Happiness is a hoopoe!

After a week of weather here that would put many a summer’s to shame, it finally broke last night.

We woke up to a rather damp day and the sun is struggling to shine so it’s not too bad now, although I’m sure the farmers here would have liked a bit more rain. It’s been very dry for months now.

About half an hour ago we were sitting in the dining room having lunch and looking out at the day when all of a sudden Mrs Shark asked, ‘What’s that bird?’, in a very excited voice.

I looked where she was pointing and saw something I’d only seen once before.

It was one of these:

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Yes, a hoopoe!

It was digging about in the verge by the side of the communal road here – probably because the rain had made using that long beak beak to skewer insects or worms in the damp ground a bit easier.

OK, they might be commonplace here – although I think they’re more often found in the south of the country – but we were totally gobsmacked.

The only other time we’ve seen one was when we were on holiday much further south in the Herault departement. We were renting a house on a terraced slope in a village and saw one flying through the trees down below us, although we heard its distinctive cry a lot more often.

Anyway, we’re feeling dead chuffed and looking forward to another sighting.

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2 Responses

  1. Fantastic photo!

    This winter in the UK was said to be a great year for visiting waxwings. Sadly, none of them visited this part of Essex… 😦

  2. Waxwing!

    That was my first reaction until I realised that the bird’s crest was too big and the black and white bars on its wings too large and prominent.

    BBC’s Autumnwatch reported on the large number of waxwings in the UK.

    Lots of jays around here at present – noisy and destructive but rather handsome all the same!

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