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!!!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Ouzels and Owls........

I haven't been out owling this weekend, far too busy with other passions, chores and drinking beer! Firstly I've just returned from watching the mighty Leicester City FC, can you believe we won again, that's three on the trot now. There is still a real chance that we may still escape relegation this season after looking dead and buried on two weeks ago. 

I've also been getting ready for a weeks birding in southern Spain, I'll be flying to Malaga very early on Monday morning and returning late the following Saturday. That's nearly six whole days for me to achieve my main ambition of seeing and photographing a Scops Owl. I do also have some other objectives whilst there but I'll do a post on how I went on with them when I return......

This last week I did have a first though, my first ever image of a Ringed Ouzel. The news came through that there were 3 or 4 birds showing reasonably well over at Brascote Pits, at the time Col and I were erecting another two owl boxes so we had to bide our time. Upon our arrival four other birders were there and they had two of the Ouzels in view, the birds were distant and this image below is a 90% crop of the original, not good quality but I am happy with it for now!

Ringed Ouzel - Male
After leaving Brascote Pits I stopped at one of my known Little Owl sites, I'd not seen a bird here for well over a year so it was a nice surprise when a single bird was seen in the nest hole sheltering out of the wind.

Little Owl, site No 209
In the week I made the most of warm sunny evening and visited one of my newer Little Owl sites not far from the village of South Wigston. Both the male and the female owls were seen which gives high hopes of breeding in the coming months.


Sorry there hasn't been much to report from this last week, but there is one last snippet of good news! Do you recall the Barn Owl site where one of the birds was shot dead over the xmas break? Well the farmer phoned me in the week to let me know that he saw two Barn Owls at the entrance to the nest box, not sure where this second owl has come from but it has certainly cheered us all up!!

Catch up soon.......... 


  1. The best Ring Ouzel image I've seen in a long while, Paul!

    I love those LO images, but the last three are wonderful.

    Absolutely brilliant news about the Barnie! Brought a tear to my eye!

    Best wishes - - - - Richard

    1. Yes it was kinda overwhelming when I heard about the Barnies too Richard.

  2. Some cracking images Paul. The header image/second to last image is a personal favourite though. You've managed more Ring Ouzels then me so far. Hope you have a great time in Spain.

  3. Happy Little Owl Day! 126 years today!


    1. Sorry I am late with your reply, I've been away. But a belated happy little owl day to you too!!