Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hoopoe


I found this photo, which I had forgotten all about, when I was clearing out an old cupboard. I can't remember exactly when it was taken, other than that it was in spring, probably in the early 1990s. 














It was taken at Harperley Hall in Co. Durham, which at that time was a training centre for police horses. These birds love to forage for insects in dung heaps, so the sweepings from the stables would have been a magnet for a passing hoopoe. 

I was tipped off that it had been spotted by residents but at that time didn't have any decent photographic equipment and the camera that I had was loaded with colour print film. When I arrived it was sunbathing in the middle of the track, unperturbed by the approach of a car - but as soon as I stopped and got out it was off.

Sadly there are no police horses at Harperley any more, but I hope that one day another of these exotic birds will drop in locally, wafted along with the swallows by warm spring southerlies. Maybe this spring. I'll be ready this time.......


6 comments:

  1. A wonderful find. Great the first time and just as good the second.

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    1. I really hope I do get to see another one!

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  2. Replies
    1. Seems far too exotic for our cold, rainy isles!

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  3. I remember the first time I saw one of these. I wasn't a birdwatcher then, and had no idea what it was until I looked it up. It used to come to the lawn each day after the sprinklers had been on. Fabulous birds! Only once seen one in UK. I too hope I've not seen my last one!

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    1. I can't pass by a stable yard without hoping there'll be another on the manure heap!

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