Friday, 27 May 2011

Hoopoe!

The most exciting thing happened this morning. I was sitting having some breakfast with Wonderwoman, and she suddenly said, “What’s that extraordinary bird on the lawn?” I looked out and saw what I initially took to be a greater spotted woodpecker but it looked too exotic for that – and I realised we must be looking at a hoopoe! I grabbed the camera and took some photos, and then she suggested I did some video, but I only managed a couple of seconds before he disappeared.

Looking him up on the Internet, he definitely was a hoopoe! This is a very unusual occurrence in Britain – they do occasionally appear in the south of England during the early summer, but usually live in Mediterranean regions – I was also reminded, in my researches, that the hoopoe is Israel’s national bird. They are very dramatically marked, with a long beak and a magnificent crest which they sometimes raise on their heads.

My mum is a keen bird watcher, and I immediately rang them to tell them what we’d seen, thinking she’d never believe me! Once, I saw a pair of quails in the garden, and when I reported this to her, she said loftily, “Oh, they wouldn’t have been quails – more like young pheasants, I should think.” I knew they weren’t pheasants, though, and next time they came over, my mum suddenly said, “You’ve got some quails in your garden!” “I told you so!!” I said.

My parents have only ever seen a hoopoe in Spain. Seeing one in a Devon garden is very exciting!

Here’s the video slide show (which includes the mini-video clip) which I created of our exotic visitor. I’ve added his distinctive (although not very exciting!) call, which he did not deign to sing for us today!

 

What a lot of excitement we’ve had this week!

4 comments:

  1. Loved your 3/5 images!! I would have taken pics of them too! So pleased you had great celebrations!

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  2. I saw your hoopoe and am very envious!

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  3. How exciting to find an unusual bird in you garden and what a stunner it is too!
    I had a couple of birds last year that I thought were quails - turned out to be Australian Scrub Turkeys, eventaully they followed us around,like dogs and much to the dog's utter disgust.

    Very happy, we were when they moved on as they build mound nests over 3 metres square!

    Thank you for your positive comment on Hels blog today too!
    Julie
    PS I also write a garden blog http://idyllhourspostcards.blogspot.com/
    about the wonderful garden here at Idyll Hours.

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  4. I love seeing that bird! I've never seen one like it before!

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