Pitch-fishing

It seems a lifetime ago now, but the long-staying Hoopoe in West Yorkshire (the bird appears to have butterfly-flapped away now) lured me across the Pennines on a crispy clear morning for a very odd innings at Collingham and Linton Cricket Club north of Leeds.
Feeding in a world of its own on the perfectly manicured grass, the Hoopoe ignored the rattle of camera shutters as it pitch-fished for grubs in the October sun on Sunday, just a metre or two from observers.
Always crazy-looking birds, this Hoopoe show was all the more bizarre given the setting and the boldness of the individual.

Frankly, I’d never appreciated just how far Hoopoes can stick their bendy bills into the earth to grab prey before, with a rapid-fire feeding action to put a dowitcher to shame.
You can watch some of my ropey video clips on YouTube here and here.

The perfect start to a Sunday then, and with migrating Skylarks chirrupping overhead and a Red Kite drifting across the blue skies just outside town, I pushed on towards Spurn for a few days before the latest episode of lockdown lottery kicked in tonight.
If anyone else is seeing anything, please feel free to use the comment section – it’s always great to hear from you.

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