Hoopoe alert

Tweet tweet: Colleague spots exotic bird far from home

Have you spotted anything out of the ordinary on your recent trips outdoors? Our very own Marketing, Communications and Digital Coordinator Katherine Boon did last Sunday when she spotted an exotic bird called a hoopoe on one of her walks.

Katherine managed to get close enough to take some photos to share with her followers on Twitter - the tweet has now amassed more than 3,500 likes from fellow bird lovers! You can also see it on the Bath Spa University Twitter account.

According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the hoopoe "does not breed in the UK, but as many as 100 birds can turn up in spring (mostly seen as single birds) as birds migrating north to Europe from Africa overshoot and land on the south coast of England."

Hoopoe sitting on a gate

Katherine said, “I saw the hoopoe on a footpath near Westerleigh in South Gloucestershire, so it was relatively close to campus given its usual range. I saw a flash of pink and black in the corner of my eye as it flew past and thought it was a jay. It was only when it settled on a gate right in front of me that I realised it was something much more exotic. The encounter was pure chance but I have to admit my heart was racing for the rest of the day!”

We caught up with our MA Travel and Nature Writing course leader Stephen Moss for his thoughts on this rare encounter. He said, “What a great find – I am very envious! Hoopoes are one of the most exotic birds in the world – they look like a giant orange butterfly with black and white wings. This bird will have flown here from the continent on southerly winds – if it likes what it sees, and finds a mate, it might even stay to breed!"

Photos: Katherine Boon

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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