Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday 18 - Eurasian Hoopoe

The first day in Oman was not going well - my luggage was taking a short break in Dubai without me, I had been wearing the same clothes for well over 24 hours and the information about registration for the conference was rather misleading.  I was feeling glum!

Then, wandering under the bushes, was a bird that I had wanted to see for as long as I have actually wanted to see birds!  It was a Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) - 28 cm of pinkish, black and white striped remarkableness!  Long down turned bill, a half cocked crest and long, rounded wings.

It was rushing about, pocking the grass with its long bill, looking for food.  I was rushing about camera in hand , looking for the best angle.  My work colleagues were looking at me like I was a mad man!  I was looking at the bird and not really caring what they thought!

I can remember looking at pictures of Hoopoe in my first bird books - the I Spy and Observers books for those of you with roots in the UK - and knowing that I would probably never see one!  It may as well have been a Roc or a Phoenix for all the likelihood that I would see one.  I was half convinced that they were mythical!  Later I met people who had seen them, but they were dedicated beyond my level of commitment, or travellers to far flung and exotic places.

But here it was, being reasonably cooperative on the grass verge around a hotel car park - it felt I bit like finding a unicorn in a shopping centre! After about 2 minutes it flew off into the traffic (!) and suddenly the day did not seem so bad at all.  In fact I dont think I stopped grinning for a long while.  The general feeling was only surpassed by that caused by the eventual arrival of my luggage!




Now it you turn to get involved in Wild Bird Wednesday.

Click on the link below, follow the instructions and off you go!  Don't forget to link back to this page - and its best if you link to a specific post on your own blog rather than just to the blog itself.




46 comments:

Johnny Nutcase said...

What a great bird! I've seen photos before and thought it'd be pretty cool to see it one day for real. Glad you got to! Sorry about the luggage- that's always annoying!

TexWisGirl said...

that is awesome! what a spirit-lifter when you really needed it!

Springman said...

Camera in hand and not with the lost luggage. There is a lesson there!
I would like to nominate Rodan, the bird that fought Godzilla to your list of birds we are unlikely to see in the course of everyday events.
Cheers to you Sir and ;-)WBW!

Modesto Viegas said...

Good capture!!!

Brian King said...

I love these birds! I didn't know what they were called, but I've seen photos of them. They look like a hybrid of two or three species!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Well that is a first for me too. I never knew such a striking creature existed. Enjoyed your story along with these great images.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Such an interesting bird and beautifully photographed, I might add! Sorry your luggage was separated from you and for the hassles registering for the conference. Hopefully your discomfort didn't last too long.

Crafty Gardener said...

That is an amazing bird, great captures.

Larry said...

As you, I have wanted to see a Hoopoe in person since I have known of its existence. Congrats on the lifer and beautiful images!

i stora drag said...

I can see why you were happy again, seing this fantastic bird! Nice photos too!
Greetings Pia

Wally Jones said...

When I arrived in Germany for my first assignment with the U.S. Air Force, I purchased "The Hamlyn Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe". I found the Hoopoe and Bee-Eater on the same page which said both species were "common in open areas". Alas, I found no open areas with either bird. I am SO jealous! But pleased you found one!
Good job!

Carletta said...

I'm sorry your day didn't start well Stewart but it would seem it worked out pretty well in that even your luggage was returned. :)
Your diligence in getting the right angle paid off in that handsome last shot!
That crested head gives him a fancy look.
Well done!

Nette Cecilia said...

Fantastic bird ,lovley photo ,Nette

Fun60 said...

Many,many years ago when I was in India I saw a Hoopoe for the first and in fact only time, but I have never forgotten what it looked like. Fortunately I was with someone who was an avid bird watcher and recognised it straight away. I've always wanted to see another one but no such luck.

Anni said...

Awesome!!!! So unique, so pretty!!!

Phil said...

Funny how these things are all relative Stewart and I'm not trying to grip you off, but I've seen many Hoopoes in Europe and the Uk. I can also understand why people want desperately to see one and they are a bird that doesn't disappoint. i suppose the Middle East is a good place for seeing wintering birds. Check out my blog for a breeding pair in a concrete block!

Carole M. said...

how fabulous a moment was that; especially when you got to view your snapshots on your computer and oggle big time at your catch of the day. Well done Stewart; I've never seen or heard of this bird before and it's super special isn't it just?!

Dave said...

Nice story Stewart, and what an unexpected find (and loss)... the best are the most unexpected.

Hilke Breder said...

Congrats, Stewart! I saw one once in a zoo and couldn't imagine that such bird actually existed in the wild.

Findlay Wilde said...

The colours on the Hoope look amazing. From Findlay

DIMI said...

Hallo Stewart!Im Dimi!Born in Melbourne and now living in Athens!My brother lives in Melbounre!Glad to meet you!Great shots!Amazing bird!Tara!!!
http://imagesfrommimikaseyes.blogspot.gr/

eileeninmd said...

Congrats, Stewart! The Hoopoe is an awesome bird. I would be thrilled to see one too. Great shots! Thanks for hosting WBW!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh wow! That's an amazing bird and you spotted it at exactly the right time. (No matter what happened at the conference, the trip was a winner!)

Pam :) said...

After your luggage fiasco you deserved a special treat, Steve. And there he was, the one bird you had been searching for. He sure is a beauty!

Mama Zen said...

What fantastic shots!

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

Real nice takes of captures.

I never have seen this type of bird.

Excellent.

Becky said...

This is one unique bird! Really different. I'm so glad you got the chance to photograph it, and so glad it brightened up your day.
Thanks Stewart for this wonderful meme.

mick said...

Great bird - and nice to think that you are now a traveler to a far flung and exotic place :-)

Amanda said...

Never seen anything like it! there must be something yummy about a bills length under the surface?

Kerri said...

I think those birds are so cool! Would love to see one "in person " :)

FjÀllripan said...

Such a cool looking bird, so great that you got to see it! /Susanne

bailey-road.com said...

What an amazing-looking bird!

Misty DawnS said...

What an awesome looking bird!!!

Gillian Olson said...

You got some great pictures of the hoopoe. I have seen them in Europe but never got a good picture of one, so thanks for these.

Janie said...

What luck, seeing this unusual bird by happenstance! This is a very cool find. No doubt your lost luggage did not seem nearly as important after that.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

You get to see the neatest birds. What a cool looking bird, looks like it is wearing a head dress;') beautiful!

pattisjarrett said...

I have never heard of such a bird as this! Glad you got photos to share with us. Also happy to hear you were reunited with your luggage.

Andrea said...

Wow that is certainly a wonderful exchange for not changing clothes! I can do that too. I haven't even seen it in photos. When we did the Desert Safari in Dubai, they said Omman is just 30min away! Don't 'cut class' from the conference, you might go out to chase birds! LOL.

Kateri said...

That is a beautiful bird. I've never seen one quite like it.

Fergiemoto said...

Adorable and interesting little bird. Nice shots!
That's frustrating about the luggage. Hubby and I were in a similar situation when we went to Greece for our honeymoon...3 days without luggage in the middle of summer!

Liz said...

That's awesome, Stewart!! What an interesting bird and how great to find it in such an unexpected place.
I understand that feeling... though my find (which I will be posting next week) is not a bird that I would never have the hope of seeing. It is one I have only ever seen in photos, and I thought I might have to travel to north QLD to find.

Black Jack's Carol said...

HI Stewart,

I keep planning to contribute to this meme. What a day you had! I am completely and unequivocally jealous. But very happy for you :) It was thrilling to see your photos. A step closer to a Hoopoe than seeing them in a book. Now, I must try to catch up with your post enough to figure out what conference you were attending.

Nattugglans Foto said...

Congratulation to the bird and thank´s for the invite to your WBW.
//Kicki

Maurizio Riccio said...

Definitely one the most striking and unusual birds out there.

Chris said...

Hi Stewart, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

wonderful birds which we have the pleasure of enjoying here in Italy every summer in our garden. :)