Hoopoe (and mazet) on a dull day
The first summer we spent here in our little house, nearly ten years ago, there was a hoopoe nest in the eaves of the house next door. Every so often I'd see one of the parent birds rest on the telephone wire outside our kitchen window before going in to the nest. I spent a whole morning keeping an eye out for it, with my camera ready, but each time I saw it and grabbed my camera it would fly away. The next day I opened the shutters and on the terrace next door was a young hoopoe, trying and failing at first to fly. A few minutes later it flew over the roofs and the nest was empty. We hear them all summer long in the garden and from the house, and see them flying their slightly awkward paths across in front of the car when we're out, but I've never been able to catch one on camera, until this morning. Not a very good photo, but the best I'm likely to get! This one flew away too when I tried to get a closer shot. You can see better shots of this beautiful bird here.
Slightly better in LARGE