All aflutter over hoopoe

AN exotic visitor from warmer climes caused a bit of a flap in Winterton during April.

The wide variety of birds that can be seen in the dunes, along with the little tern colony that nests on the beach, make the village popular with birders.

But the sighting of a hoopoe brought them in from all over the place and got them tweeting excitedly whenever the creature with its striking plumage was spotted.

One twitcher posted: “It only took three and-a-half hours, a soaking and eight miles of walking, but I’ve finally seen the Winterton hoopoe. “

Another wrote: “The Winterton hoopoe was my birding highlight of today.”

First seen sometime around 4th April, birdwatchers were still reporting encounters with it three weeks later.

Hoopoes don’t breed in the UK, but according to the RSPB, up to 100 of them sometimes overshoot when they migrate north from Africa to Europe in the spring. But they are more likely to be seen on the south coast.

It’s not the first time a hoopoe has been seen in Winterton. One dropped by in 2014.

And the hoopoe has not been the only unusual feathered visitor in recent years. A European bee eater dropped by in May 2016 and caused a similar flutter of excitement.