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Rare exotic bird spotted in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:39 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 10 October 2020

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

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An exotic-looking bird more commonly found in South Africa than the UK has been spotted in North Norfolk.

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad DammsA hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

The hoopoe is a pinkish-brown coloured bird, with black and white wings, a long black downcurved bill and a long pinkish-brown crest which it raises when it gets excited.

The bird, which is about the size of a mistle thrush, does not breed in the UK but they are occasionally spotted on the south coast of England if migrating birds flying from Europe to South Africa overshoot.

But much to the surprise and delight of birdwatchers in Norfolk, one was sighted in the county near Wells on Wednesday October 7.

Brad Damms, who photographed the bird, said: “I was amongst 20 other photographers and birdwatchers watching this magnificent bird near Wells.

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad DammsA hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

“It was the other side of a hedge in a field so I had to sit on the floor and take the photos through the hedge. Beautiful bird spent the whole hour feeding on grubs and worms.

“It would get them from the ground, toss it into the air and eat them.”

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad DammsA hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad DammsA hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

A hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad DammsA hoopoe photographed in Wells, North Norfolk by Brad Damms. Picture: Brad Damms

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