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!!!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Sparrowhawk

This is my first image of 2016, and a complete fluke! It was taken at 3:30pm today (only 20 minutes ago as I write this post). I was busy working away at home when this handsome chap landed on the fence right outside my office window. 

Initially I just watch and admired knowing that as soon as I moved he would fly off, but after staying perched for a minute or so I went for it. I gingerly moved away from the window, grabbed the camera and returned to my seat, he was still there! 

I called my son (Joe) in to my office to slowly open the blinds, remarkably as he did the Sparrowhawk still stayed put. I couldn't get the whole of him in the frame (too close) so I just rattled off a few shots of its head and shoulders. Shooting through the double glazed window has obviously effective the quality/sharpness as has the high ISO and slow shutter speed but the results are not too bad considering. The pinkish backdrop is the brick wall of my next door neighbors house.




This was the closest I have ever been to a Sparrowhawk and to get some images too (albeit through glass) was a real bonus. I hope this bit of luck is a sign of what is to come my way in 2016?

See ya all soon!!!!!

16 comments:

  1. I'm so surprised he didn't move as soon as you did perhaps the windows/reflective quality of the glass hid your movement, a great experience and equally great photo.
    Happy new year

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  2. Thanks Doug, and a very happy new year too you too mate!!!

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  3. so close is already great, and the background fits very well so is the applicability to Sperber good
    Happy 2016 for you and your family
    Greetings Frank

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    1. Thank you Frank, and a happy new year to you too!

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  4. Super image, very lucky it didn't do a bunk. also lucky to get such a good shot through the glass.
    Happy New Year

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    1. Oh I was very lucky indeed John, and a happy new year to you too!

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  5. Quality image Paul. I like the over the shoulder pose.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment Marc.

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  6. A great set of images, Paul, but I hope (for the sake of the birds in your garden) that it doesn't become too frequent a visitor. We recently got to the point with a male Sparrowhawk that we were seeing it in the garden around four times a day (so it was probably visiting at least twice as frequently as that), and the other birds got wise to it, and kept away. At first, I was trying to stealthily photograph it without disturbing it, but it got to the point that enough was enough, and I just sent it packing as soon as I saw it. It still visits occasionally, but the birds are back with us now.

    My very best wishes to you and the family for 2016 - - - Richard

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  7. Hi Richard, I have had/seen a Sparrowhawk (male & female) visiting now for a couple of years. Never seen either of them catch anything, they usually swoop in like a bullet and then gone in a flash. This was the first time I have had the chance to capture an image, albeit through the window. Thanks for the comment and the xmas card, catch up soon!

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  8. Outstanding pics over your last few posts Paul, Happy New Year to you and keep up the good work.

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    1. Many thanks Dawson, happy new year to you too buddy!

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  9. That's a great reference of dog training tips. Thanks! It was really helpful. I'm still in the process of training my dogs and hopefully some pet products have helped me on this.

    Beaverton dog training

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  10. Great images mate and through glass as well really good
    Is the person in last post got the right blog mate or have you now got a new sideline

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