News came in a few days ago from Jonathan Williams of a Hoopoe that he and his wife Elizabeth were lucky enough to watch from the main window of Castle Cottage as the exotic avian visitor probed the short turf of Castle Parade during the late morning of 5th November. Jonathan writes: "My wife first noticed the bird and called me to see it as well. The most obvious features were the clearly delineated black and white stripes of its wings and back, its pinky/orange chest, neck and head, long, slightly downwardly curved beak and orange/pink & black spotted crest which was mainly in the ‘down’ position rather than ‘fanned’. It pecked at the grass and the stony margins of the 'walled garden' area for at least a minute and a half. With a flash of its black and white wings, it took off and flew over the back wall facing the South Lighthouse".
The great majority of Lundy Hoopoe records – as for Britain and Ireland in general – are in spring. This was only the seventh autumn record and by some way the latest ever, the others (in month order) being:
10 August 1967
28 August 1999
25-30 August 1967 (2 birds)
30 August 2004
15-17 September 1974
25 October 1981
Many thanks to Jonathan and Elizabeth for getting in touch; as the only ones to have seen the Hoopoe they have made an important contribution to the annals of Lundy bird recording!