Long Eared Owl, Yorkshire, UK by Stephen Midgley

Picture Story

I had been trying to photograph a long eared owl which was regularly being seen on the moors above my home town and had been failing. The owl was either too far away or heading in the wrong direction so any photographs were not the best. Finally one evening I noticed wing tips just showing above the crest of a hill and as I tracked them through the viewfinder the owl suddenly appeared heading directly at me. I could see it's brilliant orange eyes looking directly at me and with no time to reconsider my settings I fired off the shutter catching a number of shots of which this is my favourite. The owl continued to hunt this area throughout the summer and although I managed to photograph it again on numerous occasions this shot still stands out. I think those eyes are imprinted on my memory for ever. The owl nested locally and successfully raised two young which hopefully will be hunting over the moors in the coming years.

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