Sunday, April 25, 2004

"Good morning. Have you just woken up?"

I was rudely awoken from my sleep this morning by my mobile phone. I didn't recognise the number. My first dozy thoughts were a) is it Monday and should I be at work? and b) it'll be someone trying to flog me something. Fortunately, I answered, for it was Martin Coates telling me that there was a Hoopoe at Stibbington. That was enough to get even me out of bed on a Sunday morning, so I woke up a bit and went to see it.

By the time I'd found my way there, a few other birders were already on the scene, including its finder, Brian Stone (he found another one at Elton Furze last year but it vanished and wasn't seen again). The bird was last seen poking around on the edge of an unmade track.

Of course, Hoopoes are famous for feeding on lawns belonging to vicars, and Stibbington Hall, just around the corner, had what we considered a highly attractive lawn, ideal for a hungry visiting Hoopoe. It obviously disagreed, because it popped up again in its original position and we all had a good eyeful until it flopped away.

Most people left at this point, but a few of us decided we might as well wait, since we were there now, and our patience paid off. The Hoopoe returned and seemed happy to feed quite close to where we were. Though it was scared off twice by dog walkers and a Magpie, it always came back to the same spot, and the last I saw of it was when it trotted off round the corner and out of sight.

My first Hoopoe in the PBC area - what a fantastic bird! I got some OK photos of it, which you can see at the top of this post and also here.

What's in my CD player: Hail To The Thief - Radiohead