small group in its wing. 

Since my last blog post the support has been overwhelming, social media forums such as Twitter, Facebook and other blogs and websites (that are against wildlife crime) have spread the news far and wide. The consensus is everyone is disgusted by such a callous act. The Investigative Support Officer for the National Wildlife Crime Unit has contacted me and I now await the local police wildlife crime unit to get in touch so the incident can be officially logged. The RSPB have also been in touch and the incident has been logged with them too.

Six years ago there was only one known breeding pair of Barn Owls within my survey area, this number has slowly risen to an all time best of nine pairs in 2014. It obviously proves that the nest box program  is slowy having an effect, but for how long as all this hard work is undone in seconds when low life scumbags trespass around the countryside with firearms performing vicious and cowardly acts like this...........words almost fail me!



  1. Thanks for the update Paul ...... sadly I think that this occurance will go no further ...... I don't believe that the landowners shooting parties have all been '' cleared '' ..... someone pulled the trigger and I used to do a lot of shooting !

  2. It still distresses me this incident but glad to hear the ball is rolling in terms of investigation let's hope someone/s is brought to book for this.

  3. It was sad news mate, but we've just to get on with with what we are doing and put more boxes up so more owls can set up territories in Leicestershire, even though I say so myself we've not done a bad job so far, leave the scum bags out there to the powers that be.

  4. It will be very enlightening to see how much real effort the police put into catching this lowlife thug, it will be even more enlightening to see what the courts do with him if he is caught. I won't hold my breath on either count !!!

  5. Name and shame when they are found.

  6. Hi Paul. Just getting back to Blogger. Any further news on this atrocity?

  7. UPDATE.......
    Sadly all avenues that have been pursued to try and find the scum responsible for the cold blooded killing of the Barn Owl have resulted in dead ends. The local police have called me to discuss this appalling incident but they say they can do no more than to document it. So I guess the local landowners and I must now be more vigilant and report any suspicious activities, for what that will be worth? In other words the bastards have got away with it, a dam bloody disgrace.........