I regard the hoopoe almost as a talisman - so it's great to have such a wonderful photo of this entrancing bird, by far the best I've ever taken, as this site's first post of the New Year.
I came across this hoopoe in the grounds of Humayun's Tomb in Delhi at Christmas time. The bird is not too hard to find in northern India, if you know where to look. I've seen hoopoes in the past in Kashmir and Agra as well as Delhi, and this last summer I was really chuffed to come across hoopoes in Tuscany. I've never seen one in the UK, where it is a rare and very occasional visitor. Perhaps one day.
Having said all that, this was the only hoopoe I came across in more than two weeks in India over Christmas and New Year. It's thrilling to see - and I would have felt cheated if I had been to India and not seen one.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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