Little owl (Athene noctua)
I then used my elbows as tripod feet while my hands held the lens barrel. I placed the eyepiece to my eye while focusing the lens manually to its minimum focusing distance. I looked through the viewfinder and just as I was ready to compose the owl stood up and I imediately thought he would fly off, but lucky for me he apparently heard some noise. As soon as his curiosity went away, he turned back to me and crouched for a second time onto the lichen covered rock. I framed and took my first shot but then he flew off. This is my only take on that encounter back in July 2004.