Turns out she was on a busman's holiday in Barnes and the office teaboy had turned up trumps with a 1st-winter cachinnans - I'm sure they only rang to grip me off!
-A bird in the oven and the veg on the hob I headed out for a quick wander of some of the local hedgerows to look for Little Owls. I've had some success over the years we've lived here and had birds on several occasions. They should be just starting to find their voices around now and the wind had dropped a little, so I was quite hopeful. An hour later and despite trudging 2-3 miles of hedgerow I returned noctua-less, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, a single male Yellowhammer and a couple of Great Tits were my only points for effort.