Southern Boobook - Ninox novaeseelandiae
I learnt something on this trip - never promise people anything when you take them out birding. One of the students on the course, Jen, had a birthday on this day. She asked if she could come out owling with me, and as I'm always happy to have someone come out on an owling trip, she came along. I'd been seeing Boobooks and Barn Owl by the ... owl-load. Anyway - at the designated time she arrives at the caravan park, and the boobook that had been keeping me up all night hadn't boobooked at all. So we drive around for the next 2 or so hours, and manage to spotlight Galah, Red Wattlebird, many many frogs, a couple of possums (ring and brush tailed) and I think we even had a White-faced Heron, but nothing at all owl-wise . Putting it down to the birding gods deciding that tonight was just going to be a slow owl night, we called it an evening for driving around and thought we'd have another crack at the caravan park Boobook.
Got out of the car, and s/he was calling, 5 minutes later Jen had her birthday owl, and a tradition was born - get an owl tick on your birthday. It's probably only good for 4-5 birthdays, but it's something to aim for. Anyway - this guy stopped calling about 5 minutes after Jen left, and 2 days later when I was out owling again, I managed Tawny Frogmouth, Boobook and Barn Owl in the same areas we'd driven around for ages...
This birding game is funny how it works sometimes, hey?
I've corrected the eyes a bit due to flash shenanigans, and they look a bit fakish, but anyway...