According to a couple of newspaper cuttings a hoopoe was spotted in the grounds of Beachamwell Hall, probably sometime in the mid-1950s. (Unfortunately the cuttings are not dated but other evidence suggests this date.) The appearance of this rare bird apparently attracted a good deal of attention from bird spotters.
The puzzling fact is that this event took place in December, as recorded in the following report from the EDP by ‘E.A.E’ i.e. Ted Ellis, the well-known natural history writer and broadcaster:
It’s interesting that he seems to be a little sceptical and notes that the bird doesn’t quite meet expectations. Nevertheless he does give it his imprimatur as the ‘Beechamwell hoopoe’.
Here’s what one looks like:
Whilst a December sighting might seem unlikely for a bird which is supposed to spend the winter in Africa, the Birds of Britain website confirms that this would not be the first such occurrence, and also gives other interesting facts about hoopoes in Norfolk .
Has anyone ever seen another hoopoe in Beachamwell?