Posts Tagged ‘hoopoe’


Hoop, hoop–oeray!


This fine fellow flashed through my sightline at lunch with our friends George and Hilary today.


In mid-conversation I caught a glimpse of the headdress outside the window at the back of the house and it was gone before I could say: “There’s a hoopoe!

Nobody would have believed me, anyway.

Hoopoes are well known for their shyness and we have never seen one near the house.

On the tarmac outside and once in the garden, rising vertically like a helicopter to the nearest tree branch but–my word–never this close!

Back from tropics, it’s their time of year and it always thrills me to see them again.

Then Meredith says, with an intake of breath from the opposite end of the table: “Look! Look! There’s a hoopoe at the window, trying to get in!”

I turn slowly and face the courtyard.

There is this exotic creature hovering at the window–appearing to knock on the pane with its long beak–“let me in, let me in!”

Where’s the camera? Can you try? Oh my word!

Meredith finds the camera and gingerly opens the front door. The flustered creature, now at another door, obligingly turns its head and stays put long enough for Meredith to capture this shot.


Why was he/she trying to get inside?

Will it be back tomorrow?

On verra!


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After a rewarding but hands-on week of guests from breakfast to dinner time, we awoke this morning in an empty house.

The only sounds were familiar ones: Beau’s bells and his pleading cries for food–poor starving mite!

The golden Orioles flew hither and thither warbling bonjour. Good to have them back–heralds of the beginning of something–though these days the weather is so changeable you cannot be sure what season it’s trying to be.

The Hoopoes spotted up the road would confirm it’s summer that approaches.

(How amazing that this pair of eccentric-looking birds [or their offspring] return to the same spot each year–how discerning of them to pick our neck of the woods!)

Our neighbor, Serge, called by at 9am with a box of his hens’ very brown and very large eggs–as he had promised to do a couple of weeks back, even before Meredith presented a pot of honey  to him on her diplomatic honey run.

They are extraordinarily brown and made deeply yellow and satisfying omelets for lunch under the greening fig.

The tree’s first fruit crop is fattening fast after so much rain.

These early figs always promise more than they deliver. We have to wait ’til  August for the second crop.

A whiff of donkey dung challenged the senses at lunch under the fig tree and reminded us of the party on Saturday in the courtyard.

It was graced by Sybil, who demonstrated her initial doubts about attending by marking her patch with a pile, almost green as the figs above!

Later, after all the attention lavished upon her, she startled everyone with an enormous HEE–HAW of appreciation, which won her even more pats and plaudits.

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