On a sunny day in March 2022, I started with my Canon R5, Canon RF 100-500 plus Canon 1.4 TC to capture my target of the day, a Pharaoh eagle owl commonly sighted in the rocky mountains and sloppy cliffs. The Rocky Mountains of Al Aqr near Shinas, Al Batinah North Governorate, in the Sultanate of Oman, are challenging and craggy terrain even for trekkers with four-wheel drive. The Pharaoh eagle-owl is locally known as "bump", a silent hunter of the deserts. It is a large owl weighing about 1900–2300 grams. It has a globular-spherical cat-like face, crowned with a tiny small ear tuft with yellow to deep orange eyes colour.
The Pharaoh eagle-owl is a nocturnal bird that nests on cliffs. Although it is nocturnal, it sits at the entrance of the nests during day time. The owl roosts between rocks on the ground, a cliff crevice, or a cave entrance. It preys on desert rodents, birds, spiny-tailed lizards (locally known as "dhubs"), and hedgehogs. Males and females generally pair for life.
On the way back, I was happier as it was worth staking the struggle of climbing the harsh terrain on foot for having captured some great shots.[the_ad id="61677"]