Every day I take a walk in the campo with my dog Bonita. She is getting on a bit now and is getting slow but we both enjoy this leisurely stroll. And we both take an interest too in sights and sounds and smells. Bonita specialises in the smells and I do the sights. About a week ago while we were out on an early morning walk we witnessed something pretty interesting although, frankly, I don´t think the dog took too much notice.

There was a rather distinctive bird call which consisted of a single note repeated either twice or three times with a pause between each calling. When we looked around we saw a hoopoe on a telephone wire and observed that its head would bow during at the moment each note was delivered. This was the first time I had noticed the call of the hoopoe.

This continued for some time before the bird, irked perhaps by the unexpected audience, flew away. As the dog and I completed our circuit we could make out other similar calls from birds we could not see.

The hoopoe is an unmistakable bird and a real stunner. It has a very prominent crest which it can raise and lower and black and white stripes on the wing and tail which are really striking in flight. For such a conspicuous bird it is able to melt surprisingly easily into the open ground on which it forages.

We are very lucky here in southern Spain to have the birds stay year round. It is a summer visitor to most other parts of Europe.

I guess the bird we saw was in the business of attracting a mate since it is now the time that the hoopoes are beginning to breed.