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, 20 August 2015

Never seen that before!

A couple of nights ago I made my way over to where a pair of my monitored Barn Owls are holding a territory. They are one of the nine breeding pairs that I have in my area this year and at the moment they have 3 juveniles in one of my boxes that is located in a nearby barn. The male owl tends not to spend too much time in and around the barn, preferring instead to roost in the hollow of a nearby tree.

It was near this tree that I parked myself up hoping to get some views of the male or maybe even of any of the youngsters that may have fledged?

True to form, eventually the male owl did emerge from the hollow in the tree, it didn't do a lot apart from just sit there looking around. The only piece of action was when the owl started the wretch its beak wide open, I knew this was a typical action for an owl just prior to the expulsion of a pellet.

I have seen plenty of Little Owls performing a pellet expulsion but never before a Barn Owl, although the light levels were not good for high speed photography I just kept rattling off the images and luckily the image below just happened to capture the moment the pellet was ejected by the owl.  

I know it is not the most pretty of images what with the greasy slimy pellet and the owls face all contorted but that's nature folks,  I was very pleased to have witnessed it!

Just a short post, catch up again soon.............


  1. What a great moment to see this. Well spotted and well caught...Thanks for sharing...

  2. I perversely do think its rather attractive, I'm truly weird I guess. I can't believe you're monitoring 9 Barnies, we're not miles apart from each other yet Northamptonshire seems to be really struggling for Barnies at the moment. Dead jealous.

    1. Don't forget Doug only 6 years ago I knew of only 1 breeding pair of Barn Owls in my area, erecting the nest boxes has made a big difference, although it does take time to start reaping the rewards, cheers!!

  3. Hello Paul,
    the wait was worth it you were at the right moment at the right place.
    to look great once something ..
    thank you
    greetings Frank

  4. Right place (through hard work), right time (through more hard work), and right skills to capture it (through even more hard work). Well done, Paul !!! A thoroughly deserved magical moment.

    Best wishes - - - - Richard

    1. I'm not sure it is all hard work Richard, long hours though! Cheers for stopping by.