23/12/2015
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Photo of the Week: 16–22 December

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Long-eared Owl by Scott Duckworth

Long-eared Owl
Long-eared Owl, Loxley Valley, South Yorkshire (Photo: Scott Duckworth)

It seems to have been another week of grey and dull light judging by some of the comments from our Iris photographers. But one species the light is not going to make much difference to is a roosting Long-eared Owl, so when Scott Duckworth came across this individual it must have felt like Christmas had come early.

To find a Long-eared is one thing, but to find one that is virtually out in the open is a real stroke of luck (I've had one or two in 35 years ...), and Scott has made the most of it by taking this lovely image.

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Using a 500 mm lens with a 1.4× converter has meant he kept his distance, with the owl probably alerted by the shutter clicking. The flat lighting actually improves this type of shot without any distracting shadows; it's a simple photo but one that has been done very well.

Congratulations to Scott on his winning POTW; there are just two weeks left before the judging for Photo of the Year begins.

You can read more on bird photography from Steve Young, including product reviews and a regular Photo Challenge for readers, every month in Birdwatch magazine.

Other notable images

Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird, Sri Lanka (Photo: Dave Williams)

Hoopoe
Hoopoe, Hinksford, Staffordshire (Photo: Phill Ward)

Pintail
Pintail, Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire (Photo: Pete Blanchard)

Malabar Pied Hornbill
Malabar Pied Hornbill, India (Photo: John Fraser)

Waxwing
Waxwing, Reydon, Suffolk (Photo: Nick Brown)

Great White Egret
Great White Egret, Upton Warren NR (Permit Only), Worcestershire (Photo: Vince Garvey)

Dunlin
Dunlin, Turf, Devon (Photo: Charlie Fleming)

White Pelican
White Pelican, Bulgaria (Photo: Iordan Hristov)

Kestrel
Kestrel, Holy Island, Northumberland (Photo: Andy Mould)

Great Northern Diver
Great Northern Diver, Portland Harbour, Dorset (Photo: Steven Carey)

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper, Lowestoft, Suffolk (Photo: Nick Brown)

Hen Harrier
Hen Harrier, Stodmarsh NNR, Kent (Photo: Steve Ashton)

Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk, Llandrindod Wells, Powys (Photo: Kev Joynes)

Written by: Steve Young