They drift over the fields like ghosts as the sun sinks, scanning the ground below for their prey.

As night falls, silent hunters are on the prowl over rural Marlow.

But as the short-eared owls take to their wings over the countryside, they are being stalked by wildlife photographer Neil Richards.

The wildlife photographer spent 4.5 to 5 hours waiting patiently to capture to moment.

He hasn't revealed the exact location "as it’s a rare visitor to the area" but it's just outside Marlow on common land.

Neil said: "I first found it and two others just before Christmas, and have photographed them on and off since.

"The common flooded three weeks ago and I thought that they had fled. The most amount of time I’ve spent waiting for them to show is 4.5-5 hours.

"I have 100-200 images of them including some nice perched shots." 

In case any keen photographer wants to emulate shots like this, Neil uses a Canon R5 mirrorless camera, canon EF 500mm mkii lens, with a 1.4 teleconverter, on a tripod and gimbal.