I came to Australia for the first time in 2006, with Christine. Walking through the suburbs of Sydney one night on that trip I heard this "ooo ooo ooo" sound:
Too dark to see, I flipped open the flash, pointed the camera at the sound, and snapped. And got what has to be the luckiest shot of my life:
It was a Tawny Frogmouth, probably about 16 inches from tip of the tail to head. They're owl-like—but they are not owls, nor are they closely related to them.
Here's a closer look:
More here. And more images of the messy-faced Frogmouth here.
• Fromouths are classified as belonging to the order Caprimulgiformes. The name means "goat-sucker," because of the mistaken belief long ago that another bird in the order, the nightjar, sucked milk from female goats.