So I followed up a hot tip on the weekend and added bird species #92 to my island list in fabulous fashion. Driving up to probably the most unpromising looking bits of habitat imaginable I commenced scanning the tree tops of a tiny wood. Unfortunately the wood contained mostly pine, specifically a species of which which produced huge cones and hence made spotting birds rather difficult due to the bird sized and shaped cones. Suddenly I spotted a fluffy pinecone. It wasn't a pine cone. Hello little long-eared owl.
A quick scan revealed mum (or dad) a little way away.
These guys are very close to fledging - a slight turn revealed proper feathers behind all that fluff.
I took a couple more shots and then beat a retreat. I was keen not to disturb the family in any way and although I know the habitat's position and use means they probably see humans every day I doubt they get spotted by many so I wanted to go before I outstayed my welcome. I do wonder how many of these guys get missed around the world though. I knew exactly where they were and struggled to spot them so how anyone who didn't know they were there would spot them I've no idea. I hope they grow up big and strong and I see them next year.