Animals

A photographer has described the ‘special moment’ a barn owl swooped towards him across a sun-kissed meadow of wildflowers.

In a breathtaking sequence of shots the pure white bird can be seen gliding over a sea of pink, yellow, white and green illuminated by the soft glow of the summer’s evening sun.

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Simon Marlow, 51, captured the beautiful snaps while visiting the meadow behind the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover, Hamps.

Digital support engineer Simon from Reading, Berks, said: “It was early evening and I’d just set up my camera in the meadow where the trust let all these wildflowers grow.

“The barn owl just flew straight at me across the meadow. They nest in a barn nearby but it’s not every day you get to see them.

“It was just right place, right time and fire away. Seeing a native owl like that is always special, it’s something any wildlife photographer always wants to capture.

“You set up your camera and you know what kind of shots you hope to get but it’s not until you get home and you see something like that you can think ‘ah, I’ve cracked it’. It’s a very special moment.

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“The way the sun is lighting up the meadow is so nice. The photo has gone down massively well with everyone who’s seen it.”

The stunning snap was captured by Simon using a Canon 70D camera and a Canon 100-400mm IS II lens.

Simon, who developed his love of nature growing up in the Devon countryside, got into wildlife photography 20 years ago.

Pursuing photography as a hobby not only allows Simon to enjoy his passion for wildlife but also capture unusual shots of animals and share them with people.

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Simon said: “I have always loved and respected wildlife. It might be something to do with growing up in the countryside.

“With photography you are always capturing something new and you get to share that with people who don’t get a chance to see it.

“I’m lucky to have good camera equipment and to be able to go out and about.

“I like to capture something a bit different, to get the more unusual shots and show people another side to wildlife.”