The hunter hunted!   Leave a comment

It was 5:40am in the morning. It was a little chilly with some rain in the air but not an uncomfortable amount. The meadow I stood in was part of a large farming and shooting estate in the Nottinghamshire countryside.

I scoped out the location for the best angles and backdrops with the sun over my right shoulder and double checked my camera settings again. 6am arrive and I was still on my own. Then 6:15 and still no sign of her. 6:30am came and went and still nothing.

It was at this point I began to think she might not show at all. 6:45 and still no sign.

The sun broke through clouds at 7am and its golden rays lit up the field and hedgerow in front of me. A perfect setting… and here she came, hunting down the hedgerow!

I’d seen her at this location on numerous previous occasions, so I was fairly sure she’d show up!

I settled in to my ‘hole in the ground’ in the middle of the meadow, checked my camera settings one last time but when I looked back up she’d disappeared! Oh no!

I scanned the top of the meadow but no sign of her ….. but as I looked up something caught my eye to my right and behind me….. and there she was! Coming down the ‘wrong’ side of the meadow this time!

I had to screw my head around (owl styleee) to get a shot off before she disappeared behind the trees. As you can see in the picture, she’s hunting down the hedge row.


Now, this is where I start making excuses, okay! I have a really bad habit of shooting in Manual all the time and I’d metered the shot I wanted to be against the hedge row with the sun to my back. I’m figuring that I need to get lucky to have her cooperate but hey, this is the way I’ve seen her hunt in this field. So what happened next is me making a rookie wildlife mistake.

She reappears from behind the trees at the foot of the meadow and perches on a fence post. I have the shot but she’s a speck; I’m using a 70-200mm 2.8 and it feels like I’m miles away from her.

Now, consider this, I’m dressed in camouflage trousers and jacket with a dull green beanie on my head. The only thing that looks like a rabbit’s tail and/or ears is my stupid Canon lens!

Her head swivels around and she suddenly takes to the air flying directly towards me. I’m thinking ‘she hasn’t seen me’ and started shooting the speck  as she comes toward me. As she gets closer, and still closer, never moving off a direct line towards me, I suddenly realise that she HAS seen me – or at least my lens, and thinks it is something edible!

My little heart is beating so fast as she zero’s in but … crapolla .. she’s above the hedge line and I’m hunkered down in the grass so I’m shooting up at her with a clear white sky behind her, not a lovely green hedge.

Then suddenly she realises her mistake; it’s not a rabbit or a vole but some ass-hat photographer in her meadow, and she lets out a screech  and pulls up and violently to her right.


I made several return trips to the meadow as the spring moved in to summer but she never really gave me the chance to get too close again. Although she did grace me with this shot on my last day with her.


I’ll be back this winter when the snow has fallen to see if I can capture a shot of her in her winter finery.


Posted August 22, 2013 by Drew in Uncategorized

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