Sunday, 16 October 2011

16/10: HOOPOE !!!

Eurasian Hoopoes are pretty common to Africa and the Canary Islands and we've seen them in large groups on wasteland here and even, briefly, had one visit our garden but I hadn't seen one close up

I was really mad at myself on Friday when we walked into town and a Hoopoe landed in a palm tree next to us and spent 15 minutes posing beautifully, fanning out his crest and doing the whole singing/dancing routine .... and I didn't have my camera with me!!!!    David tried to get a couple of photos on his mobile phone but the quality wasn't good and despite their vivid black and white wing feathers the Hoopoe was really well camouflaged in the palm leaves. 

We went back to the palm tree the next day at the same sort of time in the faint hope that the Hoopoe might return ..... and it did!!!!   I took soooooo many photos and he/she was totally unfazed by all the attention.  There was a lot of 'debris' at the point where the trunk of the palm met the base of the leaves and obviously there were some rich pickings for a hungry Hoopoe

Here's a few of the photos:

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a photo of the Hoopoe with his 'crest' fanned out - he was being co-operative but each time he put on a show I seem to have 'missed' the action so this is probably the closest I got to photographing his 'mohican' hairstyle!!

He was really digging deep for bugs here


Jennifer Rose said...

what a cool looking bird, such gorgeous marking :D

Bev said...

Oh I just love these guys, you have taken some great photos Sue, will we see a painting of one when you get back to your drawing board?

sue said...

They are quite stunning birds aren't they?
You may well see one Bev .... I have so many photos of it I should make use of them ... but I do have a huge 'to do' folder of ref photos I'll probably never get round to using :-)

Jan/ said...

What a beautiful bird, Sue! I've never seen one and you were extremely lucky that it was in the same place at the same time for you.

Great photos!

sue said...

David thought I was crazy going back next day .... and I wasn't confident but I know back home in England the birds seem to have routines and different species visit at specific times. Seems that could be the case here also.

I'll be able to see my photos better when back home with a better screen, but I'm happy to have had a second attempt!

Peter Williams said...

Great photographs Sue, you're lucky to get such fantastic reference material. I'm hopeless with the camera.

sue said...

Thanks Chrissy and Peter. Must confess I took more than 70 photos and then whittled them down to around 20. Will thin them out more when back home with proper computer facility.

The biggest problem was the very harsh bright sunlight which cast lots of shadows when the palm leaves moved ... but I am still pretty chuffed with the pictures :-)

sue said...

Chrissy's comment got deleted by accident (unfamiliar keyboard). So sorry, Chrissy (nothing personal) lol. Here's a copy of the message:

"have never actually got to see a Hoopoe at close quarters so I am quite jealous. Great photo's, I know that sometimes bird shots can be more tricky than first appearances ~ great capture :D "

Karen said...

How amazing to see a Hoopoe and to be this close and get such spectacular pics - wow!
There were reports of one be seen several days running quite near me (in the UK) last year but by the time I heard about it and made the trip it had moved one.

sue said...

Hi Karen
Yep, I was really pleased to get a 'second chance' with this one. Apparently, they do sometimes 'overshoot' their intended European nesting grounds or get blown to the UK by high winds so they can be seen in the Spring/Summer in Southern UK.