Saturday, 30 April 2016


Saturday's don't normally present much of an opportunity to go birding these days. After dropping my son and a couple of his friends at a drama club in Axminster for 10:00, I get just under an hour-and-a-half to myself before having to pick them up again at 11:30...and that's the morning gone.

Well today I lucked-in. A Hoopoe had been found in Musbury on the evening of the 28th April and showed well again yesterday. When news appeared this morning that it was still there I dropped the kids off in good time and headed the 4 miles from Axminster to Musbury in the hope of catching a glimpse of it myself.

When I arrived I could see a small group of people through the trees, leaning over a gate on the other side of a small pond about 100 meters away looking generally in my direction. A scan of the area around the pond produced nothing so I decided to walk along the lane towards the group. I hadn't gone far when a couple coming the other way who told me that it had flown towards where I'd been standing because they (the group of people) had been "talking too loudly". At this point I wasn't sure I was going to see it in the limited time available so instead of joining the group I decided to stay put and hope it put in another appearance. After 10 minutes I noticed it feeding actively just 15ft the other side of the hedge that I was looking over and I ended up getting some of the closest views I've ever had in this country, a great bird!

Hoopoe, Musbury, Devon: R. Harris
Hoopoe, Musbury, Devon: R. Harris
Hoopoe, Musbury, Devon: R. Harris
Hoopoe, Musbury: R. Harris

Again the Nikon P900 came into its own - completely silent, I could get some good images and video without disturbing it at all.

After spending some time watching the Hoopoe I decided to leave it be and take a quick walk around the Trinity Hill area in the hope of finding a few reptiles but unfortunately there was nothing to be found today except a few Lousewort plants in flower, my first this year.


  1. Stunning photos and video Roger - it certainly is an approachable one. Hope it sticks around.

    1. Cheers Steve. Would be nice if it stayed, always such an exotic bird to see - could never tire of them and this one's not timid. Glad whoever found it thought to tell a birder!