'I have never seen anything like it' - villagers spot rare exotic bird in a village near Banbury

The mohican feathered creature, which breeds in Africa, Asia and some parts of Europe, is thought to have been blown off course during its spring migration

By Helen Dubber
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 1:11 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd May 2020, 1:12 pm
A hoopoe bird made itself at home far from its native habitat in Twyford.
A hoopoe bird made itself at home far from its native habitat in Twyford.

A hoopoe bird made itself at home far from its native habitat in a small village near Banbury for two days.

The mohican feathered creature, which breeds in Africa, Asia and some parts of Europe, is thought to have been blown off course during its spring migration and ended up in Twyford.

A resident from Rawlins Close first discovered the bird when she was on her way home from work on Monday afternoon and found it walking across her front lawn.

“I had never seen anything like it before and at first I had no idea what it was,” she said.

“After Googling its description, we were amazed to find that it was actually a hoopoe bird - I couldn’t believe it.”

The bird seemed to be attracted to the soft lawn which enabled it to pick out grubs from the ground to eat.

It drew the attention of several keen bird watchers who gathered with the hope of catching a glance at the exotic bird.

County recorder for the Buckinghamshire Bird Club, Mike Wallen, explained how the bird is likely to have flown too far north from Africa where it will have spent the winter.

He said: “They can either get picked up on a bit of a tail wind, causing them to overshoot, or much more likely the bird will be young and inexperienced and therefore will have flown too far.”

“The hoopoe bird shouldn’t be in the UK and won’t have planned to come here, it will have just have overflown France or wherever it was supposed to stop.

“I’ve only seen less than 10 hoopoe birds in Britain before and I’ve been birding for about 35 years so they’re pretty rare.”

The hoopoe bird, given the adopted name of “Henry” by residents of Rawlins Close, was also sighted on Walton Avenue and Berry Hill Road in Twyford.