Hoop Hoopoe hurray! Norfolk photographer captures shot of rare bird

David Burns pictures of the Hoopoe feeding near Crostwick. Photo : David Burns

David Burns pictures of the Hoopoe feeding near Crostwick. Photo : David Burns - Credit: David Burns

This stunning image is the moment a Norfolk birdwatcher had always wanted to capture - a rare Hoopoe tossing a grub into the air, before catching it in its mouth.

David Burns pictures of the Hoopoe feeding near Crostwick. Photo : David Burns

David Burns pictures of the Hoopoe feeding near Crostwick. Photo : David Burns - Credit: David Burns

David Burns, of Wymondham, spotted the bird in a paddock in Crostwick after being alerted to its arrival by other bird enthusiasts in the area.

The hoopoe, which is characterised by its distinctive colourful crest, is native to southern Europe and is only a very infrequent visitor to these shores..

Mr Burns, 65, said: 'I have seen them before in the UK, but not for some time. Every spring you get around 10 to 20 usually on the south coast.

'But this is the latest I have ever seen on in the winter time. It is strange to see one here this time of year'

David Burns, of Wymondham, who captured a photo of the rare Hoopoe

David Burns, of Wymondham, who captured a photo of the rare Hoopoe - Credit: Archant

The retired hospital maintenance worker had to look over a 6ft fence to get a glimpse of the bird.

He said he had been aware of its arrival in the area for over a week thanks to the rare bird alert Twitter feed.

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Mr Burns believed that the animal may have travelled too far north during its migration.

He added: 'I took around 200 photos of it, but the shot I wanted was when they pull out a grub from the ground, toss it up in the air and catch it.

'That's the picture I have always wanted, and that's the one I finally got.'

Having moved to Norfolk two years ago from Wolverhampton, Mr Burns said the county was unrivalled for wildlife.

He captured the image last Friday. It followed recent reports of a hoopoe at nearby Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham.

Have you spotted a rare animal in Norfolk? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684