Hoopoe for the British List

About ten miles away from home a splendid specimen dropped into Sand Bay, North Somerset. It was reported last Saturday, when I couldn’t get to it, so I assumed it would have moved on by Sunday. However, I went and a gaggle of birders along the coast road gave me hope. They had seen it that morning although no-one knew where it had gone.

Ho-hum. I made a brief search, then adjourned for coffee. Smart move. When I returned the bird was staked out in someone’s scope and became my 291st UK species. Actually so confiding was it that I was soon on to binocular-filling views.

My last sighting of a hoopoe was five years ago in Delphi. Three years before that I went a bit mad with two records: from Madrid and Alicante. Back in 1996 Spain also provided my lifer sighting on Mallorca. So, not a bird I’ve seen often and I watched the one at Sand Bay for a good while – long enough also to register a snipe on the saltmarsh.

So, what else lately? A couple of weeks ago an early evening bus back from Bristol dropped me at Portbury Wharf at the right time for two calling tawny owls. Otherwise, I’ve been lying low since my Welsh trip.

Lying low and fully occupied with the Bristol Festival of Literature and BristolCon. Four public readings at the former and the launch of Colinthology at the latter, where you can find They’re Watching You…

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