Littlebeck hoopoe: Rare African migrant bird seen in Yorkshire for only the second time in 40 years

A young birdwatcher has photographed an extremely rare visitor to the UK - a hoopoe - near the Yorkshire coast.

Junior ecologist and birding blogger Connor Pimm captured the hoopoe on camera between Littlebeck and Fylingdales in the North York Moors last week.

Hoopoes are native to Asia and Africa and spend the summer in southern Europe, but are occasionally blown off course and arrive in the UK.

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Around 100 are recorded annually - but overwhelmingly in the south of England and they are rarely seen in Yorkshire.

Connor Pimm's image of the hoopoe at Littlebeck, near Sleights, last week

It was seen south of the May Beck car park near the Newton House Plantation.

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In 2020, a hoopoe that spent around a week in Yorkshire was thought to be the first seen in the area since the 1970s.

It was photographed at Nether Poppleton, near York, and later moved on to Collingham Cricket Club's pitch near Wetherby, where it became a star attraction and drew large crowds as it hunted for grubs on the sports ground.

Mr Pimm said: "There have been one or two reports this year in North Yorkshire, including down near Osmotherley and Robin Hood's Bay but these could relate to the same bird.

"I think the last widely seen one was Collingham; there have been one or two elsewhere in Yorkshire but they've usually not been seen again. I didn't find the bird myself, just followed up an earlier report of it."