New Years morning, in position in good time. As the night began to slip away, a Hunting Barn Owl the very first bird I saw, the perfect start. Little Owls called sharply, with the top of a telegraph pole being a vantage point for one. To the SW, the sky was black & a short jog to the edge of the reserve was timed to perfection as the male Long-eared cruised into view, wing clapping as he approached his plantation.
"The 5" was certainly on the cards after a faultless start. However, no sooner had the Leo evaporated when the morning became darker as the sky first few spots of rain fell.
The East was brighter, this route taking me away from the Short-eareds... A Staked out Tawny in an ornamental Cypress was an easy addition - Owl number 4 seen well before 9AM.
The thought crossed my mind to double back for #5.... but these would wait.
In the end Short-eared was the final bird of the day - amazingly waiting a good ten mins after the light had gone before they set out to hunt.
A cracking day, 79 species & only the third time I've seen The 5 on a NYD.https://flic.kr/p/qnfnR6