Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Hoopoe at Willington

7th October 2014

It is now seven years since I have seen a Hoopoe, the last being in May 2007 at Bishops Stortford. That bird spent much of its time feeding on a football pitch and was viewable at a range of 30 yards. Another reasonably local Hoopoe was found on a farm at Willington, Beds on the 3rd October 2014 and was still there on the 7th, so well worth a visit. My main concern was that as it was on a farm, what would the access be like and how close could I get?

I needn't have worried. When I arrived the bird was feeding on the drive to the farmhouse and it was coming to within 15 yards. However, it then flew to the horse paddocks further down the road, an area it seemed to prefer as it spent most of its time here. It obviously had never seen humans before or was quite used to them as it seemed to be quite happy hugging the fence where the assembled crowd had gathered. Most of these photos were taken at a range of just 5 yards, and it would have been closer had it not been for the fact that there was a deep ditch between me and the bird.

What an incredible day, what an incredible bird, and thank you to the farmer for not only finding it but for allowing us access to watch and photograph it.

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