We had an unexpected visitor last night. Nick went out to put the girls to bed and called me. I thought something dreadful had happened to the chookies (given it was later than their usual lock-up), so braved the cold expecting the worst.
Rather than a pile of feathers, I was quite surprised (and relieved) to see this Barking Owl in a tree adjacent to the storage container. I called Vaughan outside also - and we all barked a welcoming hello but our guest remained strangely (?!) silent!
We're not entirely mad - before relocating to Victoria we would often visit Blackbutt Reserve near Newcastle. The Barking Owl on exhibit there would "woof-woof" back to us repeatedly when we called!
(The Barking Owl link has a sound file of the bird's call).