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 February 2017


Last week I found myself working out in the Grantham area, I knew that there had been a wintering Bluethroat not too far away from where I was working and fortunately en-route between two of my planned calls. As it proved it was too much of a temptation and I made the effort to go and visit Willow Tree Fen LWT in Lincolnshire. 

So during my lunch hour I wandered down the track towards the 40 or so other birders that had already huddled together in a horseshoe shape around a small reed fringe ditch. Apparently it had been showing very well on and off all morning, but not when I arrived!

Now I'm not really one for "twitches" as some of the behavior I have witnessed in the past by so called birders/photographers has appalled me, but not this time. Everyone there seemed to be conducting themselves in quite an orderly manner, just a low hum of people chatting, no shoving and pushing for more advantageous positions and patience was the order of the day. 

I soon got chatting to the guys either side of me and they assured me that the Bluethroat would soon pop out of the reed bed and feed on the gravel track right in front of us, I hoped they would be proved right as it would be a "lifer" for me.........

After no more than five minutes out popped this first winter male, I was very lucky too as at times it came very close indeed, what a bird!

I know it must seem that I have been in hibernation recently because of the lack of posts, well I'll be back again soon to give an update on how my Barn Owl breeding programme went last year, a real success story.

Catch up again soon............